I have a niggling question that I thought other women may have dealt with.
My partner and I run together frequently. He has a long history of being fit and did a lot of alpine climbing. He is also nearly 7 years younger than me. I have spent the last 12 years having kids and not being fit. We have now been training and running off road for 10 months. The difference however in our fitness using our heart rate at given speed is massive. I’m still toiling along trying to stay out of my submaximal range while he is in a recovery zone, i.e. me-155bpp, him-125bpp.
The question I have is how do men and women train together with such physical differences?
I just feel awful that I ‘hold him back’ and I worry that I will never be anywhere as fit as him. My mind gets really psyched out by the difference in ability. But I know there are 45year old women that are faster than him so I keep hoping the day will come when I can catch up
(Just as a note I can run a road half marathon in 2hrs at the moment with 10 months training. I’m 39. He can do a half in 1:40. He’s 32)
Hi Charity, I trained with men as part of a varsity nordic ski team (I’m in grad school and am 34, they are mostly undergrads 17-24). I’m fairly fit and in our preseason run training, I could keep up with most of the women no problem with most of us running at about the same heart rate. However, the men were, on average, able to run at a faster easy pace than my easy pace and most of the women on our team. So where my ‘easy pace’ was 8:15-8:30/mile, most of the guys I was running with had an easy pace of 7:30-8:00/mile.
One of the ways of dealing with this was simply to warm up together and then take off at our own paces. Another was only to run track work or to run hill repeats, or repeats over a fixed course back and forth together. The guys can go at their own pace and we at ours, and we’ll get to work out at the right pace for the type of stimulus we’re looking for. We stopped running easier runs together unless we had an agreed to pace that everyone stayed at so that we didn’t end up stressing our bodies and becoming over trained. Hope that might be helpful.