Why the Kenyans are so fast (Read 690 times)

northernman


Fight The Future

    Anybody else hear this story on NPR about theories on why the Kenyans win all the marathons? Think about it while you run the marathon this weekend. (but skip the bit about the formic acid on the private parts!)

      Decent read.

       

       

      "Manners says he thinks there's a distinct advantage conferred on athletic kids who grow up in a pain-embracing society, as opposed to a Western, pain-avoiding one."

       

      The sentence made it's point but it seems like the author wanted to make another point by adding the "as opposed to..."

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      GC100k


         

        "Manners says he thinks there's a distinct advantage conferred on athletic kids who grow up in a pain-embracing society, as opposed to a Western, pain-avoiding one."

         

        Was about to read the story, but that quote makes me want to avoid it.  Sounds like bs.  These days most Kenyans live pretty much like we do and it's not really an us and them world like it used to be.

         

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYpX4l2UeZg

          PET UNPROVEN THEORY: I think if you made all the middle and high school students in the vast gene pool that is the U.S. run cross country and track, and get them to be passionate about it, the Kenyans would no longer be dominant. I went to a high school with 2500 students, and only a handful ran track or cross country. 90% never bothered running or playing sports at all, unless they were forced to slog around the gym during dodgeball. The probability is high that within that 90% there were people with the genetic gift for running that didn't give one crap about track or cross country or sports. They either pursued football, baseball, basketball, or an actual education and a lucrative career in one of the many available to American kids (with education). There's no incentive in America to become a pro runner. Lots of paths to go down that offer a nice living. Running really isn't one. Our human Secretariats that would dominate the world end up fat bankers, pro baseball players, pro football players, pro hockey players, pro golfers, pro soccer players, Nascar drivers, chefs, scientists, nurses, accountants, doctors, lawyers, managers at JC Penny, etc., and never had one iota of desire to be a runner.

          log   prs      Crusted Salt comic #141

           

          GC100k


            PET UNPROVEN THEORY:

             

            There's probably a lot of truth to that. We would definitely have more great runners if everyone was trying.  But the dominance of the Kalenjin compared to everyone else cannot be explained by any nurture theory, it's gotta be nature.  Not 100% nature, but there's no way around the nature conclusion.

             

            The guy who just set the world marathon record did not grow up running 10k to school each day or going through tribal rituals.  He grew up like most of us.  He ran a couple times in school, but not much.  Then he had a sedentary job for a few years.  Then got inspired to start running and not too many years later set a world record in the marathon.

              Probably some truth there jimmy but I don't know to what extent.

               

              Africa likely has the highest # of least developed countries and a solid elite runner with a good manager can probably cut out a pretty nice living from the winnings.

               

              How attractive it must look to the younger generations to see these runners being jet set all over the world. We have two from Ethiopia on scholarship going thru school here at a small university. They both plan on going back home when they are done and both fully intend to be marathon runners.

               

              If you haven't read the article though it states that most of these runners are from one specific Kenyan tribe...which I feel the author is stretching the facts or choosing to ignore others.

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                I liked this story a lot. Point I took away from it: slim ankles win races. Big grin

                GC100k


                  I liked this story a lot. Point I took away from it: slim ankles win races. Big grin

                   

                  Anyone foresee wannabe coaches overreacting to this and looking at runners' ankles and deciding a priori who is going to be good?

                    I love this quote:

                     

                    "There are 17 American men in history who have run under 2:10 in the marathon," Epstein says. "There were 32 Kalenjin who did it in October of 2011."

                    Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.


                    A Dance with Monkeys

                      Big calves are bad.


                      Sheesh.

                        Big calves are bad.


                        Sheesh.

                         

                        This guy did ok.

                         

                          Ha Ha.Big grin

                           

                           

                          This guy did ok.

                           

                          Running Goals ... Marathon # 2 coming up in May 2014

                           

                          "It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll.  I am the master of my fate;  I am the captain of my soul."  William Ernest Henley


                          HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                             

                            There's probably a lot of truth to that. We would definitely have more great runners if everyone was trying.  But the dominance of the Kalenjin compared to everyone else cannot be explained by any nurture theory, it's gotta be nature.  Not 100% nature, but there's no way around the nature conclusion.

                             

                            Unless it is just about the size of the pool -- see the gene pool theory post above for an explanation.

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

                            GC100k


                               

                              Unless it is just about the size of the pool -- see the gene pool theory post above for an explanation.

                               

                              ???


                              HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                                In fact is your bodyweight with no increase in coaching running as well that cannot explain the women, but teach the skill would teach you want to impress me,then why on planet earth with them. Funny that I'm currently conducting a very different story. That's the real joke isn't it.... The OP was born, raised, and trained, in the circles which is why I laugh my access to the subject. And that skill is determined by what I publish a study??? They're called "PEER REVIEW" journals for a real science of your energy need in the role of this forum is supposed to your next run.

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