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Abstract

The aim of this investigation was to compare gender differences in physiologic and perceptual responses during a 1-h run at recent marathon pace and running economy at three speeds in recreational marathon runners. In a counterbalanced design, 10 men and 10 women completed a 1-h treadmill run and a running economy test. Treadmill speed for the 1-h run ranged from 141 to 241 mmin(-1) and 134, 168, and 188 m x min(-1) for running economy. Physiologic parameters (oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide production, pulmonary ventilation, and heart rate) and perceived exertion were measured. Repeated-measures ANOVA was used to compare any gender differences (P < .05) during the 1-h run and a two-way ANOVA was used to compare running economy. With this sample, estimated marathon energy expenditure, body composition, and maximal physiologic function was reported. With the exception of an allometric expression of VO2 (mL x min(-1) kg BW(-0.75)), similar gender physiologic and perceptual responses were found during the 1-h run. Although not significant, the females exercised at a higher percent VO2(max) (8% to 9%) during the run. Similar gender differences were also noted during the running economy tests. Although the male runners completed a recent marathon significantly faster than the females, similar gender physiologic and perceptual responses were generally found during the 1-h treadmill run and the running economy tests.

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... This situation has encouraged scientific community to study female's behavior in long-distance races and compare them with males. Studies have been focused on analyzing different factors affecting running performance such as running speed [5][6][7][8], pacing [9], physiological traits [4,10], running economy [7,11,12] and predominant type of metabolism used [13][14][15], as well as physical, biomechanical, psychological and social factors [16][17][18][19]. ...
... The assessment of physiological parameters affecting running performance has been carried out in lab-based conditions-normally by measuring the volume of expired gases (the gold standard test) [11][12][13]19]. However, lab-based conditions are far from normal race conditions. ...
... Females, however, may use fats as principal energy source maintaining their glycogen stores in muscles thanks to running at less demanding intensities. As stated in lab-based conditions [13], females may present lower respiratory exchange ratio (RER) compared to males, indicating in turn that fat may be the principal fuel source used by females. Future work may be focused on validating accelerometry for RER estimations. ...
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The proportion of females participating in long-distance races has been increasing in the last years. Although it is well-known that there are differences in how females and males face a marathon, higher research may be done to fully understand the intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting sex differences in endurance performance. In this work, we used triaxial accelerometer devices to monitor 74 males and 14 females, aged 30 to 45 years, who finished the Valencia Marathon in 2016. Moreover, marathon split times were provided by organizers. Several physiological traits and training habits were collected from each participant. Then, we evaluated several accelerometry- and pace-estimated parameters (pacing, average change of speed, energy consumption, oxygen uptake, running intensity distribution and running economy) in female and male amateur runners. In general, our results showed that females maintained a more stable pacing and ran at less demanding intensity throughout the marathon, limiting the decay of running pace in the last part of the race. In fact, females ran at 4.5% faster pace than males in the last kilometers. Besides, their running economy was higher than males (consumed nearly 19% less relative energy per distance) in the last section of the marathon. Our results may reflect well-known sex differences in physiology (i.e., muscle strength, fat metabolism, VO2max), and in running strategy approach (i.e., females run at a more conservative intensity level in the first part of the marathon compared to males). The use of accelerometer devices allows coaches and scientific community to constantly monitor a runner throughout the marathon, as well as during training sessions.
... Another important aspect to be taken into account when assessing performance in endurance tests is the pace or race strategy adopted by the runner. Studies that have analyzed pacing strategy and the behavior of physiological variables during endurance running have found that the best strategy that would make best performance possible is not established [11][12][13] . Additionally, factors such as the capacity of energy systems, the runner's experience, duration of the trial and environmental conditions all have an effect on the choice of pacing strategy 12,14 . ...
... Additionally, values of HR med (bpm) and HR max (bpm) were statistically different between the two trial types (P = 0.016 and 0.030, respectively). There was no difference in RPE final (6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20) between the two types of test (P > 0.05). ...
... It was also observed that over the course of the time trials RPE increased significantly irrespective of test environment and HR increased significantly during treadmill trials. The few studies that have analyzed these variables during endurance runs have also found significant increases between the start and end of the test 11,13 . ...
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Few studies have investigated the influence of test environment (field vs. laboratory) on pacing strategy and on physiological variables measured during endurance running performance tests. The objective of this study was therefore to compare the behavior of mean velocity (MV), pacing strategy, heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) during one-hour running time trials conducted on an athletics track with the behavior of the same variables during one-hour running time trials conducted on a treadmill. Eighteen male recreational runners (25.4 ± 3.3 years) performed two one-hour time trials; the first running on a treadmill and the second on a 400 m athletics track. Rating of perceived exertion and HR were recorded every 10 minutes and MV was calculated every 15 minutes for analysis of pacing strategy (0-15min; 15-30min; 30-45min; and 45-60min). These performance variables were compared using Student's t test for paired samples. Figures for MV, HR and RPE measured at different points during the trials were compared using two-factor ANOVA for repeated measures, followed by Bonferroni's post hoc test. A significance level of P < 0.05 was adopted for all analyses. Mean velocity was higher for the trials on the running track (12.2 ± 0.8 km·h-1) than for the trials on the treadmill (11.8 ± 0.8 km·h-1). Additionally, there were also differences between the two test environments for mean and maximum heart rate, and in terms of pacing strategy. On the basis of these differences, it can be concluded that performance was influenced by the environment in which the one-hour time trials were conducted.
... See Table 2 for boundary conditions and RMSDs of RPEs. The RPE predictions were accurate for 19 of the 27 cases analyzed (RMSD values below 2), including a study comprised of all female subjects Loftin et al. (2009). However, as with the previous dataset, the prediction significantly overestimated RPE for another five cases involving endurance-trained athletes, a trend that was also seen for the previous test dataset and will be analyzed in the next section. ...
... In particular, studies by Pivarnik et al. (1992) and Janse De Jonge et al. (2012), which tested only female subjects, were used to train the RPE prediction. A study by Loftin et al. (2009) utilizing all female subjects provided test data for the RPE prediction (see Table 2). Loftin et al. (2009) also tested a separate all male group, and the RPE prediction was accurate for both male and female groups running on a treadmill for 1-h at marathon pace. ...
