The physiology and biomechanics of the master runner

Richard W. Willy, Max R. Paquette

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The Master runner (age 35 y and above) represents a unique athletic patient. Lifelong participation in endurance running slows the inevitable age-related decline in aerobic function and muscular strength. Still, the Master runner does not escape the inevitable effects of aging. Master runners experience a steady decline in running performance, that is, typical and maximal running speeds, after the age of 50 years of age. Age-related declines in running performance are driven by a host of factors, including declining cardiovascular function, reduced muscular capacity, altered biomechanics, and greater susceptibility to running-related injury. This review discusses age-related changes in physiology, biomechanics, and running injury susceptibility and practical strategies to maximize running participation in the Master runner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalSports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Achilles tendon
  • aging
  • cardiovascular
  • endurance
  • injury
  • muscle
  • performance
  • rehabilitation
  • resistance training running


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