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This study assessed physiological and cardiac factors associated with 10-km running performance in a group of highly trained endurance runners age 21–63 years. Participants (N = 37) underwent a resting echocardiograph and incremental treadmill running test. They also provided information on their recent 10-km races. Data were analyzed using “best subsets” multiple regression. Declines with age were found for 10-km running speed (0.26 m · s−1 · decade−1), maximum heart rate (4 beats/decade), VO2peak (6 ml · kg−1 · min−1 · decade−1), velocity at lactate threshold (1 m · s−1 · decade−1), and VO2 at lactate threshold (4 ml · kg−1 · min−1 · decade−1). The percentage of VO2peak at which lactate threshold occurred increased with age by 1.5% per decade. The rate of change of displacement of the atrioventricular plane at the left free wall and septum both declined by 1 cm · s−1 · decade−1. The best single predictor of 10-km running speed was velocity at lactate threshold.
Bird is with the Centre for Rehabilitation, Exercise and Sport Science, Victoria University, PO Box 14428, Melbourne City, MC 8001, Australia. Theakston is with the Dept. of Sport and Exercise Science, Canterbury Christ Church University College, Canterbury, Kent, UK, CT1 1QU. Owen is with the Dept. of Cardiology, Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury, UK, CT1 3NG. Nevill is with the School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, University of Wolverhampton, Gorway Road, Walsall, UK, WS1 3BD.