Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Endurance Running and the Evolution of Homo

Thanks again to Steve at steverunner.com for an excellent episode on science and the false dichotomy with belief in God (ep 187). I was also very intruiged by the reference to the article from Nature titled Endurance Running and the evolution of Homo published in 2004. It is somewhat suprising that people, ( including many doctors, podiatrists, PT's etc.) who subscribe to the notion that "humans just weren't created for running" and that we all should find other ways to keep off the COD (couch of doom).

While I have no background in evolutionary biology, nor do I claim to have any expert knowledge about what humans were or were not "created" to do, I found the hypotheses in this article very interesting. Amongst the author's points are:

-Humans are admittedly very poor sprinters compared to other mammals
-However, humans are the only primates capable of ENDURANCE running
-Humans have a wide range of speeds at which their gait is energetically economical, unlike quadripeds
-We have many distinct differences from Australopithicus, which facilitate these facts: the Achilles tendon, the plantar arch, the large gluteus muscles, long legs compared to mass (increased stride length), skeletal structure, strength and joint size (to absorb the imapct of foot strike), mouth breathing (lower resistance to air exchange), venous flow and return (for enhanced heat dissipation, and more!

The article is quite interesting and is a great reference to suggest to people who look at you funny when you tell them you are going out for a 20 miler, or that you're training for yet another marathon.

Wk of May 17-23: Nothing special, just base miles. Getting more stretching in which is helping with the knot in my vastus medialis. Total miles=14.3
5/17: 2.2
5/18: 2.0
5/19: 2.0
5/20: 2.0
5/21: 2.0
5/22: 2.0
5/23: 2.1

Finished up from last week = 23.2
5/15: 3.0
5/16: 4.2

No comments:

Post a Comment