Women Run the World

The Growth of Women Runners

In the U.S. 57% of runners who complete an event are women, which is almost 11 million women. Globally women’s participation in running events is up 25% vs. men’s participation which is up only 7% (come on guys, come out running with us).  

The fastest growing distance event is the half marathon, with participation having nearly doubled in the last ten years, and women are the ones leading that growth too.

Unfortunately, the percentage of injuries per capita for women is higher than for men. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Considering women weren’t officially permitted to run the Boston Marathon until 1972, it is amazing what we’ve accomplished. Now, it’s time to take stock and look into this injury problem.

Running Injuries and Prevention with ChiRunning

Running can be a high injury sport, with numbers of injuries reported to be about 65% of runners getting an injury that causes them to have to stop running for a few days or more, each year.

ChiRunning has done two surveys of its audience, one in 2007 and one in 2011* and in both surveys over 90% of participants said ChiRunning or ChiWalking played a role in preventing running or walking injuries.

If you’d like to run your first 5K or get a personal best at a Half Marathon, the most important thing is not to get injured. With that goal firmly established, all your other intentions can flourish.

How would you run the world?

The way in which you prevent injury has a lot of similar qualities to what it would take to run a business or run a well-functioning home or state or country.

Inc Magazine’s article “5 Traits that Make Women Better Global Leaders” could also pertain to the qualities it takes to lead yourself into a successful running program.

The 5 traits Inc Magazine lists are:

  • They empathize
  • They communicate
  • They listen
  • They collaborate
  • They learn

If you apply these same traits to your running program, you’ll dramatically reduce your risk for injury.  The trick is self-care. Women are notorious for taking care or others and forgetting about themselves.

So here’s a tip:

Think of your body as a separate “self”. There is you, and there is your body. When it comes to your body, practice being empathetic, communicating, listening, collaborating and learning from it. This is the kind of relationship that reduces the potential for injury and exactly the type of relationship we help you establish with ChiRunning.

In T’ai Chi, movement stems from three key qualities:

  • Mindful awareness
  • Deep listening
  • Understanding of how your body works best  – inner core strength, outward ease, flexibility, and relaxation

Apply these to your running and you will reduce your potential for injury while increasing your potential for success. 

So, yay women! We’re running the world more and more. Now let’s make sure we are doing it the right way, nourishing ourselves as much as we support everyone else. 

ChiRunning Surveys and Study

***Both surveys were done by West Virginia University,  did not include non-ChiRunners and was sent to our email list. 2700 responded in 2007, 3800 responded in 2011. See 2007 results here. 2011 results here.

***See results of 2012 Scientific Study of ChiRunning at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, here.

Posted in Women

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