Male runners go the extra mile to impress women
MEN who exercise with a female training partner not only speed up their running pace, they also travel a greater distance than normal, researchers have found.
On average, they run a mile-an-hour faster and carry on for far longer when accompanied by a woman.
For the study, male volunteers were paired with a female stranger for running training.
The researchers noted that men, regardless of their relationship status, indulged in a ‘sexual display strategy’ while exercising with a woman. Single men, they found, pushed themselves hardest. ‘When people are aware that potential mates are observing their performances, they may alter their behaviour – consciously or unconsciously – in order to make themselves appear more desirable to these individuals,’ said psychologist Dr Michael Baker, of the East Carolina University in the US. The scientists found that men paired with a woman ran at an average of 5.85mph, whereas those with a same-sex partner went at 4.86mph.
‘Individuals who exercised with an opposite-sex partner travelled on average 2.46 miles while those with same-sex partners went 1.87 miles,’ said Dr Baker. Even men in a stable relationship put on a show to impress their female partner. Dr Baker said: ‘Given that running increases heart rate, it is reasonable to suppose that exercising with a potential mate could result in an increased frequency of mating related thoughts and self presentation al behaviour .’