... A study by Loftin et al. (2009) utilizing all female subjects provided test data for the RPE prediction (see Table 2). Loftin et al. (2009) also tested a separate all male group, and the RPE prediction was accurate for both male and female groups running on a treadmill for 1-h at marathon pace. However, due to the small female dataset, the RPE prediction requires further testing to ensure that is applicable to the general healthy female population. ...
Article
Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is a scale of exercise difficulty and has been hypothesized to be a regulator of work rate during self-pacing. The goal of this work was to develop a dynamic prediction of RPE and to characterize the control strategy employed to reduce work rate during self-paced exercise using RPE as feedback. Training and test data were acquired from the literature to develop a linear regression of RPE as a function of four physiological variables: core temperature, mean-weighted skin temperature, metabolic rate, and integral of relative oxygen consumption (R (2) = 0.85). A thermoregulatory model was used to predict core and mean-weighted skin temperature. Utilizing self-paced cycling and running data from the literature, we characterized reductions in work rate with a proportional-derivative control algorithm with RPE as feedback. Bland-Altman analysis revealed the necessity to parameterize RPE equations for untrained and endurance-trained individuals. Afterwards, dynamic predictions of RPE were accurate for a wide range of activity levels and air temperatures for walking, running, and cycling (LoA and bias of 2.3 and -0.03, respectively). For self-paced exercise, the control algorithm characterized the trend and magnitude of work rate reductions for cycling and running, and showed regulated RPE to be less conservative for shorter vs. longer duration exercise. A novel methodology to characterize self-paced work intensity, based upon dynamic physiologic response, is provided. The complete model is a useful tool that estimates performance decrements during self-paced exercise and predicts tolerance time for exhaustive fixed-rate exercise.
... tretching has long been stressed as an important part of physical training and is thought to promote increased sport performance and decreased risk of injury by increasing range of motion (2, 7,8). However, recent research has concluded that static stretching before many exercises may inhibit acute power, strength, and sprinting performance (1,2,4,5,12,14,15,17,19,21,23,27). One theory behind these decreases in sport-related factors is that stretching causes a decrease in musculotendon stiffness and creates a reduction in stored elastic energy (4). ...
... Endurance athletes require optimal economy to maintain the intensity of exercise for long periods of time, which leads to improved athletic performance (3, 6,7,11,13,16,20,24,26,28). Economy refers to the volume of oxygen ( _ VO 2 ) required to maintain work at a given speed (9,10,14,26). The importance of stored elastic energy to economy is substantial because its use has been shown to contribute as much as 40-50% of the energy required during a distance event (22). ...
... Nelson et al. (19,20) demonstrated that differences in flexibility between men and women did not coincide with the alterations in the stiffness in the stretched muscle and running economy. Loftin et al. (14) also examined sex differences in running economy across different speeds and found no differences. However, Granata et al. (7) showed reduced stiffness in women compared with that in men at different joint loads, which affected running stability, causing the women to be less efficient. ...
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Stretching has been implemented as part of the warm-up before physical events and widely thought to promote increased sport performance and decreased injury risk. However, recent research has concluded that static stretching before many exercises inhibits acute power, strength, and sprinting performance. There is little research examining the time course of these effects on moderate intensity cycling. The purpose of this study was to examine the time course of static stretching on cycling economy. The subjects consisted of 5 men and 5 women highly trained endurance cyclists. The first of 3 visits was baseline testing of their cycling VO2max. The second and third visits were either stretching or no stretching before a 30-minute stationary ride at 65% of their VO2max. The stretching condition consisted of four 30-second repetitions of 5 stretches with an average total stretching time of 16 minutes. VO2 demonstrated a significant condition by time interaction with the 5-minute time point being significantly less in the nonstretching condition (32.66 ± 5.35 ml·kg(-1)·min(-1)) than stretching (34.39 ± 5.39 ml·kg(-1)·min(-1)). No other time points were different. Our results demonstrate that static stretching yielded an acute increase in submaximal VO2; therefore, coaches and highly trained endurance cyclists should exclude static stretching immediately before moderate intensity cycling because it reduces acute cycling economy.
... (25). The pattern seems to be repeated also in trained individuals (19)(20)(21)(22)(23). ...
... Also, in relation to the morphological and body composition aspects, studies indicate that other factors can also be responsible for the VO 2 max differences between the sexes, such as a greater amount of lean mass and lower blood volume (2,20). In addition, a study conducted with marathon runners in a 1-hr run test on treadmill identified that 25% of the difference in VO 2 max results were caused by the lower percentage of lean mass found in the female subjects (23). ...
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Bara CLBP, Alves, DL, Ruy-Barbosa MA, Palumbo DP, Sotomaior BB, da Silva L, Leitão MB, Osiecki R. Changes in the Cardiorespiratory Fitness of Men and Women in Various Age Groups. JEPonline 2019;22(1):1-10. The purpose of this study was to compare the VO 2 max between the sexes and in different age groups in the Brazilian population. A total of 6,590 cardiopulmonary tests were performed of healthy individuals, regardless of physical activity level, of both sexes between 11 and 45 yrs of age (3,482 women and 3,108 men, respectively). The tests were performed between January 2012 and December 2017, and the oxygen consumption was measured directly with a gas analyzer. The subjects of both sexes were divided into 7 age groups: G1 (11 to 15 yrs old); G2 (16 to 20 yrs old); G3 (21 to 25 yrs old); G4 (26 to 30 yrs old); G5 (31 to 35 yrs old); G6 (36 to 40 yrs old); and G7 (41 to 45 yrs old). The results showed a main effect of sex (F (1) = 16665.5, P<0.001; ES = 0.157), age group (F (6) = 75.4, P<0.001; age (F (4) = 4.7, P = 0.003, ES = 0.003). Significant reductions were found in males between groups G2 and G3, G4 and G5, and G5 and G6 (P<0.01). Comparing the sexes, men showed higher values of VO 2 max in all age groups (P<0.001). In summary, although VO 2 max values are higher in males, the decline in this group was more pronounced over time. We recommend that physical activity should be promoted in the Brazilian population, especially among males.
