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Thread: The Human Body Is Built for Distance page 3

  1. #21
    SerialSinner's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel


    Interesting Geoff, thanks got posting.


    Whenever I think of sprinting vs. long distance running, I can't help thinking of huge physical differences between Olympic sprinters and long-distance runners. The later tend to look like crap compared to the former.

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
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  2. #22
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    I grok, therefore I am.

  3. #23
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    Priceless

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  4. #24
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    Not to take issue with the point of the picture's comparison, but I believe the sprinter is Dwain Chambers and that that picture of him was taken at a time when he was using performance enhancing steroids.


    Regardless of the drugs, the well developed musculature of many sprinters is largely the product of their time in the weight room. Elite marathoners don't do much, if any, weight training because carrying excess muscle is detrimental to their performance goals.


    FWIW - here is Usain Bolt, the current 100 m and 200 m world record holder. He does a lot less and lighter weight training than most of his competitors and it shows (in his appearance, of course, not his performance).





    Yeah, I think Bolt's physique is probably healthier than that hapless Finnish marathoner. But it doesn't necessarily have to be THAT bad for distance runners. Here's Steve Prefontaine





    Not bad for a distance guy (though admittedly not a marathoner).


  5. #25
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    Maybe could can determine the average phenotype for the long-distance runner by compiling the pictures of these athletes?:

    http://tinyurl.com/yjnx9bl

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  6. #26
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    *double posting

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  7. #27
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    SS - Doug McGuff calls athletic competition accelerated evolution for that very reason. As he sees it, with the exceptions of "freaks" like Bolt who break the established mold, within any given sport the most successful athletes tend to share a similar body type. There's a body type that tends to have the greatest potential for success at the marathon, but it's not the same body type as a top point guard, offensive lineman, golfer, or boxer.


    I think we need to remember, though, that professional athletes whether marathoners, sprinters, weight lifters, or any other sport are performance specialists. Their bodies reflect their training and they train with a specific performance goal in mind. The Ache and the Hiwi don't train, they live. Their only performance goal is survival. As Mark wrote last week, hunter-gatherers have a much more complete fitness than both the couch potatoes and Olympic specialists (and are probably generally healthier to boot) but, as Cordain and Friel write, "[w]as there ever a hunter gatherer who could have taken home an Olympic gold in an endurance event in the last 30 years? The answer is no." Olympic level training just ain't how they roll.


  8. #28
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    Well said Geoff!!!


  9. #29
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    ditto, great post Geoff

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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