Nasca, M. M., & Protas, F. J. (2000). Speed versus endurance performance evaluations in competitive athletic youth: Age and gender related comparisons. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(5), Supplement abstract 1822.

Top-8 performances at the USA Junior Olympics track and field competitions for the previous seven years over 100m (speed) and 1500 m (endurance) events were compared in males (N = 720) and females (M = 720).

For speed, males improved consistently with age. Females responded similarly up to the age of 12 years and from then on improvements occurred at a slower rate until a plateau was eventually demonstrated. Male endurance times also improved consistently with age. Females also improved consistently except for a reversal at 17-18 years. Male endurance performances and records were better than females for all age groups.

The gender differences in speed could be attributed to post-pubescent hormonal changes and growth spurts. The differences in endurance cannot be explained by the same factors.

Implication. The progression of running performances with age, differ by gender in youths.

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