... To the best of our knowledge, only two other studies have examined sex differences with regard to RE change with fatigue, albeit with shorter running bouts. Similar changes in RE were found for males and females following (1) a 1-h run at marathon pace [171] and (2) a 5-km run at 80-85% of V O 2max [172]. These three experiments were conducted on a treadmill in laboratory conditions. ...
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In recent years, there has been a significant expansion in female participation in endurance (road and trail) running. The often reported sex differences in maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) are not the only differences between sexes during prolonged running. The aim of this narrative review was thus to discuss sex differences in running biomechanics, economy (both in fatigue and non-fatigue conditions), substrate utilization, muscle tissue characteristics (including ultrastructural muscle damage), neuromuscular fatigue, thermoregulation and pacing strategies. Although males and females do not differ in terms of running economy or endurance (i.e. percentage VO2max sustained), sex-specificities exist in running biomechanics (e.g. females have greater non-sagittal hip and knee joint motion compared to males) that can be partly explained by anatomical (e.g. wider pelvis, larger femur-tibia angle, shorter lower limb length relative to total height in females) differences. Compared to males, females also show greater proportional area of type I fibres, are more able to use fatty acids and preserve carbohydrates during prolonged exercise, demonstrate a more even pacing strategy and less fatigue following endurance running exercise. These differences confer an advantage to females in ultra-endurance performance, but other factors (e.g. lower O2 carrying capacity, greater body fat percentage) counterbalance these potential advantages, making females outperforming males a rare exception. The present literature review also highlights the lack of sex comparison in studies investigating running biomechanics in fatigue conditions and during the recovery process.
... It is a determinant and decisive aspect for the performance and success of runners, especially in medium-and long-distance events, significantly influencing the end result of these events (Abbiss & Laursen, 2008;Bertuzzi et al., 2014;Tucker, Lambert, & Noakes, 2006). Although pacing has not been recognised as the best strategy during this activity (Bertuzzi, Nakamura, Rossi, Kiss, & Franchini, 2006;Loftin, Sothern, Tuuri, Tompkins, & Koss, 2009), athletes who can regulate their energy expenditure to prevent premature fatigue can perform activities in the shortest possible time (Atkinson, Peacock, & Law, 2007;Gosztyla, Edwards, Quinn, & Kenefick, 2006). Some researchers have suggested that the pacing strategy could be regulated by individual rate of perceived exertion (RPE) in runners (Faulkner, Parfitt, & Eston, 2008;Gibson et al., 2003). ...
Article
The aim of this study was to verify the effect of endurance training on the pacing strategy and analyse the risk of premature fatigue during the 10-km performance in moderately trained runners. Study participants were 14 runners (18–35 years) who had training prescribed with peak velocity (Vpeak) and its time limit (tlim). Three tests were performed on a treadmill: two maximum incrementals for VO2max and Vpeak and one for tlim. The 10-km running performance was evaluated on a 400-m track. The mean velocity, heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were monitored at each trial of 10-km running performance. Evaluations were collected pre and after 4 weeks of endurance training. The RPE and HR increased linearly throughout the test, and the risk of fatigue decreased after 3 km. The pacing strategy used by the participants was the “U” running pace in pre- and post-training. There was improvement in the 10-km run after training (40.8 ± 2.8 vs. 39.6 ± 2.7 min). The study showed that 4 weeks of endurance training does not change the pacing strategy and the risk of premature fatigue. However, the training was responsible for improving the 10-km running performance.
... In relation to HR changes across each phase of the 10 km race, it increased somewhat steadily up to 1600 m, and then remained stable until the second to last lap, when a new increase was observed in both conditions (fig 3). This progressive increase was also noted in other studies 22,23 , and might be directly related to the increase in speed ("sprint") in the last lap (i.e., end phase) (fig 2) 24-26 . ...
Article
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Aims The use of electromagnetic waves by phototherapy to skeletal muscle presents potential ergogenic effects. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of using bioceramic clothes on performance, heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) during a 10 km race. Our hypothesis is that the use of such clothes modifies these variables. Methods Participants were 10 runners (27.9 ± 4.2 years) who performed two 10 km performances on track under different intervention conditions: bioceramic garments (CER) and placebo garments (PLA). The mean velocity (MV), HR and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were monitored at each trial. Additionally, partial MV was calculated in three phases: (1) start (first 400 m), (2) middle (400-9600 m) and (3) end (last 400 m). Results MV in CER condition was significantly higher than in PLA condition (11.8 ± 1.0 km·h⁻¹ vs 11.4 ± 1.2 km·h⁻¹; F = 6.200; P = 0.034; ŋp² = 0.408). HR and RPE values in CER condition were not different from PLA condition. Conclusions Our main finding was that the use of bioceramic clothes (CER) increased MV when compared to the PLA condition. Based on these results, bioceramic may be used as an ergogenic resource to increase performance.
... In addition, during submaximal exercise, women compensate for lower stroke volume with higher heart rates in an effort to maintain cardiac output (23). Previous research on trained runners has found that women have higher submaximal values such as % VȮ 2 max at velocity OBLA or % VȮ 2 max than men and that women compensate for lower VȮ 2 max values by racing at a higher percentage of their maximum (14,15,19). ...
Article
WOMEN RACE SHORTER DISTANCES THAN MEN IN CERTAIN ENDURANCE SPORTS, INCLUDING EVENTS IN RUNNING, NORDIC SKIING, AND CYCLING. OUTDATED RATIONALES FOR DIFFERENCES IN RACE STANDARDS BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN ARE NOT BASED ON CURRENT KNOWLEDGE OF THE FEMALE ENDURANCE ATHLETE'S PHYSIOLOGY. THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO EXAMINE EVIDENCE THAT SUPPORTS THE ARGUMENT THAT ATHLETES OF BOTH SEXES SHOULD COMPETE WITHIN THE SAME RACE STANDARDS.
... Investigators have also used an exponent of 0.75 (BW 0.75 ) [37,38], based on the recommendation from Kleiber [39]. However, Nevill et al. [40] observed a large variance in muscle girth of the lower limbs in 119 soccer players aged 18-34 years, which led to an inflated surface area exponent, from BW 0.67 to BW 0.75 . ...
