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The Performance Lab A place to discuss the role of physical exercise on health in diseased and non-diseased states.

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Old 07-07-2011, 11:20 PM   #1
zimney3pt
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Default Human's and distance running

I had a no show so I pulled an article I had saved to read at a later date, which became today. See the article here.

I find it interesting that it lists all of these biomechanical reasons that humans are better endurance runners than other animals. My thought was maybe we are better, because most animals after the immediate need to run is over they would stop. We as humans over-ride the impulse to stop because of a brain that can do this and continue to run (kinda like Forest Gump) until we make a conscious decision to stop.

Open for discussion...
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:28 AM   #2
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Hi Kory!

I agree with Mel Siff who once said that we are all "creatures of interval." And he's right. We move for a while, sit for a while, eat for a while, rest for a while--everything is done in short stretches of "fits and starts." We take morning and afternoon breaks at work, and take naps at home.

When I do seminars for marathoners, who are an unusual group in the first place, I tell them that it's almost as if they have single-handledly made some kind of evolutionary jump in that it's not typical that we would do one thing that long, and then do sustained training just so we can keep doing it.

I also tell the story about Bill Rogers doing a marathan Q&A several years ago. One lady raised her hand and said that she felt awkward because Bill could complete marathons in considerably less than half the time it was taking her.

Bill's comment: "You're my hero...because you can run for that length of time. I couldn't do that."
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:59 AM   #3
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Amby Burfoot wrote an entertaining article based on Dan Lieberman's research: "The human gluteus maximus and its role in running."

Lieberman discusses how humans run because of their prominant buttocks,which he believes is important because they keep us from tipping forward and face planting.

"Chimps and gorillas have virtually no butt, because they don't run," notes Lieberman. "But we humans are designed for running, and our big butt muscles helped us evolve into modern humans. So the next time you're out running, and you see a nice butt on the road or trail, you have my permission to stare and appreciate it."

On marathon running: "It's probably less risky than your driving here tonight in a car. It's fun, it feels good, and it's something we humans have actually evolved to do very well."

Burfoot notes the following:

"While millions of humans finish marathons every year, almost no other animals run long distances.Horses can sweat to cool themselves, which is necessary for endurance activities, but in foot-to-hoof competitions, humans usually catch horses between the 20 and 25 mile mark, particularly in warm weather. Dogs are excellent distance runners when the temperature gets turned down, as occurs every winter at Alaska's Iditarod Sled Dog Race."

Lieberman's analysis:

"A chimp can out sprint us for a very short distance, but if you make him go any farther, he gets hot, bothered, and unhappy. But when humans run long distances, we release endorphins that make us feel good. We're chemically wired for endurance running."

And the mechanics gurus might not necessarily like this observation:

"No one has to teach us how to alternate our legs or pump our arms in a counterbalanced motion. That's wired into us. It's something that we evolved to do."

This is pretty much in line with what other locomotion guys at Harvard have been saying for a long time.
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:42 AM   #4
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Great discussion. While I do feel we are natural runners, many runners force themselves out of what could be a natural activity by obsessing over running schedules, arbitrary distances (i.e. 26.2 miles), and injuries. Basically it becomes another source of stress in their lives. I'm guilty of this as well having run those arbitrary distances.

I'm convinced we are born to run. I'm less convinced we are born to be obsessed about running slowly on asphalt with thick soled shoes.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:18 AM   #5
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Default born to run

Rod, have you read matt fitgeralds running by feel?? http://www.runningandstuff.com/blog/...itzgerald.html
I think environment has a good to deal with some injuries --lack of proprioceptive variation maybe . Some of my friends are seriously into hill running which is probably the hardest thing imaginable , main injuries can be serious due to colliding with rocks - but not the usual ones you might see . The Born to run book seems to have had the effect of commercialising minimialisation ---i.e you should aim for nothing but in the mean time buy these £100+ pieces of neoprene.
I think Libermann's work is interesting and if nothing else give you the 'evidence' for our wired in locomotive ability .......culture usually trumps this since we now have to invent ways to put this into our lives.... This is the main stumbling block for rehabilitation in my opinion --particularly in pain management but this is another issue.
http://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Run-Nat.../dp/0060958707
In parts this book is inspirational and if you haven't read it Heinrich comes across as an incredible man with some fine insights .
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Old 15-07-2011, 01:15 AM   #6
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Wasn't sure where to post this.

