WHY ALTITUDE MIGHT DEFINE DIFFERENCES IN MARATHON PERFORMANCE

Dr. Michael Joyner

Dr. Michael Joyner

In response to my recent article, BILL RODGERS: SPEAKING OF ALTITUDE, I received an email from Dr. Michael Joyner, Professor of Anesthesiology and an exercise physiology researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  Over the last 25 years Dr. Joyner has published hundreds of scientific papers, and in 2011 received a Fulbright Specialist Grant.

Dr. Joyner views on the reliability of exceptional performances have appeared in Runner’s World, and he has co-authored numerous papers concerning the sport of distance running, such as How Low Can Marathon Times Go in the journal Conversation and Modeling: Optimal Marathon Performance on the Basis of Physiological Factors.

After sending me a 2012 paper published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation that delved deeply into the subject of the body’s physiological adaptation to altitude, I asked Dr. Joyner if he could explain in more layman’s terms how altitude adaptation might help explain the current statistical gap between altitude-born and lesser or sea-level born in marathon performance.
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