MEN ARE SUPERIOR RUNNERS TO FEMALES ACROSS ALL COMPETITIVE DISTANCES
Coast, J. R., Blevins, J. S., & Wilson, B. A. (2001). Do gender differences in running performance decrease with distance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(5), Supplement abstract 902.
"It has been suggested that gender differences in running should disappear at distances somewhat longer than the marathon. The reasons have been based on fuel utilization, where women utilize fats at a greater rate, thus sparing glycogen, and on analysis of marathon vs ultrmarathon performances of similarly trained men and women" (p. S160). World best times through July, 2000, for events ranging from 100 m to 200 km, were compared.
The average difference across 12 distances was 12.4% in favor of men. Longer distances were associated with greater differences. The 100 m (7.2%) was the only event with a difference less than 10%. The 5,000 m (14.3%), 50 km (15.2%), and 200 km (19.1%) were the events where the differences exceeded 15%.
Implication. Generally, gender differences in running range from 10-12% with males being superior.
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