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The average runner's genetic potential? (Read 271 times)

TripleBock


    Define avg ... 1 standard deviation, 2?

    I am fuller bodied than Dopplebock


    Feeling the growl again

       

       

      So genetic potential is kindof a messed up thought.  It would mean that every perfect choice was made from conception by your parents, you and the rest of the world that touched you.  It would mean that sleep, eating, training ... every second of your life was perfect to get you to a race with the perfect amount of speed and endurance to maximize the genes you have.  No inuries, no missed workouts etc.  Then during the race, this perfect your must run a perfect race.  This means that you have to have the mental fortitude to push your body to get every once aver milisecond out of the body, the effort has to be perfect and absolute.

       

      So likley, whatever we think our genetic potential ... we are way off and we could do much better.

       

      I agree with all of this, but performance is not linear.  Just like in school, it may be pretty easy to get a B if you have the potential to be a 100% student but you have to work a lot harder to get a 95%, and to get a 99% you may need to work 3X as hard as you did to get 95%.  Same with running.

       

      So even if you don't do everything perfect, if you pursue maximizing your training, being reasonably close to ideal weight, etc etc you can probably get that 90% and have a decent idea what your potential is by extrapolation.

       

      I had pretty much maxed out the training load and intensity that my body would handle...I'd spent years tweaking it to find exactly what mix got the best results for ME.  I'd played around to find my ideal training and racing weight (they were a few pounds different).  The end result in two different cycles were 30:57 and 31:40 10Ks.  Perhaps if I'd kept tweaking I could have dropped 15-30 more seconds.  But I don't believe any combination of changes at any point in my life would have taken me from ~31 to much under 30, given the dramatic difference in training it took to go from ~33:30 to 32 to 31.  I mean there was just a clear difference between me and the guys who start at 31 off 40 mpw and build down to 29.

       

      But I guarantee almost every runner would completely shock themselves by what they could do if they chose to fully apply themselves.  At most points in my running career 1992-2005 you would have told me what I would be running a year later I would not have believed it for anything.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

       

        And the average runner (not to mention the non-runner) may not possess the genetic makeup that psychologically drives him/her to train and perform in races.

        Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

          I managed to track down the average runner. He was a bit busy tending to his flock in a remote valley in Kashmir but managed to take few minutes to answer my questions. He reports that he' never run a marathon and is not sure he will but estimates he could do so in a Paul-Ryan-esque "around three hours or so."

           

          He also thinks this poll is stupid.

          Runners run.

          JimR


            The poll is stupid.  Nonetheless I voted anyway.  50%.  If average runners are defined as those of average potential, it's by definition %50.

              I managed to track down the average runner. He was a bit busy tending to his flock in a remote valley in Kashmir but managed to take few minutes to answer my questions. He reports that he' never run a marathon and is not sure he will but estimates he could do so in a Paul-Ryan-esque "around three hours or so."

               

              He also thinks this poll is stupid.

               

              I'm sure 2 of his kids were helping mind the flock. But what was his 0.4 kid doing?

              Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
              We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes


              Muddling through

                Not sure where you are getting your numbers from but in my experience far greater than 50% of male runners at age 35 can run faster than 4:10.  If I had to take a guess, I would say 50% is closer to 3:40 or 3:30.  OTOH, the top 30% of male runners at age 35 running 2:58 or faster also seems a little high.  If I had to guess based on the runners I know I would say maybe top 10%.

                 

                Also, a 18:49 5K is far easier to achieve than a 2:58.

                Those percentages are based on pace compared to WR pace as a standard, not percentage of runners. According to MarathonGuide.com the average male finishing time in 2010 was 4:27:11 with an average age of 40.3.

                2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                  The poll is stupid.  Nonetheless I voted anyway.  50%.  If average runners are defined as those of average potential, it's by definition %50.

                   

                  1.  50% simply means running at twice the finish time of the "100% finisher" for whatever demographic you are considering.  It's like saying an average 25 year old male can run 100 meters no faster than 19 seconds because Bolt can do it no faster than 9.5 seconds.  It's arbitrary.  It is clearly not by definition 50%.

                   

                  2.  Even if this did somehow mean the time for the average person, clearly the average person is not running to their full potential.

                   

                  3.  Amber bock is good.  Not that this is relevant.  but I find most responses with 3 points are much better than those with 2.

                  In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

                  http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white&fb_source=message

                   

                   

                   

                    According to MarathonGuide.com the average male finishing time in 2010 was 4:27:11 with an average age of 40.3.

