Experience shows that performance in sports decreases with age, for various reasons.

The amount of decrease depends on the sport. A given change in power will produce a larger change in speed in running than in rowing, bicycling, speed skating and similar sports, where wind or water resistance is a dominant factor.

The following figure shows factors used (2003) for handicapping purposes in rowing, cycling and running (3 km), as well as factors derived from actual record performances on rowing ergometer.