Improving The Running Experience Essay

Improving The Running Experience Essay

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Runners are always looking for ways to become faster. An easy way to drop tremendous time and make the entire running experience easier is to improve running form. Culture has a great impact on running form; from African to Mexican tribal runners, to commercialization of strange alternatives to mainstream footwear, culture impacts every one of us. The lower body plays an obvious role in running, with emphasis on the calves, quadriceps and hamstrings. The upper body plays a key role in running as well, although its purpose is not always agreed upon. Together, these three areas come together to make or break every runner’s form.
Culture has a great impact on running form. Sometimes the effects are positive such is the case in Africa and Mexico, however sometimes these cultural innovations are just marketing gimmicks with no significant contribution to the world of running (Wings n. pag.).
African athletes run differently than Western and European athletes. Some of this is due to the fact that African runners have a greater red blood cell count due to regular training at high altitude, but there is also overwhelming evidence of genetic superiority in explosive sports in West African athletes. West African sprinters had significantly higher percentages of fast twitch, or white, muscle fibers. According to Chris Lyons from Endless Running Potential, West African people have a perfect running build with narrow hips yet powerful thighs. They also have muscle fiber alignment that supports rapid contraction, allowing a fast cadence as well as a lengthy stride. A study by the University of Glasgow and the University of West Indies analyzed genetic data and found that 70 percent of West Africans, particularly the kind found in Jamaica, hav...


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..." Livestrong. Livestrong, 31 May 2011. Web. 4 Dec 2011.
Lyons, Chris, ed. "African Running Phenomenon." Endless Running Potential. Personal Evolution, n.d. Web. 25 Nov 2011.
McDougall, Christopher. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. First Edition. New York: Random House Digital, Inc., 2009. Print.
Morris, Rick. "Running Form for Distance Runners." Running Planet. Running Planet, 2011. Web. 26 Nov 2011.
"Quads and IT Band." Unlock Your Body Anatomy. Trigger Point Performance Therapy, 2011. Web. 27 Nov 2011.
Romanov, Nicholas. "Quad Muscles in Running." Training With Dr. Romanov. Pose Tech, 29 Sep 2009. Web. 25 Nov 2011.
"Tarahumara." Berardi, D., perf. Weird or What. Discovery Channel: Television.
Wings, Justin. "Top 10 Most Gimmicky Shoes." Birthday Shoes. Birthday Shoes, 22 Jan 2010. Web. 9 Dec 2011.

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