Top 5 reasons why Kenyan Runners are so fast

If you are a runner, you would acknowledge that it is such a magnificent seen to watch a pack of lead African runners running in a marathon. This is probably one of the primary reasons for me to fall in love with running in the first place back in 2011. I decided to compile some interesting facts about Kenyans from the internet.

Kenya is home to many best-marathon runners in the world and most of them come from Iten a small town sits on Rift Valley. Kenyan runners hardly ever go to the gym yet they are one of the most amazing endurance runners the world has ever witnessed. Some notable Kenyans include, Eliud Kipchoge [1]Eluid Kipchoges’s world record race at 2018 Berlin Marathon 2:01:39, David Rudisha [2]Kenyan middle-distance runner. He is the 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion, 2-time World Champion, and world record holder in the 800 meters 1:40:91 , Wilson Kipsang, Dennis Kimmato, Brigid Kosgei [3]Brigid Kosgei, world record marathoner 2:14:04, the list is very long.

Do you know that most of the running athletes that this world has ever seen are from the same tribe “Kalenjin”? “There are 17 American men in history who have run under 2:10 in the marathon,” Epstein says. “There were 32 Kalenjin who did it in October of 2011.” [4]How One Kenyan Tribe Produces The World’s Best Runners

Also, Brother Colm O’Connell is an Irish missionary and athletics coach, known as “the Godfather of Kenyan running” who is the Irish Missionary behind Kenya’s running success. [5]Irish missionary behind Kenya’s running success

  1. Lighter and faster: On average, a Kenyan’s leg is 400g lighter than its European competitors, which translates to an energy saving of 8% when running. Over long distances, this small genetic advantage can really give Kenyans a leg up. Their average height (inches) to weight (pounds) ratio is 0.53 (higher the better for marathon running) [6]Why Are Kenyan Distance Runners So Fast? They have thin legs and calves making them a much super-efficient running machine.
  2. Attitude & Altitude advantage: From a very young age, they are walking to school, walking as they tend cows, taking shortcuts over hills. Running also provides opportunities to travel, recognition, financial rewards, and education. [7]KENYA’S RUNNERS OF THE RIFT IT’S ALTITUDE AND ATTITUDE, LOCATION AND VOCATION: THE BEST ON ALL COUNTS. Kenya is located on a high altitude (2400 meters/7900 ft) and this gives them the key advantage to train. At higher altitudes, the air is thin and oxygen is scarce. The human body thus adapts by producing more red blood cells to capture the limited oxygen around [8]Why Are Kenyan Distance Runners So Fast? As elite athletes acclimate to high altitude, they acquire more red blood cells which allow their blood to carry more oxygen. [9]How high-altitude training can benefit elite endurance athletes like runners and swimmers
  3. They run and walk throughout their life. Kenyans run and walk on an average of 7.5 kilometers every day and, they are highly motivated individuals who believe in teamwork.
  4. Highest Vo2. [10]VO2 max is the maximal consumption of oxygen: VO2 max is one of the key predictors of performance athletic performance (others are lactate threshold, aerobic efficiency, motivation, training methodologies, etc.,). Kenyan and non-Kenyan elite runners seem to be able to reach very high, but similar maximal oxygen uptake levels just as there is some indication that untrained Kenyans and nonKenyans have a similar VO2max. [11]The Kenyan runners
  5. Diet matters: To run effectively high-quality carbs are essentials and Kenyans diet includes Ugali. Ugali supplied the greatest number of total calories, making up 23 percent of the daily diet. Ugali is simply a dish of maize flour (cornmeal) cooked with water. Kenyan runners eat this for dinner almost every night. Generally, it’s mixed with a chicken or beef stew and vegetables.

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