Speed trends in male distance running

Timothy N. Kruse, Rickey E. Carter, Jordan K. Rosedahl, Michael Joseph Joyner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The major cycling "Grand Tours" have shown an attenuation of performance over the last decade. This has been interpreted as circumstantial evidence that newer anti-doping strategies have reduced the use of performance-enhancing drugs. To examine this idea under more controlled conditions, speed trends for world class 5000 m, 10000 m, and marathon performances by men from 1980 to 2013 were analyzed. We obtained comprehensive records from the International Association of Athletics Federations, Association of Road Racing Statisticians, and the Track and Field All-time Performances database webpages. The top 40 performances for each event and year were selected for regression analysis. For the three distances, we noted cumulative performance improvements in the 1990s thru the mid-2000s. After the peak speed years of the mid 2000 s, there has been limited improvement in the 5000 m and 10,000 m and world records set during that time remain in place today, marking the longest period of time between new records since the early 1940s. By contrast marathon speed continues to increase and the world record has been lowered four times since 2007, including in 2013. While the speed trends for 5000 m and 10000 m track results parallel those seen in elite cycling, the marathon trends do not. We discuss a number of explanations other than improved anti-doping strategies that might account for these divergent findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere112978
JournalPLoS One
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 19 2014

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sports
Running
roads
regression analysis
drugs
Performance-Enhancing Substances
Track and Field
Doping (additives)
Sports
Regression Analysis
Regression analysis
Databases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Speed trends in male distance running. / Kruse, Timothy N.; Carter, Rickey E.; Rosedahl, Jordan K.; Joyner, Michael Joseph.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 9, No. 11, e112978, 19.11.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kruse, Timothy N. ; Carter, Rickey E. ; Rosedahl, Jordan K. ; Joyner, Michael Joseph. / Speed trends in male distance running. In: PLoS One. 2014 ; Vol. 9, No. 11.
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