I'm 27 and soon to be approaching my 3rd marathon, this time in London. I'm not a competitive runner but enjoy the physical and mental challenge that a marathon brings.

I've spoken to a fellow marathon runners, many of whom have recorded their PB's in their mid-late 30's.

I just wondered whether there was an optimum age when the body was most prepared to deal with the demands of covering 26.2 miles?

2 Answers 2


It very much depends on how long you have been running, but for someone who has been running a number of years. Yes I'd agree that early to mid 30's you are likely to see your best performances regarding the marathon.

However, you do hear very good performances even in to later 30's.

As I said, it very much depends on your running background.

  • I've been running for about 3 years now and have noticed a huge improvement in performance over the past 6 months as I include regular core work into my training plan. This seems to back up your answer. Thank Tracy! Apr 5, 2014 at 0:27
  • I think you have a good number of years of improvement yet. I ran a personal best every year for 7 years. My best at age 35. Best of luck for London Apr 5, 2014 at 0:32

Human's physical performances usually peak in their prime; this age can range from 18 till 35+. So, biologically speaking, our physical performance best will be a number between that range.

However, just like many things in human life, we improve the more we practise and gain experience. As a result, the optimal age doesn't really matter. What matters is practising and improving upon the current numbers. If you start running at 40 and you practise very well, you can reach a personal best that many in their 20s or 30s cannot reach.

So, as the cliché usually goes, age ain't nothing but a number. Keep practising and improving and you'll surprise yourself everytime :).

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