To the Editor: Robinson et al.1 (April 11 issue) determined the physiological profile of a 70-year-old man who ran a marathon in 2:54:23, thanks to his ability to “maintain a remarkably high percentage of his maximum oxygen uptake” (approximately 95%, according to our calculations). Although persons 80 years of age reach the ventilatory threshold closer to the maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) than do persons 20 to 30 years of age (at 85 to 90% of the VO2max vs. 60 to 70%),2 the ability to maintain approximately 95% of the VO2max for about 3 hours seems unrealistic.
- Valenzuela, P. L., Santos-Lozano, A., & Lucia, A. (2019). More on the Record-Breaking Performance in a 70-Year-Old Marathoner. The New England journal of medicine, 381(3), 293.