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Ella McLoughlin, Rachel Arnold, Paul Freeman, James E. Turner, Gareth A. Roberts, David Fletcher, George M. Slavich, and Lee J. Moore

This study addressed whether lifetime stressor exposure was associated with psychophysiological reactivity and habituation to a novel laboratory-based stressor. Eighty-six participants (M age = 23.31 years, SD = 4.94) reported their exposure to lifetime non-sport and sport-specific stressors before completing two consecutive trials of the Trier Social Stress Test, while cardiovascular (i.e., heart rate) and endocrine (i.e., salivary cortisol) data were recorded. Exposure to a moderate number of lifetime non-sport and sport-specific stressors was associated with adaptive cardiovascular reactivity, whereas very low or very high stressor exposure was related to maladaptive reactivity. Moreover, experiencing a very low number of lifetime non-sport (but not sport-specific) stressors was associated with poorer habituation. In contrast, lifetime stressor severity was unrelated to cardiovascular reactivity. Finally, greater lifetime non-sport and sport-specific stressor counts were associated with blunted cortisol reactivity and poorer habituation. These results suggest that lifetime stressor exposure may influence sport performers’ acute stress responses.

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Bas Van Hooren, Guy Plasqui, and Romuald Lepers

Purpose: This study assessed the cardiorespiratory capacity, anaerobic speed reserve, and anthropometric and spatiotemporal variables of a 75-year-old world-class middle-distance runner who previously obtained several European and world records in the age categories of 60–70 years, achieved 13 European titles and 15 world champion titles, and also holds several European records for the 75-year-old category. Methods: Heart rate, oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide production, ventilation, step frequency, contact time, and velocity at maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) were measured during treadmill running. Maximal sprinting speed was assessed during track sprinting and used to compute anaerobic speed reserve. Body fat percentage was assessed using air displacement plethysmography. Results: Body fat percentage was 8.6%, VO2max was 50.5 mL·kg−1·min−1, maximal ventilation was 141 L·min−1, maximum heart rate was 164 beats·min−1, maximum respiratory exchange ratio was 1.18, and velocity at VO2max was 16.7 km·h−1. The average stride frequency and contact time during the last 30 seconds of the 4-minute run at 10 km·h−1 were 171 steps·min−1 and 241 ms and 187 steps·min−1 and 190 ms in the last 40 seconds at 17 km·h−1, respectively. The anaerobic speed reserve was 11.4 km·h−1, corresponding to an anaerobic speed reserve ratio of 1.68. Conclusion: This 75-year-old runner has an exceptionally high VO2max and anaerobic speed reserve ratio. In addition, his resilience to injuries, possibly due to a relatively high volume of easy runs, enabled him to sustain regular training since his 50s and achieve international performance in his age group.