Running for Women

Running for Women

by Jason Karp, Carolyn Smith


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As best-selling author John Gray pointed out, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. There are obvious differences between women and men in anatomy, physiology, hormones, and metabolism. So why do most running books take a one-size-fits-all approach to training? Finally, here’s one that doesn’t.

Running for Women provides comprehensive information on training female runners based on their cardiovascular, hormonal, metabolic, muscular, and anatomical characteristics. In this authoritative guide, authors Jason Karp and Carolyn Smith answer the questions and tackle the topics women need to know:

• The impact of the menstrual cycle on hydration, body temperature, metabolism, and muscle function

• The most effective workouts for endurance, speed and strength, lactate threshold, and VO2max

• How and when to train during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause

• Preventing knee injuries, stress fractures, and other common running-related injuries

• Avoiding the risks of the female athlete triad—disordered eating, osteoporosis, and menstrual irregularities

• How to use sex differences to your advantage

Based on the latest research on estrogen, metabolism, and other sex-specific performance factors, Running for Women will change the way you fuel, train, and compete. If you are serious about running, this is one guide you must own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781450404679
Publisher: Human Kinetics, Inc.
Publication date: 06/14/2012
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 7.08(w) x 9.82(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

 Dr. Jason Karp is one of America’s foremost running experts and owner of Run-Fit. He is the 2011 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 2014 recipient of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition Community Leadership Award, and creator of the Run-Fit Specialist certification. Jason has given dozens of international lectures and is a featured speaker at the world’s top fitness and coaching conferences. He has taught USA Track & Field’s highest level coaching certification and has led coaching camps at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. He has written six books and more than 200 articles in international coaching, running, and fitness magazines. He is the senior editor for Active Network.

A competitive runner since sixth grade, he is a nationally-certified running coach through USA Track & Field, has coached high school and college track and cross country, and was a member of the silver-medal winning U.S. masters team at the 2013 World Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Jason received his PhD in exercise physiology with a physiology minor from Indiana University in 2007, his master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Calgary in 1997, and his bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport science with an English minor from Penn State University in 1995. His research has been published in a number of scientific journals.

Carolyn Smith, MD, is a family practice and sports medicine physician who serves as director of the student health service at Marquette University and head medical team physician for the department of intercollegiate athletics. She also maintains her teaching interests in her role as medical director for the athletic training education program.

Smith is a versatile runner with a career that has spanned more than three decades. After a postcollegiate career running shorter distances, Smith embraced ultrarunning in 2002 and has enjoyed success in distances ranging from the 50-mile run to the 24-hour run. She is a former 24-hour and 100K national champion. She has had the privilege of representing the United States on two 24-hour national teams (2005, 2007) and is a 100K national team member (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). 

She is a national age-group record holder. In 2009, she held the fastest time in the world for the 50-mile ultramarathon and was ranked No. 1 in that event in the United States. In 2011 she set a national age-group record for the 12-hour run, finishing first among all participants in the FANS 12-hour ultramarathon in Minnesota, running 83 miles in 12 hours - more than 12 miles ahead of the second place finisher. She represented the United States for the seventh time in the 100-Kilometer World Championship, which was held in Italy in 2012. In 2012 the U.S. women’s team won the gold medal, an accomplishment Smith was also a part of in 2009.

In addition to a medical degree from the University of Illinois, Smith holds a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, both in exercise physiology. Following a faculty position with the St. Michael Hospital Residency Program in Milwaukee, and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Smith joined the Marquette University student health service in 2002.

Table of Contents

Part I Physiology

Chapter 1 Performance Factors and Sex Differences 

Chapter 2 Menstrual Cycle, Hormones, and Performance

Chapter 3 Pregnancy

Chapter 4 Menopause

Chapter 5 Older Runners

Part II Training

Chapter 6 Training Components

Chapter 7 Base Building

Chapter 8 Acidosis (Lactate) Threshold Training

Chapter 9 Aerobic Power Training for VO2max

Chapter 10 Speed and Strength Training

Chapter 11 Building Your Training Program

Part III Health and Wellness

Chapter 12 Female Athlete Triad

Chapter 13 Injuries and Female Runners

Chapter 14 Performance Nutrition and Female Runners

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Using meticulous research, Karp and Smith have created a practical and intriguing masterpiece for female runners of all ages and abilities. Highly recommended!"

