Physical Fitness

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Re: Physical Fitness

Postby cactuspete » Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:22 am

Why are Kenyans so good at distance running?
Although there is an attempt in this video to minimize the contribution of genetics, my guess is that genetics is by far more important than all the other factors combined.
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Re: Physical Fitness

Postby wildrose » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:51 am

cactuspete: Some of the factors listed definitely contribute to the success of the Kenyans when it comes to distance running, BUT there are lots of people who do all those things and very few of them become successful world-class long distance runners. Genetics without a doubt accounts for more than eighty percent of what sets them apart from other people who work hard, train at altitude, etc. A detailed study of the genetics of these runners would probably reveal some interesting insights.
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Re: Physical Fitness

Postby surfsteve » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:39 am

80%? That sounds awfully high to me. People genetically incline are probably going around claiming it's only 20%; otherwise even the fat kid in Kenya would be able to run a four minute mile.
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Re: Physical Fitness

Postby cactuspete » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:39 am

surfsteve: I think you should read wildrose's post again. She says that the eighty percent is what sets them apart from other people who WORK HARD, TRAIN AT ALTITUDE, ETC. Clearly fat kids don't fit into that category. Also it's not reasonable to assume that all Kenyans have the set of alleles which would make them great long distance runners. It may be that fewer than five percent of Kenyans have most of the alleles that the champion runners possess.
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Re: Physical Fitness

Postby surfsteve » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:31 am

I thought it was obvious that I was exaggerating about that fat kid in Kenya running a 4 minute mile. I think genetics plays a great role in a race between a slug and a greyhound but not so much between species, individual races and local variations between them. It's hard to say where to draw the line between genetics and environmental factors such as pollution upbringing and diets role which also influences genetics in the long run.
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Re: Physical Fitness

Postby surfsteve » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:08 pm

This video is about Pottengers Cats not to be confused with Schrödinger's cat!

Pottengers Cats-Diet Will Affect Future Generations
The effects of nutrition and how what you eat affects your children and their children's future generations.

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Re: Physical Fitness

Postby cactuspete » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:48 pm

surfsteve: I think it's a matter of how you frame the discussion. If you are talking about a group of athletes who all train hard, follow training regimes which are known to be effective, eat nutritious diets, are all extremely motivated, etc., then it is fair to say that most of the differences in their level of performance can be attributed to genetics. Assigning a specific number such as sixty or eighty percent is just a crude estimation and isn't meant to be taken completely literally. No one is arguing that nutrition doesn't play a role or that different workout approaches don't make a difference. But genetics will have an effect on being prone to injury which in turn will have an impact on motivation and the types of workouts an individual can endure. Similarly genes which control the ratio of slow twitch to fast twitch muscles will more or less determine whether or not an individual will have the potential to jump high or have great endurance as compared to other individuals. There are thousands of genes which are relevant in one way or another to athletic performance and some individuals simply will never perform in the top twenty percent no matter the composition of their diet or exercise regime. Many have said that genetics is destiny and to a huge extent that's true. Individuals who did not win the genetic lottery in one way or another have reduced potential, but in order to reach whatever degree of potential they have depends on dietary and other behavioral decisions which they make. So, if the discussion is framed in terms of reaching one's individual potential, then the focus is on behavior. If the discussion pertains to why some individuals have greater potential than others, then the focus is on genetics.
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Re: Physical Fitness

Postby surfsteve » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:24 am

Sure. But why focus on genetics? To focus on genetics is like giving up and ignore stories like the Tortoise and the Hare. History is full of examples of people with less than perfect genetics winning out over their less common adversaries. I may not be able to run a marathon in under 2:05 but I can still beat the fat kid from Kenya! If there's anything to be learned by the video at the top of the page it's to keep on your toes.
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Re: Physical Fitness

Postby shadylady » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:21 am

Cool down after a run like an Olympic marathoner
Returning to the topic of physical fitness, here some actual exercises are demonstrated which might help keep the body working in the long run! Or should I say after the long run?
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Re: Physical Fitness

Postby surfsteve » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:53 am

You know why single men live longer than married men? Because they want to.
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