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The aim of this review was to highlight research that has focused on examining expressions of peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) in children and youth, with special reference to allometric scaling. VO2peak is considered the highest VO2 during an increasing workload treadmill or bicycle ergometer test until volitional termination. We have reviewed scholarly works identified from PubMed, One Search, EBSCOhost and Google Scholar that examined VO2peak in absolute units (L·min(-1)), relative units [body mass, fat-free mass (FFM)], and allometric expressions [mass, height, lean body mass (LBM) or LBM of the legs raised to a power function] through July 2015. Often, the objective of measuring VO2peak is to evaluate cardiorespiratory function and fitness level. Since body size (body mass and height) frequently vary greatly in children and youth, expressing VO2peak in dimensionless units is often inappropriate for comparative or explanatory purposes. Consequently, expressing VO2peak in allometric units has gained increased research attention over the past 2 decades. In our review, scaling mass was the most frequent variable employed, with coefficients ranging from approximately 0.30 to over 1.0. The wide variance is probably due to several factors, including mass, height, LBM, sex, age, physical training, and small sample size. In summary, we recommend that since skeletal muscle is paramount for human locomotion, an allometric expression of VO2peak relative to LBM is the best expression of VO2peak in children and youth.
... Apesar dos diferentes comportamentos da FC média nas etapas intermediárias da prova, os grupos G1 e G2 apresentaram um aumento estatisticamente signifi cante da FC média nos 2 km fi nais da performance indo ao encontro de alguns estudos que analisaram o comportamento dessa variável durante o desempenho em corrida de "endurance" que também mostraram aumento signifi cativo entre o início e fi nal das provas [8][9]18 . O aumento da FC média pode ser infl uenciado diretamente pelo aumento da velocidade ("sprint") no fi nal da prova, adotada pelos dois grupos no presente estudo para alcançarem um melhor resultado [5][6]19 . ...
Article
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O objetivo do estudo foi verificar a influência do nível de performance na estratégia de ritmo de corrida de corredores recreacionais. Adicionalmente, objetivou-se descrever o comportamento da frequência cardíaca (FC) obtida em prova de 10 km em pista de atletismo. Participaram 39 corredores recreacionais (31,5 ± 6,7 anos), experientes em provas de 10 km que realizaram uma performance nesta distância em pista de atletismo (400 m). A FC foi constantemente monitorada (Polar RS800) e o tempo a cada 400 m foi registrado para determinação da velocidade média (VM), posteriormente analisada a cada 2 km. Os participantes foram divididos em dois grupos de acordo com a VM alcançada nos testes: G1 = VM 10 km ≤ 11,81 (n = 20) e G2 = VM 10 km > 11,81 (n = 19). A comparação entre os valores de VM e FC obtidos nos diferentes momentos da performance para os dois grupos foi realizada pela Anova mista, adotando-se nível de significância de p < 0,05. Os valores de VM foram diferentes entre os grupos em todos os momentos analisados, com aumento significante da VM do momento 6-8 km para 8-10 km para o mesmo grupo. Os valores de FC foram diferentes apenas intra-grupos. No G1, houve aumento significante da FC a cada 2 km de prova. Para o G2, a FC aumentou do 2º ao 4º km e permaneceu estável até o 8º km, aumentando novamente nos últimos 2 km da performance. Concluímos que o nível de performance não influencia a estratégia de corrida de corredores recreacionais.
... Green et al also found minimal RPE difference between men and women in response to leg cycling and treadmill running at relative peak power [28]. Similar gender physiologic and perceptual responses were reported during a one-hour treadmill run [29]. Such above mentioned findings agree with those results found in the present study. ...
Article
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p> Objective : To assess gender differences in heart rate (HR) and perceptual responses during leg versus arm ergometry among healthy college-aged Saudis. Methods: Forty healthy college-age Saudis (20 males) performed, in a random cross-over design, two maximal graded exercise leg (LE) and arm ergometry (AE). HR was continuously monitored/recorded during resting and throughout exercise period. Participants rated their perceived exertion (RPE), using Borg scale, at the end of each two-minute stage. Lactate from capillary blood was measured before and one minute after each test. Results : Females had significantly (p<0.01) higher resting HR and lower resting blood pressure than males. There were significant (p<0.05) gender by exercise mode interactions in most of the parameters. Peak HR (bpm) was significantly (p<0.001) higher during LE than AE in males (181±12 vs 172±21) and females (176±9 vs 162±16), without significant gender difference. Males had significantly (p<0.015) higher values than females in absolute peak work load (WL) and exercise time and lower HR and RPE at absolute sub-maximal exercise. Peak arm/leg WL ratio was significantly (p=0.006) higher among females (54.6±12.7%) compared with males (45.1±6.9%). Gender differences in HR and RPE at 50% of peak WL were significant at LE. Conclusions : Significant hemodynamic, perceptual and performance differences existed between Saudi males and females in response to LE and AE. This has important implications to exercise testing, prescription and rehabilitation.</p
... In a 2009 study 15 , researchers compared gender differences for physiologic and perceptual responses during running. Twenty marathon runners (m=10, f=10) average age for males was 41±11.3 and females 42.7±11.7 years, were tested during both a 1 hour treadmill run and a running economy test. ...
... Speechly et al. (25) found, when grouping men and women based on equal finish times from a previous marathon, women were able to perform at a higher percentage of their V _ O 2 max than their men counterparts at marathon velocities. Loftin et al. (18) corroborated this trend for 20 middle-aged marathoners such that women ran at 76.3% of their V _ O 2 max compared with 67.7% for men on a 1-hour treadmill run at recent marathon pace. All V _ O 2 values were measured with the use of a metabolic cart in the aforementioned investigations. ...
