Morphological and biomechanical traits of world class distance runners

Morphological and biomechanical traits of world class distance runners

According to the author of 'The Sports Gene', David Epstein, if you were to measure every runner's ankles at the start of a long distance race, you could statistically predict the likely winner. Winners of any major long distance race tend to possess particular body features. Let's run through some of these physical attributes that are distinctive in top East African runners and appear to give them the edge. Long tendon, short muscle combination Sano et al. (2012) investigated the lower leg morphology and behavior of 10 world class Kenyan distance runners and found that the group of athletes possessed a musculo-tendon morphology that is "optimized to favour efficient storage and recoil of elastic energy". This is facilitated by a significantly long achilles tendon and a short  gastrocnemius calf muscle. As a result, there is a high shortening to stretch ratio of the achilles/gastrocnemius. Meaning that a high degree of kinetic energy is stored upon lengthening, minimal ground contact time reduces dissipated...
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