In 1966 - just over 50 years ago - Roberta Gibb's' Boston Marathon application was rejected. Why? They said as a woman it was physically not possible to run 41.195km. Just one year later, Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to officially run a marathon at the Boston Marathon - escaping attempts by judges to rip off her bib during the race.
Since 1984, women are running the marathon course at the Olympics.
Back at that time, there were many myths and simply wrong assumptions about women in endurance sports: "Women are physically unable to do endurance sports", "Running makes women infertile". Today, we know these assumptions are all wrong because of many brave women who fought for equality in sports. Fact is: there are differences between men and women, which are also reflected in running. However, no body is better suited for running than the other!
But let's talk about some of the differences
Men build muscle mass faster than women, they basically have a higher testosterone level than women and on average about 10% more muscle mass. Therefore, as a woman it is especially important to support your running training with strength sessions. It does not necessarily have to be lifting heavy weights, but also a simple home workout with your own body weight has a beneficial effect on your running form and reduces the risk of injury.
And yes, women have more fat tissue. But that's not a bad thing at all! A woman''s body can also utilize these fats better than her male competitors. The longer the distance, the less the differences between women and men in their finishing time. Because of their metabolism, especially in ultra-long runs, women can often even be ahead of their male counterparts.
Another advantage of the women's body? Their connective tissue is much more flexible, so especially to minimize the risk of injury, you should also stretch regularly. The center of gravity is also slightly lower than men''s, making you much more agile during trail runs or unforeseen evasive maneuvers, for example. Good to know: a higher pulse rate during a workout is by no means a sign that you are less fit than your male colleagues. The women's heart beats a little faster than men's.
There are also gender differences in sportswear. A well-fitting sports bra does not only make you feel much more comfortable, but also supports your breasts so they don't sag. Sports bras offer much more support than everyday bras. This is also important with a smaller bust size, because your chest has no natural support system of its own, i.e. no muscles to hold it in place.
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When choosing the right running shoes, you should choose shoes that fit your feet. There are also gender-specific differences, women''s feet are more narrow than men''s. Historically, in the development of new shoes, brands were oriented to men''s feet. In the meantime, however, various sports brands have brought out shoes that are specially designed and cut for women''s feet. They fit better, especially at the heel and the back of the foot.
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Keep in mind: During your period, it''s often harder to get out for a run, maybe even the thought of exercise is unimaginable. However, it helps many women to start running. Endurance sports have a decongestant effect and promote blood circulation, and can thus relieve period pains.
Do you love the energy that women release when they come together and run? Then keep your eyes open for women''s races! In Vienna, the Austrian Women's Run has been taking place for over 30 years, true to the motto "The Future is Female".