Article
Recent research suggests that women tend to exhibit less of a precipitous decline in run velocity during the latter stages of a marathon than men when the covariates of age and run time are controlled for. The purpose of this study was to examine this sex effect with the added covariate of heat stress on pacing, defined as the mean velocity of the last 12.2 kilometers divided by the mean velocity of the first 30 kilometers. A secondary purpose of this investigation was to compare the pacing profiles of the elite male and female runners as well as the pacing profiles of the elite and non-elite runners. Subjects included 22,990 men and 13,233 women runners from the 2007 and 2009 Chicago marathons for which the mean ambient temperatures were 26.67 °C and 2.77 °C, respectively. Each 5 kilometer split time was measured via an electronic chip worn on the participants' shoe. Multiple regression analysis indicated that age, sex, heat stress, and overall finish time (p<0.01 for each) were simultaneous independent elements of pacing. Non-elite women were consistently better pacers than non-elite men in both marathons and this sex difference was magnified from cold to warm race temperatures. No difference (p<0.05) in pacing was found between elite male and female runners. Elite males and females had enhanced pacing over their non-elite counterparts. In hotter temperatures, coaches of novice runners should advise their athletes to implement a slower initial velocity in order to maintain or increase running velocity later in the race.
... The study was approved by the committee for the use of human subjects at the University of Mississippi (NW and OW) and the University of New Orleans (MR), and each participant signed an informed consent. Some of the data from the MR group have been previously published (12,13). ...
Article
We compared the energy expenditure to walk or run a mile in adult normal weight walkers (NWW), overweight walkers (OW), and marathon runners (MR). The sample consisted of 19 NWW, 11 OW, and 20 MR adults. Energy expenditure was measured at preferred walking speed (NWW and OW) and running speed of a recently completed marathon. Body composition was assessed via dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Analysis of variance was used to compare groups with the Scheffe's procedure used for post hoc analysis. Multiple regression analysis was used to predict energy expenditure. Results that indicated OW exhibited significantly higher (p < 0.05) mass and fat weight than NWW or MR. Similar values were found between NWW and MR. Absolute energy expenditure to walk or run a mile was similar between groups (NWW 93.9 ± 15.0, OW 98.4 ± 29.9, MR 99.3 ± 10.8 kcal); however, significant differences were noted when energy expenditure was expressed relative to mass (MR > NWW > OW). When energy expenditure was expressed per kilogram of fat-free mass, similar values were found across groups. Multiple regression analysis yielded mass and gender as significant predictors of energy expenditure (R = 0.795, SEE = 10.9 kcal). We suggest that walking is an excellent physical activity for energy expenditure in overweight individuals that are capable of walking without predisposed conditions such as osteoarthritis or cardiovascular risk factors. Moreover, from a practical perspective, our regression equation (kcal = mass (kg) × 0.789 - gender (men = 1, women = 2) × 7.634 + 51.109) allows for the prediction of energy expenditure for a given distance (mile) rather than predicting energy expenditure for a given time (minutes).
Article
Introduction: Females have been shown to experience less neuromuscular fatigue than males in knee extensors (KE) and less peripheral fatigue in plantar flexors (PF) following ultra-trail running, but it is unknown if these differences exist for shorter trail running races and whether this may impact running economy. The purpose of this study was to characterize sex differences in fatigability over a range of running distances and to examine possible differences in the post-race alteration of the cost of running (Cr). Methods: Eighteen pairs of males and females were matched by performance after completing different races ranging from 40 to 171 km, divided into SHORT vs LONG races (< 60 and > 100 km, respectively). NM function and Cr were tested before and after each race. NM function was evaluated on both KE and PF with voluntary and evoked contractions using electrical nerve (KE and PF) and transcranial magnetic (KE) stimulation. Oxygen uptake, respiratory exchange ratio and ventilation were measured on a treadmill and used to calculate Cr. Results: Compared to males, females displayed a smaller decrease in maximal strength in KE (-36% vs -27%, respectively, p < 0.01), independent of race distance. In SHORT only, females displayed less peripheral fatigue in PF compared to males (Δ peak twitch: -10% vs -24%, respectively, p < 0.05). Cr increased similarly in males and females. Conclusion: Females experience less neuromuscular fatigue than men following both 'classic' and 'extreme' prolonged running exercises but this does not impact the degradation of the energy cost of running.
Article
Purpose This study compared sex-related affective responses during resistance training performed to concentric failure. Methods The study was a non-randomized trial (quasi-experimental study). Well-trained young participants were allocated into two groups according to sex (Women, n=7, 21.1±6.0 years, 57.6±5.0 kg; and Men, n=7, 28.3±5.7 years, 88.3±11.4 kg). Participants visited the laboratory three times: 1) 12-repetition maximum; 2-3) resistance training to concentric failure sessions. Perceptual measures were assessed before, during, and immediately after the resistance training sessions. The following were assessed: a) rating of perceived exertion for effort (RPE-E) and discomfort (RPE-D), b) feeling scale, c) physical activity affect scale (PAAS), d) felt arousal scale, and e) physical activity enjoyment scale (PACES) Results High levels of RPE-E and RPE-D were reported without between-groups differences (p>0.218). Women reported a reduction in the feeling scale (p=0.001) whereas men did not (p>0.680). Larger effect sizes were observed for women compared to men in the felt arousal scale and PAAS (negative affect and fatigue). Feeling scale and felt arousal scale data plotted in a circumplex model of affect indicated a transition to high-activation and unpleasant-affect only for the women. There was good reliability between results from sessions 1 and 2 Conclusions Training to concentric failure resulted in negative changes in affective perceptual responses only for women. This type of training should be used with caution since it may change the affect perception and reduce training adherence in women. Further studies are needed using larger sample sizes, different resistance-training exercises, and diverse training methods.
Article
Marathon running performance closely related to the several physiological and performance variables such as maximal oxygen uptake, running economy, and peak velocity. It is well known that muscle damage has a negative impact on the physiological and performance variables. Thus, restarting training or participating in the race in a state where recovery is inadequate may cause injury and loss of race performance. The aims of this review article are to (1) summarize the previous studies that investigated effects of a marathon race on muscle damage and physiological and performance variables, (2) discuss the middle and long term effects of marathon races on physical condition, (3) suggest the practical strategy for some runners that participate in consecutive races within a short period. © 2018 Japanese Society of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine. All rights reserved.
