First article on here so be gentle!
In my opinion – back in 2006 800m running for both men and women were looking fairly promising in the UK. A cluster of athletes in the 1.45/1.46 zone for men (9), and 1.59-2.02 for the women (10 or 11?). Since then, year on year the men’s results (barring Michael Rimmer)have, as a group, appeared to decline. Year on year for the women, a similar sized cluster has remained in the same zone, with a steadily increasing number in the sub 2 minute category. Now I may be totally wrong in my interpretation of this meaning the men have not kicked on from a good position, and the women have. However, my question would be that, based on the fact that we are looking at 2 similar sized groups of runners, at roughly the same level (i.e. running at around world level quali times), similar spread of ages (so no loss to other sports, some past peak, some young etc.) what differences might there be in training females and males that may lead to a country being more successful in producing a group of good females, while at the same time, with I presume the same coaches, facilities etc. not managing to do the same with the men?
Apologies for the long winded way of asking the question, but I posted this question on another forum and got bogged down in an argument about statistics and whether the men had actually got worse. In my opinion, even if my assumption is incorrect, I’m still interested in the differences between coaching 800m for women and men – as running fast for 2 mins clearly alters the balance of energy systems when compared to running for 1.45 ish.