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Dale E. Rae, Andrew N. Bosch, Malcolm Collins and Mike I. Lambert

The aim of this study was to examine the interaction between aging and 10 years of racing in endurance runners. Race-time data from 194 runners who had completed 10 consecutive 56-km ultramarathons were obtained. The runners were either 20.5 ± 0.7, 30.0 ± 1.0, 39.9 ± 0.9, or 49.4 ± 1.0 years old at their first race. Each runner’s race speed was determined for each race over the 10 years. Data were analyzed using repeated-measures ANOVA, one-way ANOVA, and independent t tests and showed that performance improved and declined at greater rates for younger runners; younger runners had a greater capacity for improvement than older runners; ≈4 years were required to reach peak racing speed, regardless of age; it was not possible to compete at peak speed for more than a few years; and the combined effects of 10 years of aging and racing neither improve nor worsen net performance. In conclusion, these data suggest that although these runners showed similar patterns of change in race speed over a 10-year period, the extent of change in performance was greater in younger than in older runners.

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Simone A. Tomaz, Alessandra Prioreschi, Estelle D. Watson, Joanne A. McVeigh, Dale E. Rae, Rachel A. Jones and Catherine E. Draper

Background: Limited research reports on the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SB), sleep, and gross motor skills (GMS) in low- and middle-income countries. The aim of this study was to (1) describe BMI, PA, SB, sleep duration, and GMS proficiency in South African preschool children and (2) identify relationships between variables. Methods: BMI, including z scores for height, weight, and BMI were determined. Seven-day PA, SB, and sleep were measured using accelerometry. GMS were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development (second edition). Associations were explored by comparing sleep, PA, SB, and GMS between BMI tertiles using the Kruskal–Wallis test. Results: Most (86%) children (n = 78, 50% boys) had a healthy BMI (15.7 [1.3] kg/m2). Children spent 560.5 (52.9) minutes per day in light- to vigorous-intensity PA and 90.9 (30.0) minutes per day in moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA; most (83%) met the current PA guideline. Nocturnal sleep duration was low (9.28 [0.80] h/d). Although daytime naps increased 24-hour sleep duration (10.17 [0.71] h/d), 38% were classified as short sleepers. Around half (54.9%) of participants complied with both PA and sleep guidelines. No associations between variables were found. Conclusion: Despite being lean, sufficiently active, and having adequate GMS, many children were short sleepers, highlighting a possible area for intervention.