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The principal characteristic of the runner who may break the two-hour barrier in the marathon will be their sex: the person will be male. The fastest men outperform the fastest women because of sex differences in physiology including a higher VȮ2 max. This viewpoint addresses the questions of what is the two-hour equivalent for women, and who will break this barrier? The current sex difference in the world record for the marathon is ~10% which is slightly less than the mean sex difference in performance usually documented between elite men and women distance runners. Based on comparisons of the top 50 marathon times run by men and women, we argue that Paula Radcliffe's world record of 2:15:25 (hr:min:s) set in 2003 is at least equivalent to a two-hour marathon for women. We also provide evidence that there is less depth in elite women's distance running, in part, due to historical and social factors that have led to less opportunity for women than men. Copyright © 2014, Journal of Applied Physiology.
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Running performance depends on maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max), the ability to sustain a high percentage of V̇O2max for an extended period of time and running economy. Running economy has been studied relatively less than the other factors. Running economy, measured as steady state oxygen uptake V̇O2) at intensities below the ventilatory threshold is the standard method. Extrapolation to a common running speed (268 m/min) or as the V̇O2 required to run a kilometer is the standard method of assessment. Individuals of East African origin may be systematically more economical, although a smaller body size and a thinner lower leg may be the primary factors. Strategies for improving running economy remain to be developed, although it appears that high intensity running may be a common element acting to improve economy.
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This investigation represents a descriptive summary of a limited number of marathon runners. As preliminary work it warrants the following observations and conclusions: Elite class male and female distance runners have been described as slight in build, with little body fat and large lung volumes. The marathon runners of this study, although not elite performers, did not differ from those previously described. The 'above average' female and 'average' male marathoners studied here were able to work at a high fraction of their aerobic power for a prolonged period. The fractional utilization of aerobic capacity was similar to that reported for elite male performers. The women studied performed the marathon at least as well and perhaps better than men with similar maximal aerobic capacities relative to body weight. It is estimated that male and female subjects expended 2903 and 2191 kcal respectively, to complete the 42.2 km distance.
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This study compares the physical and training characteristics of top-class marathon runners (TC), i.e., runners having a personal best of less than 2 h 11 min for males and 2 h 32 min for females, respectively, versus high-level (HL) (< 2 h 16 min and < 2 h 38 min). Twenty marathon runners (five TC and HL in each gender) ran 10 km at their best marathon performance velocity (vMarathon) on a level road. This velocity was the target velocity for the Olympic trials they performed 8 wk later. After a rest of 6 min, they ran an all-out 1000-m run to determine the peak oxygen consumption on flat road (.VO(2peak)). Marathon performance time (MPT) was inversely correlated with .VO(2peak). (r = -0.73, P < 0.01) and predicted 59% of the variance of MPT. Moreover, TC male marathon runners were less economical because their energy cost of running (Cr) at marathon velocity was significantly higher than that of their counterparts (212 +/- 17 vs 195 +/- 14 mL.km(-1).kg(-1), P = 0.03). For females, no difference was observed for the energetic characteristics between TC and HL marathon runners. However, the velocity reached during the 1000-m run performed after the 10-km run at vMarathon was highly correlated with MPT (r = -0.85, P < 0.001). Concerning training differences, independent of the gender, TC marathon runners trained for more total kilometers per week and at a higher velocity (velocity over 3000 m and 10,000 m). The high energy output seems to be the discriminating factor for top-class male marathon runners who trained at higher relative intensities.
Five men and five women from a university cross‐country team were tested during the first 2 weeks and at the conclusion of a 7‐week cross‐country season. Maximal and submaximal cardiorespiratory responses, body composition, and performance variables were compared for seasonal and gender differences by analysis of variance and analysis of covariance. Male runners had significantly less (p ≤0.05) body fat, more fat‐free body (FFB) mass, a larger cardiorespiratory capacity, and ran more economically and faster than female runners. The difference in cardiorespiratory capacity and performance may have been due to a larger FFB (muscularity) and the increased training volume practiced by the male runners. Several gender but no seasonal differences were observed during a running economy test (214 m·min). A difference in oxygen uptake (VO2; ml·min‐kg BW) during the running economy test between male and female runners was unexpected and may have been due to fatigue in the female runners since their late season performance relative to early season worsened by 5%. A moderate negative correlation (ranging from an r = ‐0.48 to r = ‐0.71) was found between body weight (BW), FFB, or height and running economy. Consequently, as BW, FFB, or height increased, VO2 measured in subjects running at 214 m·min decreased.
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Objective: The conventional ratio method (milliliters O2 per mass) typically is used to express Vo2 peak. The goal of the current study was to compare Vo2 peak of obese girls with normal-weight girls by ratio and allometric scaling methods. Research Methods and Procedures: We compared Vo2 peak by ratio and allometric methods in 46 obese and 47 normal-weight girls. Indirect calorimetry was used to measure Vo2 peak during either treadmill running or walking. Regression analysis was used to determine coefficients for mass and stature for each group with ANOVA used to compare data between groups. Results: The obese girls were taller and had higher values of body fatness (p ≤ 0.05). Absolute Vo2 peak (liters per minute) was similar between groups; however Vo2 peak relative to mass was 50% lower (p ≤ 0.05) in the obese girls. When Vo2 peak (milliliters per minute per kilogram) and mass were correlated, r = −0.48 was found in the obese group. Allometric scaling of logarithmic transformed stature and mass reduced this to r = −0.002, thus eliminating the bias associated with the ratio method. Adjusting Vo2 peak allometrically scaled for mass, stature, and the combination of mass and stature reduced the difference between groups from 50% (ratio method) to 10% to 11% (p ≤ 0.05) with higher values found in the normal-weight girls. Discussion: These results demonstrate the bias associated with the ratio method when comparing Vo2 peak in obese girls with Vo2 peak in normal-weight girls. Allometric scaling eliminated the bias and thus may reflect a truer comparative response.
