Why women keep better time on the run; and the simple (and cheap) way to test your V02 max
When sport scientists first
observed that women slow down less in marathons than men do, they speculated it was down to physiological differences, particularly better glycogen preservation. But a new study1 has found women are also better at pacing 5K and 10K races, in which the glycogen advantage would be irrelevant. They believe that women’s superior pacing is down to better decisionmaking, such as being less prone to overconfidence. Running coach Peg Wiseman, founder of women-only marathon Women Can (womencan. co.uk), offers these tips:
PACE SENSITIVE Women know how to stay the course
Be honest with yourself about a realistic goal time for a race, basing it on evidence provided by your training and how you feel on the big day.
Start easy – five to 10 seconds slower than your goal pace. It takes practice – and courage – to run your own race and not go with the pack.
Don’t be a slave to your watch; try to ‘feel’ your pace. And expect to increase your effort in the latter stages to maintain it.