Why men are faster runners than women

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Given that both men and women train equally hard, why is it that men, on average, are faster runners than women? The answer to this gender bender is multi-fold, but it has a lot to do with hormones and body size.

Before girls and boys hit puberty, their bodies are fairly similar. During puberty, however, boys experience a surge of testosterone. By adulthood, some men have up to 20 times more testosterone than women do…Testosterone plays several roles, including telling the body to create new blood cells, keeping bones and muscles strong and prompting growth spurts.

“Because [women] produce less testosterone, we are at a disadvantage in terms of muscle,” said Dr. Emily Kraus, a primary care sports medicine physician at Stanford Health Care in California. “Males have a greater amount of muscle bulk.”

A man’s leg is about 80 percent muscle, compared with about 60 percent muscle in a woman’s leg, Kraus said. That extra muscle can help men run faster, she said. Also, men’s muscles tend to have larger fast-twitch muscle fibers, which help with sprinting, than women do….

Body size is another factor. Women, on average, have smaller lungs than men do, meaning their maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) is lower.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Why Do Men Run Faster Than Women?