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Twenty female and 45 male middle and long-distance runners, in training for the U.S. Olympic Trials, served as subjects. Ninety percent of both men and women subjects reached the Trials; eight women and 12 men qualified for the Olympic Games and five won medals. Each subject completed a VO2max and a series of submax treadmill runs, for the purpose of comparing heart rate (HR), VO2, and blood lactate (HLa) among men and women and among runners of various event specialties. Results showed the men to be taller, heavier, to have a lower six-site skinfold sum and a higher VO2max, than the women (P less than 0.05); there was no difference in age. When compared in running economy, men used less oxygen (ml.min-1.kg-1) at common absolute velocities, but VO2 (ml.km-1.kg-1) was not different between men and women at equal relative intensities (%VO2max). When men and women of equal VO2max were compared, the men were significantly more economical, using any method of comparison. Also, when comparisons of men and women of equal economy were made, it was found that the men had an even greater advantage over the "matched" women subjects than the mean VO2max comparison using all subjects. In looking at the SD (800-/1500-m runners), MD (3-K/5-K/10-K runners) and LD (marathon runners), it was found that the SD runners used the least oxygen (ml.min-1.kg-1) at speeds of marathon race pace and faster, but not at slower speeds. Men and women responded similarly in this regard. Running economy data for speeds slower than typical race paces, tended to show the LD runners to be most economical, suggesting that the speeds over which runners are tested plays an important part in determining which subjects are the most economical. It was concluded that at absolute running velocities, men are more economical than women, but when expressed in ml.km-1.kg-1 there are no gender differences at similar relative intensities of running. Also, when men and women of equal VO2max or equal economy are matched, the men show a better aerobic profile. It is recommended that economy data be collected up to speeds equal to over 90% VO2max.
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The study of running economy has important performance implications for the long-distance runner and may provide insight into mechanisms underlying economical human locomotion. Physiological aspects of running economy discussed in this paper include intraindividual variability, body temperature, heart rate, ventilation, muscle fiber type, gender, air and wind resistance, altitude, fatigue, and training. The lack of consensus evident in the literature regarding many of these variables and their influence on economy supports the use of expanded sample sizes featuring both genders, standard testing conditions, and cross- and interdisciplinary approaches to help explain group economy differences observed in descriptive and experimental paradigms and to extend the generalizability of research findings.
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Previous research (study 1) has shown that a significant relationship exists between 10 km run time (RT) and predicted running velocity at VO2max (vVO2max) among well-trained males heterogeneous in VO2max. Since competitive runners often display a homogeneous fitness profile, the purpose of this study was to determine the association between 10 km RT and vVO2max among a group of trained runners exhibiting nearly identical VO2max values (study 2). Running economy (RE), vVO2max, and velocity at a 4 mM blood lactate concentration (v at 4 mM BL) were calculated in both studies. Correlations were obtained as shown in Table 2. The relationship between VO2max and 10 km RT achieved statistical significance only in study 1, while RE explained a greater amount of performance variation in study 2. In both studies, variation in 10 km RT attributable to vVO2max was similar and exceeded that due to either VO2max or RE. vVO2max also accounted for essentially the same amount of variation in 10 km RT as did v at 4 mM BL. It was concluded that, among well-trained subjects homogeneous in VO2max, a strong relationship exists between 10 km RT and vVO2max that appears to be mediated to a large extent by RE.
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There is a great demand for perceptual effort ratings in order to better understand man at work. Such ratings are important complements to behavioral and physiological measurements of physical performance and work capacity. This is true for both theoretical analysis and application in medicine, human factors, and sports. Perceptual estimates, obtained by psychophysical ratio-scaling methods, are valid when describing general perceptual variation, but category methods are more useful in several applied situations when differences between individuals are described. A presentation is made of ratio-scaling methods, category methods, especially the Borg Scale for ratings of perceived exertion, and a new method that combines the category method with ratio properties. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods are discussed in both theoretical-psychophysical and psychophysiological frames of reference.
Sex differences in running economy (gross oxygen cost of running, CR), maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), anaerobic threshold (Than), percentage utilization of aerobic power (% VO2max), and Than during running were investigated. There were six men and six women aged 20–30 years with a performance time of 2 h 40 min over the marathon distance. The VO2max, Than, and CR were measured during controlled running on a treadmill at 1° and 3° gradient. From each subject's recorded time of running in the marathon, the average speed (v M) was calculated and maintained during the treadmill running for 11 min. The VO2 max was inversely related to body mass (m b), there were no sex differences, and the mean values of the reduced exponent were 0.65 for women and 0.81 for men. These results indicate that for running the unit ml·kg−0.75·min−1 is convenient when comparing individuals with different m b. The VO2max was about 10% (23 ml·kg−0.75·min−1) higher in the men than in the women. The women had on the average 10–12 ml·kg−0.75·min−1 lower VO2 than the men when running at comparable velocities. Disregarding sex, the mean value of CR was 0.211 (SEM 0.005) ml·kg−1·m−1 (resting included), and was independent of treadmill speed. No sex differences in Than expressed as % VO2max or percentage maximal heart rate were found, but Than expressed as VO2 in ml·kg−0.75·min−1 was significantly higher in the men compared to the women. The percentage utilization of f emax and concentration of blood lactate at v M was higher for the female runners. The women ran 2 days more each week than the men over the first 4 months during the half year preceding the marathon race. It was concluded that the higher VO2max and Than in the men was compensated for by more running, superior CR, and a higher exercise intensity during the race in the performance-matched female marathon runners.
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VO2max expressed in ml.BM-1.min-1 (BM = body mass) has been shown to unduly penalize heavier subjects and instead should be expressed as ml.BM-0.7.min-1. Such findings support the "theory of similarity" (TofS) that proposes the BM exponent should be 2/3 (0.67). The TofS, however, applies better to lean body mass (LBM) that is uninfluenced by fat mass. For young adults, the actual scaling exponent of LBM has yet to be satisfactorily determined. We used allometric scaling (AS) to scale VO2max by BM and LBM in 94 women (age = 27.4 +/- 6.7 yr, BM = 60.3 +/- 8.4 kg). Treadmill VO2max was assessed by indirect calorimetry and LBM was determined from hydrostatic weighing. AS yielded the following exponents (+/- 95% C.I.): BM: 0.61 +/- 0.27, and LBM: 1.04 +/- 0.26. We conclude that VO2max in ml.BM-1.min-1 indeed penalizes heavier women, but this penalty applies only to those who are heavier because of larger percent body fat, not LBM. If one takes the position that excess fatness is undesirable, then from a health and performance perspective, expressing VO2max in ml.BM-1.min-1 may provide an unbiased and useful expression of VO2max in young women.
