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Women better than men at pacing themselves while running, study says

Women better than men at pacing themselves while running: study

Runners leave the starting line of the 118th Boston Marathon April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

When it comes to pacing, women runners have men beat. A study of 91,929 runners in 14 marathons noted that after the halfway point, men generally slow down by nearly 16 percent, while women slow down just 12 percent, Mic.com reports.

Scientists consider a 30 percent second-half drop in speed as a major slowdown—and this happened to some 14 percent of men, but just 5 percent of women. Even experienced male runners were more likely than experienced women to see their speed decrease in the second half of a marathon.

Meanwhile, an earlier study noted by the Wall Street Journal found that women were more likely than men to run the second half of a race faster than the first.

One explanation is tied to the fact that "men will burn a greater percentage of carbohydrates for fuel than women," a researcher tells the New York Times.

Women burn more fat, and people have more fat than stored carbohydrates in our bodies. The result: "Men typically run out of fuel and bonk or hit the wall earlier than women do." Then there's the fact that men use a "risky" running strategy.

"They start out fast and just hope they can hold on," the researcher says. (If marathons are too much, running just a few minutes a day seems to have health benefits.)

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