Bending Back the Aging Curve!

I am involved in a research project at UVM developing interventions to enhance stride length (and therefore speed!) in older runners.  These interventions are jumping and skipping plyometric-form drills I’ve previously blogged about.  Borrowing from what John Babbington prescribed for his Wellesley cross country team and also discussed by Peter Reaburn in The Masters Athlete, I have been consistently doing these for over 20 years.  I firmly believe I’ve benefitted from this regimen.  The premise of plyometrics rests upon generating maximum force in the shortest time (Reaburn, 2009.) To be clear, the drills I use and prescribe for older runners are not as intense as the ones you’ll see demonstrated online by college or younger athletes. But they do generate force quickly! Through this research, I’m looking to expand this practice beyond myself and those I’ve coached.  As part of a proposed research paper, I’ve described how the expected decline in endurance running speed accelerates after age 50.  This took me right to the World Masters Athletics (WMA) adopted age grade (AG) tables, which most of us are probably familiar with.  At root, these tables are derived from best-ever times reported by age and gender for various distances.  The computed … Continue reading