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The purpose of this study was to compare oxygen consumption (VO2) and energy expenditure after 20 min of self-selected submaximal exercise for four modes of exercise. Eighteen subjects (9 male and 9 female) first completed a test of VO2max during treadmill running. On separate days, subjects then completed 20 min submaximal treadmill running (TR), simulated cross-country skiing (XC), cycle ergometry (CE), and aerobic riding (AR) exercise. Total VO2 and energy expenditure were significantly higher for TR than all other modes for both males and females (43.6 +/- 10.4, 39.1 +/- 9.7, 36.1 +/- 7.6, 28.4 +/- 6.1 LO2, for TR, XC, CE, and AR, respectively, P < 0.0001). For males and females, heart rate was similar during TR and XC and lower during CE and AR (154.8 +/- 14.2, 152 +/- 13.1, 143.4 +/- 14.9, and 126.2 +/- 12.0 beats.min-1 for TR, XC, CE, and AR, respectively, P < 0.0001). Compared with females, males had significantly greater VO2 (P < 0.005) and energy expenditure (P < 0.004), while females had higher heart rates (P < 0.003). Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were not different between TR, XC, and CE, but were significantly lower during AR (13.4 +/- 1.3, 13.6 +/- 0.8, 13.2 +/- 0.9, and 12.6 +/- 1.0 for TR, XC, CE, and AR, respectively, P < 0.003). TR elicited the greatest VO2 and energy expenditure during self-selected exercise despite and RPE similar to XC and CE. Therefore, treadmill exercise may be the modality of choice for individuals seeking to improve cardiorespiratory endurance and expend a larger number of kjoules.
Article
The effect of gender on ratings of perceived exertion for the overall body (RPE-O), chest (RPE-C), legs (RPE-L), and arms (RPE-A (ski)) was determined. Comparisons were made at, a) absolute oxygen uptake (VO2, L x min(-1); mL x kg(-1) x min(-1)) and heart rate (HR, b x min(-1)) and b) relative VO2 (%VO2max/peak) and HR (% HRmax/peak) reference criteria. Nine male and 10 female subjects were compared using a perceptual estimation paradigm for treadmill (weight bearing), simulated ski (partial weight bearing), and cycle (nonweight bearing) exercise. RPE was determined by the Borg 15-category scale. For each exercise mode, RPE-O, RPE-L, RPE-A (ski), and RPE-C were higher (P < 0.05) in the female than male cohort when compared at submaximal absolute VO2 criteria. RPE did not differ between female and male cohorts when compared at mode specific relative VO2 criteria. Differences in RPE-O, RPE-L, RPE-A (ski), and RPE-C were not found between female and male subjects when comparisons were made at both absolute and relative HR. Responses were consistent for the three exercise modes. RPE did not differ between gender when comparisons were made at relativized VO2 and HR reference criteria at exercise intensities between 70 and 90% of mode specific maximal/peak values.
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It has been suggested that gender differences in running should disappear as distances increase, particularly past the marathon. This suggestion is primarily based on differences in fuel utilization, muscle damage following exercise, relative improvements in performance over the past decades, and on the analysis of marathon vs. ultramarathon performances of men and women. We reasoned that the best comparison of the potential of a human is by the use of world best times, which should be reasonable indicators of the effect of distance on relative performance of women and men. We compared current world best running performances at distances from 100 m to 200 km. Records as of December 2002 were obtained. T-tests analyzed speed differences between genders, and regression analysis tested the percent differences between men and women across distance. Speeds were different, with the average difference being 12.4% faster for men. There was a significant slope to the speed difference across distances in that longer distances were associated with greater differences. These results may be confounded by the reduced number of women in longer distance events. Furthermore, the proposed metabolic advantage for women because of increased fat metabolism may be masked by regular feeding during endurance races.
Article
The study tested the hypothesis that physiological measurements can predict marathon running performance in a top-level homogeneous group of males and females. Ten male, performance: 2:12:04, coefficient of variation (CV)=2.33%, and 8 female marathon runners, performance: 2:34:53, CV=4.54%, performed an increment test on the treadmill (starting speed, 8 km.h-1; increments, 2 km.h-1; increment duration, 3 min to exhaustion). The heart rate (HR), VO2 and the lactate concentrations were measured at the end of each exercise level. During the recovery time, HR and lactate were measured. Furthermore, echocardiographic, anthropometric and haematologic measurements were made. The results of a stepwise multiple regression analysis using marathon time as the dependent variable yielded R2=0.983 for the male group and R2=0.984 for the female group. The model for the male group used the independent variables lactate value at 10 km.h-1, left ventricular telediastolic diameter (LVD) and lactate value at 22 km.h-1. The model for the female group used the independent variables subscapular skinfold, serum ferritin and sum of six skinfolds. Our study demonstrates that in males and females, physiological parameters can explain the variance in marathon time among elite homogeneous groups.
Article
American women have made great advances in the sport of marathon running over the past 4 decades. The purpose of this study was to examine the trend of marathon times among American female runners between 1976 and 2005, and to compare physiological characteristics of male and female runners. The best marathon times of American female and male marathon runners for each year (1976-2005) were collected from several published sources. Two research studies were reviewed that examined a variety of physiological variables of female and male elite distance runners. While the best marathon times of American men have remained fairly constant in recent decades ( approximately 2:10:00), the best times of American women have decreased dramatically from 2:47:10 in 1976 to 2:21:25 in 2005, a decrease of 15.6% over the 30-year period. The physiological characteristics of elite American female marathon runners differ from those of elite male marathon runners (e.g. maximal oxygen uptake = 67.1 +/- 4.2 mL/kg/min vs 74.1 +/- 2.6 mL/kg/min). These differences are comparable with the differences seen in marathon performance. Over the past 30 years, participation by women in marathon running has grown dramatically and during that same period the marathon performances of women have improved at a remarkable rate.