Success of elite adolescent female runners in adulthood

Petr Bahenský

Abstract

Every talented sportsperson should be developed by an optimal training load applied in order to achieve her limit performance capacity by training adequate to the given age, with no early specialization. This opinion has been confirmed by our study. Through an analysis of the performance capacity of the best female runners of the Czech Republic in youth categories and in adulthood, we examined the link between the performance capacity of female runners in adolescence and that in adulthood. Elite adolescent female runners achieved a considerably lower limit performance capacity in comparison with elite adult female runners. This is probably caused by accelerated performance development. Moreover, the former achieve the top performance level earlier than usual. While the age of the top performance capacity in the best adult female runners is 26.0±3.8 years for 800m, 25.0±3.1 years for 1,500m and 26.0±3.1 years for 3,000m, elite of U20 female runners reach their top performance capacity at the age of  21.1±3.1 for 800m, 21.0±3,4 for 1,500m and 22,0±3,5 for 3,000m, of U18 females at the age of 19.1±2.7 for 800m, 19.3±3.5 for 1,500m and 20.7±4.1 for 3,000m, and in case of U16 at 16.6±2.8 years for 800m, 18.0±4.2 years for 1,500m and 17.4±3.5 years for 3,000m. Only a small percentage of elite adolescent female runners is able to improve their performance in adulthood. The top performance capacity in the adolescent age does not vouch for the top performance capacity in adulthood nor is it a guarantee for an individual limit performance capacity.

Keywords

run; adolescents - girls; talent; development of performance capacity; early specialization

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https://doi.org/10.5817/StS2019-1-1


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