There are some amazing performances throughout all age grades but unfortunately on average age is not on our side when it comes to running times.
I'm not saying you can't get faster as you get older but if you've has run for many years the chances of getting faster does reduce, but lets have a look by how much:
From my analysis there are two factors that impact how much age impacts parkrun times:
1) Gender, and
Bare with me with the latter as its a bit circular!! But basically there is a trend that we see up to age 65 years old and then it changes after this, this could be due to less volume of runners causing volatility in the data but also maybe due to the fact that age catches up with us all by then.
Therefore we need to split this into
Male Under 65
Female Under 65
Male Over 65
Female Over 65
...So what is the impact of age on running times?
Male Aged 18 - 65
On average for every year you get older you'll get 5.9 seconds slower
Female Aged 18 - 65
On average for every year you get older you'll get 5.2 seconds slower
Male Aged Over 65
On average for every year you get older you'll get 13.3 seconds slower
Female Aged Over 65
On average for every year you get older you'll get 14.1 seconds slower
So interestingly, age doesn't have as big an impact on running times for women as men under 65 but this trend reverses after 65.
How I came to this conclusion?
I analysed a years worth of parkrun data across some of the biggest parkruns and grouped the average time by age to work out the impact of age on running times.
Therefore this is done on the data alone and no other adjustments. A larger data set may show different results but they do look like common sense, however I've intentionally not hypothesised on what the reasons are that we are seeing such trends.
What you can do about it?
Unless you can reverse aging then there isn't much you can do but you can look after yourself properly. Also although age isn't our friend when it comes to running faster, you can 100% get faster that you are today, how?
The first thing you should do is download my FREE How to PB parkrun guide, it tells you everything a good training programme should include. You should also follow me on social media (links below) for more tips and advice.
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