                     

                    But the poll was about genetic potential not average finishing time.  What percentage of those runners sampled in 2010 raced up to their genetic potential?  I would guess less than 20%


                    HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                       

                      But the poll was about genetic potential not average finishing time.  What percentage of those runners sampled in 2010 raced up to their genetic potential?  I would guess less than 20%

                       

                      I'll guess less than 2%.

                      It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                         

                        I'll guess less than 2%.

                         

                        Depends if it is windy out.


                        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                           

                          Depends if it is windy out.

                           

                          I checked all the reputable genetic potential calculators on the web, and NONE of them had an input for wind speed.

                          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                          TripleBock


                            But maybe if you were a Kenyan farm kid that had to run 20 miles to and from school 5 days a week and 40 miles to and from Church on Sunday and you were chased twice a week by hyenas forcing you to a big life or die tempo ... and ate very simple foods ... but had your genetic potential you would have ran a 30 flat as an 18 year old and a 29 flat in college.

                             

                            I do understand it is not linear, but when a group of people live a simple life, eating simple foods and run 50,000 miles or more before they are 18 and 100,000 before 25, they are likely getting closer to their genetic potential than someone that really focussed and gave 100% effort for 5 years and ran 25,000 miles in those 5 years.

                             

                            So I Agree that you may never have been a sub 27 guy, but if everything was done exactly right to maximize your genetic potential form woom to age 25, maybe you would have been a high 28 guy in the 10k. a 2:12 guy in the marathon.  By the time you are giving 100% effort in grad school it is way too late to maximize you genetic potential ...

                             

                            and maybe you could have never broken 30 in 10k or 2:20 in marathon ... I really do not kow, but I suspect that if every variable was controlled to 100% perfection from woom to 25 years that you would be suprised at how much more your genetic potential is that you think it is.  To me that is what genetic potential is ... ability if everything happens perfectly.  Now realistic potential for all the shit that happens in life is much lower.

                             

                             

                            I agree with all of this, but performance is not linear.  Just like in school, it may be pretty easy to get a B if you have the potential to be a 100% student but you have to work a lot harder to get a 95%, and to get a 99% you may need to work 3X as hard as you did to get 95%.  Same with running.

                             

                            So even if you don't do everything perfect, if you pursue maximizing your training, being reasonably close to ideal weight, etc etc you can probably get that 90% and have a decent idea what your potential is by extrapolation.

                             

                            I had pretty much maxed out the training load and intensity that my body would handle...I'd spent years tweaking it to find exactly what mix got the best results for ME.  I'd played around to find my ideal training and racing weight (they were a few pounds different).  The end result in two different cycles were 30:57 and 31:40 10Ks.  Perhaps if I'd kept tweaking I could have dropped 15-30 more seconds.  But I don't believe any combination of changes at any point in my life would have taken me from ~31 to much under 30, given the dramatic difference in training it took to go from ~33:30 to 32 to 31.  I mean there was just a clear difference between me and the guys who start at 31 off 40 mpw and build down to 29.

                             

                            But I guarantee almost every runner would completely shock themselves by what they could do if they chose to fully apply themselves.  At most points in my running career 1992-2005 you would have told me what I would be running a year later I would not have believed it for anything.

                            I am fuller bodied than Dopplebock


                            Joggaholic

                              I can not resist asking, how much did Steve Rogers improve in his marathon time? That should answer the OP's question...

                               

                              *nerd alert*


                              Feeling the growl again

                                But maybe if you were a Kenyan farm kid that had to run 20 miles to and from school 5 days a week and 40 miles to and from Church on Sunday and you were chased twice a week by hyenas forcing you to a big life or die tempo ... and ate very simple foods ... but had your genetic potential you would have ran a 30 flat as an 18 year old and a 29 flat in college.

                                 

                                 

                                That could be, it is an untestable question.  But I personally do not think so.  There are plenty of examples of Kenyans who did not grow up that way....lived a half mile from school and did no significant running...and were world-class withing two years of beginning to train.  Others that were drunks and otherwise lived hard and still competed extremely well.  I do believe genetic potential is real, though not a significant factor in the performances of most runners.  There are many places in the world where people live similarly to East Africa yet you don't see a tribe of roughly 100,000 people producing a substantial percentage of the world's fastest times in distance races.

                                 

                                Even if we forget the untestable and largely academic "genetic potential" and consider "realistic potential", my view is similar....most people have hardly tested the waters of their potential as it takes years of serious training to have any idea of where you will start to experience limitations in progression and a flattening of the performance curve.

                                 

                                Either one is academic as lately I seem to be more serious about testing my liver's potential.

                                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                                 

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