Greg, In general I do think that older athletes don,t train that well and the records are relative soft, a very telling example was the 500m record in the 50 plus cat, stood for years on 1.18.x. This year two ergers broke this very dramatic, first 1.14 (baker) and later 1.13.7 (jeffries), so it looked like 1.18 was pretty good, but it now turns out to be a half paddlegregsmith01748 wrote:Henry,
A couple of points.
1. The analysis that I did is looking at the whole population of rowers, by definition, the WR holders are outliers, so would have a different characteristic.
2. In some cases the world record holders in a new age group were world record holders in prior age groups, but in other cases they are new folks. The effect of this is that you get the best of each age group, not a picture of the way the population changes with age.
3. Your point about rewriting the record books is a good one. Every year, there will be new data and it's likely that the trends will change.
One side note, I found that the decline for the top 10% of ranked rowers was pretty similar to the decline for the 50th percentile rowers.
One thing I have not figured out how to do is to follow specific rowers through the rankings over the 16 years to see how they changed as individuals. This kind of a longitudinal analysis would remove some confounding factors.
1k and above, Benco turned 50, never broke 6.00 in his 40 ies, but slowed down not much, and set most records in a few months time.
2k record lightweight man, was 6.38 for years (6.34 out of racing) 55plus, now 6.29 in one jump.
Point is, the records are so "soft" because" of the small population and the kind if training those people do. Comparing that to the overall records, which come from olympic athletes who more or less are close to max trained is not right. The real drop off is less, ofcourse we loose potential after our youth but the rankings do not tell the real story.
The examples I give are just things I know, no doubt others are just as telling. The overall 2k revord is not moving at all, it standing sub 5.40 for a very long time. 5/6 guys pulled 5.36/38, but never faster.