Home Chat General Chat

Talkback: Women are better marathon pacers than men – study

I think there are some interesting points to raise out of this whistlestop summary.

1. I query what classifies as "better pacing". It appears from this article that better = more even... whereas most competitively minded athletes would say better = pacing that allows you to run your best time. Let's stake for example an elite marathon runner who is going for the world record and blows up in the last mile but runs a 2:10 time (i.e. very good) the study would classify this as bad pacing, whereas were the same athlete to run a steady 2:20 with every mile the same metronomic pace this would be classified as good pacing. Whereas in fact most runners would say that in the second example the athlete under did his entire run and left a significant amount in the tank and would certainly not feel this was a well paced run.

2. I also find the comparison of elite male and female triathlete's in the run leg and interesting one. It is not clear from the study what type of racing this is in, but, in draft legal racing you regularly here the Brownlees and Gomez talking about going off from the run as if its a 2k sprint and going as hard as they can and hope the other guys break before they do. Where a competitor is racing against the man standing next to him the considerations are different to racing against the clock. You regularly here long course triathletes talking about racing being hoping you can hold onto your run form longer than their rivals, i.e. the idea of an even paced run is, for most simply out of the question, its a war of attrition.

3. Are we really surprised that older athletes are better at pacing than younger ones? On average they are likely to be more experienced and less likely to fall into the pitfalls we have all experienced as novices. Although of course one should caveat this with the qualification of what actually counts as good pacing.
Sign In or Register to comment.