Ultramarathoners Improve With Age

Less prone to injury

Ultramarathoners tend to get injured young.     Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Age might be an asset for ultramarathoners. A new study published Wednesday in the online journal PLOS ONE found that among those who run distances longer than the traditional 26.2 miles, younger athletes get injured more often, usually in the knees and feet.

Higher injury rates for younger ultramarathon runners likely stem from their inexperience and uncertainty about their limits, according to the study. Runners who get injured young also sometimes quit long-distance running, making the veterans a stronger, more exclusive group.

The study also found that although ultramarathoners have low rates of illnesses compared to the general population, they have increased rates of asthma and allergies.

Check out Outside's guide to the nine toughest ultramarathons, and how you can train to complete them.

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