I recently had the privilege of giving a presentation on walking and running to 2 groups – an all-female group and an all-male group. It was interesting to note how the 2 groups differed in their questions and in how they viewed exercise.
In the all-female group, their questions centered around what types of shoes to wear, what to eat and how to enhance their exercise with weights. The women seemed to be focused on how they felt and how to make exercise as comfortable as possible in order to complete their mileage without a wardrobe malfunction getting in the way.
In the all-male group, their questions were around how to make running more enjoyable. They viewed it as a task to be completed, but some also dreaded running as part of their workout routine. Their approach was more technical, i.e., just get the miles done and check it off the To Do list for the day.
For the women, I counseled on appropriate attire as well as addressing issues that only women face while running like menstrual cycles and appropriate sports bras. For the men, I dealt with discussions on nipple chafing (hey, it happens) and advising how to have a more enjoyable run by leaving their watch at home and running with a friend.
It was interesting and eye-opening to note the different approaches, but the theme I focused on with both groups was how important it is to focus on the mental aspect of running – mind over miles. More than 50% of competition is psychological. That competition comes from within and spans many things whether it’s getting motivated for a training walk/run or the struggle to complete an actual race event.
Men and women are different, to be sure, and each gender can learn from the other. That’s what makes running so great – male and female runners have unique elements each gender brings to the sport. But, we all share that one common thread – running is part an important part of our lives no matter the reason.
Read on about our wonderfully unique differences here: http://www.iawr-connect.com/training/how-different-women-runners-men/.