Saturday, April 21, 2012

Will Women Ever Outrun Men?

Unless they find a way to somehow genetically transform women to men for short periods of time, unfortunately, the answer is no. This will probably raise all sorts of ‘battle of the sexes’ theories so let me explain.

Have you ever noticed that the marathon winners are always men? And that the gaps between the men's records and the women’s records in the same marathon are usually not that close? Yes, it’s not because the male runners are just so fantastic (although the men here would beg to differ); it actually has to do with how we are genetically wired.

Men have way more testosterone than women. If you didn’t already know this, then maybe we need to have a separate conversation. But the testosterone level in men does two things: First, it allows them build muscle faster and stronger than women. Because you need strong legs to keep your stride while running races, muscle strength is very important in running.

Second, testosterone also helps in the production of haemoglobin. If you remember anything about your high school biology classes, you’d know that haemoglobin is a component in the blood that carries oxygen. Because men with higher testosterone levels produce more haemoglobin, they have more readily available oxygen. This increases their endurance during high-intensity activities like exercise, and maybe even sex. I know, I know, with sex, the penis ruins everything. So even though they have more physical endurance, it doesn’t actually work that way because erections and blood flow are a whole different issue. But we’ll talk about that another day.

So it’s not that women can’t compete, it is that the women that compete and are on par with the men have to work even harder. So if you are a woman, and you’ve ever outrun any man, kudos to you! If you are a man, and have been looking for excuses to not run, well, I have just debunked another so get moving!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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