Lorraine Moller-- Boston Marathon Winner, Olympic Marathon Medalist, Cofounder of the Lydiard Foundation, Author of On the Wings of Mercury

“In Running for Women, Carolyn Smith and Jason Karp combine scientific research with realistic guidelines that all women can follow to combat the effects of aging.”

Meghan Arbogast-- Four-Time Qualifier to the Olympic Marathon Trials, Team USA Leader at World 100K Championships, World-Record Holder for 50+ Age Group in the 100K

“In Running for Women, Dr. Karp and Dr. Smith provide women and their coaches a clear path to success and enjoyment in training and racing."

Joe Compagni-- Director and Head Coach, Men's and Women's Track and Field and Cross Country Monmouth University

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Running for Women 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
penandtome More than 1 year ago
The book is based upon the experience and research of exercise physiologist, running and fitness expert Jason Karp and family practice and sports medicine physician Carolyn Smith. Fourteen chapters look at running from a purely female perspective, covering such topics as the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause, and how these affect the sport. The authors examine the biomechanics of running, including anatomy, electromyographic responses, joint kinetics, and metabolic reactions that occur in adult women. Guidance for building a conditioning base, adding strength, power and speed training is based on the most effective workouts that take into consideration estrogen and other sex-specific performance factors, while avoiding the risks of disordered eating, osteoporosis and menstrual irregularities. Sample training programs, stretches, and nutrition are aimed at preventing injuries and maintaining good health and wellness. Trainers, physical therapists, and individuals can use this scientific, practical guide to tailor training to target specific anatomical, physiological and metabolic reactions, plan workouts and improve performance to fit an individual woman’s condition.
AnnieHidalgo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Does anybody else look at this title and say, "Running for women? Did you catch any?" Seriously, though, I feel so motivated to run after reading this book. I am actually not a serious runner, but I do run/jog occasionally, and I've certainly stepped up my program since reading this. I feel like I've learned a lot about running - how to do it, and the science behind training, which was very interesting. Basically, it appears to boil down to - women run better and feel better when they have more estrogen (within normal parameters) inside their bodies. Also, you should eat more carbohydrates than proteins, and more proteins than fats, because of the way your body uses fuel, which was described in detail, but is too long for this review. I did have a few questions as a novice runner after reading this book, though. There was a lot of terminology that you might not get as a novice runner. Take, for instance, this excerpt from the section detailing acidosis threshold workouts: "AT Run - Run continually at AT pace, starting at about 3 miles (5K; 15 to 20 minutes) and increasing up to 6 miles..." As I read this section, while it seemed like very sensible advice, if you knew what the authors were talking about, um, I'm not sure that I did. What is AT pace? So, you're supposed to run three miles per day at first in 15 to 20 minutes, and then increase to about six miles per day? And that's a standard 5K pace? What if you can't run that fast? Does that mean you're not ready for AT training? How do you know which particular things you should train for and when? There was more of a detailed plan on page 133, and you could quite easily follow it, even without knowing such details, but still, I'd like to know. Also, there were many exercises given, for strength training, plyometric training, and stretches. How do you know how many of these you should be doing? Should you do them every day? If so, for how long? All of them, or just some of them? There was a lot of information in this book, and it wasn't really sorted out for you, so if you don't really know what you're doing going in, while I have no doubt you will become fitter using this information, the responsibility will still mostly be on you to devise your own plan. As a total beginner (well, not TOTAL - I do like to run with a 5K training app - but still, a definite novice), I would have liked a program to be spelled out for me a little more. I found the calorie calculation info to be practically incomprehensible. Or perhaps I was just stymied by the fact that it involves measuring your body fat, and you apparently can't do that at home, or on the spur of the moment, since this should be "performed by someone trained in body composition assessment". That is undoubtedly the best, most accurate method, but I still wished that there was a quick way to get a ballpark figure.So, I feel like I learned a lot, but I have a long way to go, and what this book did, in large part, is show me what I don't know and need to learn about. There must be better books out there to get the complete beginner into running. On the other hand, if you already know a bit about the sport, and you're training for a big race, this book could become indispensable to you.
megtall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really like this book. It has given me a fresh look at running aimed specifically at women. I had never thought about how our monthly cycles impact our abilities and effects how we run. There was some basic info that could be found in countless other running books, but there was also a good bit I'd never read before.I have many female runners at my library, and have purchased this book for my branch. In fact, I already have 2 people on a waitlist for it. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago