Men vs Women in running

edited May 2014 in General

Hello all,


This is a complicated question without an easy answer.  BUT I was wondering if anyone here had any insight or informed opinions on the subject.

Some of the best runners I have known personally were women. Especially in the marathon distance arena. Yet all results in the large races, Olympics and any other head to head performance clearly shows that men are 5% to 10% faster than women.   

Question   WHY??? Sure men are generally bigger and have more muscle and bigger hearts and lungs BUT that is also more weight to carry down the road.  I know I run MUCH faster at 178lbs that I do at 190  (that is my race weight vs my off season winter weight when I run less and lift weights for a change of pace) 





  • I'll go with testosterone as the reason. Take the same lean body weight percentage, add testosterone and you get more power.
  • Women tend to have ~7% more body fat at an elite level. That's weight that isn't producing power. In addition women tend to produce slightly less overall power when adjusted to compare lean body mass (removing body fat from the equation)

    These two factors add up to slightly lower performance at the top level.

    That said biological diversity says there will be plenty of women who can leave my non elite butt in the dust
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