On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Thursday, July 1, 2010

To protein, or not to protein?

An article from the New York Times: What exercise science doesn't know about women?

In brief, the article uses a specific study of cyclists - and how their performance in future workouts was affected by consuming protein (versus carbs) after a hard ride - to make the larger point that men and women are physiologically different in important ways that affect athletic performance.  And further, the article states, most studies of athletic performance use men as their test subjects.  This leads to results that are reported as blanket maxims for all athletes (including carbo-loading before long runs or ingesting protein immediately following a run).

Any woman, especially any woman who lives with (or has lived with/near) a man can tell you that men and women's metabolisms are vastly different.  So how does it affect our performance that that commonly issued exercise guidelines may not hold true for women?

Just please, please don't take my post-long run chocolate milk recovery drink away from me.


  1. I found this article SO eye opening. We think that the world is really "equal" when it comes to men vs women in the US anymore (or I guess would at least like to hope so), but WOW. It never crossed their minds to do a field of half men and half women in the original experiment? That just flabbergasts me.

  2. I *totally* agree. I mean, my sister's done product testing for Gatorade (running on a treadmill and drinking, that sort of thing) so the private sector evidently gets that women are valid subjects - but our scientists don't?

    Two things I didn't like about the article: "fewer female athletes exist to be studied." Does that truly hold? But then, the last line of the article - the throwaway about how men "just don't understand" women. Ugh.

  3. Oh yeah - the last line killed me. It's like saying, "Oh, he's 'just a boy'!"