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110708124348.htm

Authors are comparing dino bones and ours. They state "new research has shown that the size of the nutrient foramen is related to the maximum rate that a person can be active during aerobic exercise." Authors only mention arterys and veins going through the foramen. Not true, motor neurons and sensory nerves also pass through there. I checked. Should I contact the authors and let them know about their faux pax? what ever that means.

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Old 15-07-2011, 02:30 AM   #7
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We are genetically born to run in order to catch our prey (which the Maasai still do) and to avoid being eaten. This seems a logical conclusion to make while looking at our origins.

It was David Butler, I think, who said years ago that our gluteus maximus is fading away due to our general inactivity. Perhaps we are evolving backwards in that sense.

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Old 15-07-2011, 03:24 PM   #8
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This week's To the Best of Our Knowledge is all about running.

Note: at the time of this posting, the webpage linked to above was not updated to reflect the program. Check it out tomorrow and I expect it will be updated.
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Old 15-07-2011, 04:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
It was David Butler, I think, who said years ago that our gluteus maximus is fading away due to our general inactivity.
Yes, sitting on a muscle does not do much to enhance it's ability...
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Old 15-07-2011, 07:25 PM   #10
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Hi Jon!


Quote:
This week's To the Best of Our Knowledge is all about running.
I also came across the piece about Aimee Mullins a double btk amputee (like Oscar Pistorius) who sprints in Cheetah carbon fiber blades.
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Old 15-07-2011, 07:42 PM   #11
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There are a few TED talks that she (Aimee Mullins) has done. See here if interested.
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Old 15-07-2011, 10:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Jakalski View Post
I also came across the piece about Aimee Mullins a double btk amputee (like Oscar Pistorius) who sprints in Cheetah carbon fiber blades.
I haven't listened to it myself but here's a link for interested folks.
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Old 15-07-2011, 10:30 PM   #13
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I thought the Aimee Mullin's 2010 TED talk was very inspirational. Really spoke to how a societies' words and beliefs can dictate someones actions throughtout the course of their life, many times in a negative way.

Not only is she an amazing athlete, but also an insightful, intelligent human being.
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Old 15-07-2011, 11:13 PM   #14
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Hi freshy!

Quote:
Not only is she an amazing athlete, but also an insightful, intelligent human being.
I completely agree!

In the previous audio, she talks about photgrapher Howard Schatz was capturing her image in black sports appare (Speedos and halter)l coming out of the blocks. It was for a coffee table book titled Athletes. Schatz chose black for both the men and women because black neutralizes any bumps. According to Aimee, Schatz was intentionally trying to take any overt sexuality out of his photographs "The fosus was on the beauty of the human body doing incredible athletic feats." Aimee says her photo, run online by Sports Illustrated, caused a stir among feminist bloggers. The stir was about the photo being "too sexy," and that she wasn't being "herrlded for her athletic achievement or her intellect," but for basically having a "great butt."

Aimee's comment: "I did work very, very hard [for that butt] Wow, I've actually moved up to the level where I can be objectified like any other woman now. How interesting. I've come from the primordial ooze where it was untouchable to be sexy as a woman missing her limbs mid shin down, and now it's too sexy. I'll take that."

Amazing how much we don't know when we think we're in the know....

Aimee was competing about the time then male world paralympic sprint champion Tony Volentest came to my high school track in Lisle to compete, and it's sad I didn't know a thing about Aimee. She mentions Flex Foot, and that struck me immediately, because her carbon fiber prosthetics in '98 were quite an advancement over what Volptentest wore in 97. It appears as if she really was the first two be testing what we know refer to as the "Cheetah" blade.
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Old 15-07-2011, 11:23 PM   #15
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Hi Ken. I meant to mention to you before about the male para olympian athlete who upon deceleration exhibited a pronounced heel whip. I doubt it had anything to do with the prosthetics. If he had two perferct legs he would still do it. It's looking like our movement patterns (heel whip), are stored in our brains.
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