Speechly, D. P., Taylor, S. R., & Rogers, G. G. (1996). Differences in ultra-endurance exercise in performance-matched male and female runners. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 28, 359-365.

Running economies over distances of 10, 21.1, 42.2, and 90 km were investigated in male and female runners. Ss were matched for performance at 42.2 km. It was found that males performed better at the lesser distances while females performed better at the ultra-distance.

This indicated that lesser performing males matched with higher performing females produce similar performances, substantiating an overlap in performance capabilities between the genders. One factor that differentiated female from male performances was that women could sustain work at a higher percentage of VO2max over the longest distance. In the 90 km run, performances were not differentiated by measurements in psychological factors, maximal aerobic capacity, running economy, training, or fatty acid metabolism.

Implication. Women are able to sustain work rates at a higher percentage of VO2max over 90 km than men even though they perform similarly at 42.2 km. The reason for this ability is not clear.

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