Why Kenyan runners are the fastest in the world

A huge number of Kenyan runners' sporting victories have inspired the running community for many years. Why are representatives of a small African country the fastest in the world? How do they manage to handle long distances so easily? Let's get it right.

The history of running begins in Ancient Greece, where, according to one legend, the warrior Phidippides ran from the Marathon to Athens with the news of the victory of the Greeks over the Persians. As part of sports discipline, the length of the marathon distance was constantly changing, until in 1921 the International Amateur Athletics Federation established an official length of 42 kilometers 195 meters. Representatives of different countries have won this sport, but over the past sixty years, runners from Kenya have become absolute champions.

From 1958 to 1960, the world record in the marathon belonged to our compatriot Sergei Popov. Previously, among the 25 athletes with the best results, there was only one runner from Africa. But today is different. London, Berlin, New York, Tokyo - these are just a few international marathons where athletes from Kenya won last year. Six of the last ten world records belong to the people of Kenya, including the last one set by Eliud Kipchoge at the Berlin marathon in September 2018.

He covered the distance in 2 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds.

The successes of Kenyan athletes in long-distance running are associated with many factors. This list includes: physical predisposition, living conditions, approach to training and nutrition.

Why Kenyan runners are the fastest in the world

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More In total, the titled marathon runners from Kenya belong to the Kalendzhi tribe, which makes up 12% of the country's population.

In ancient times, the ancestors of this people lived in hot lowlands and then migrated to the highlands. Their body was rebuilt, and the body structure acquired unique features . Calendians are distinguished by long thin limbs and short stature. The small body area allows them to remove heat more, which is an advantage in long-distance running. Another feature is a more efficient oxygen consumption by the body.

Such a change occurred as a result of life in the mountains, at an altitude above two thousand meters above sea level, where the air is more discharged. This ability cannot be obtained by living in low reliefs, even if you have been training all your life.

Why Kenyan runners are the fastest in the world

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Kenyans always had to travel long distances in order to feed himself. They hunted in that region in a peculiar way - exhausting the victim.

This method still exists in authentic and customary tribes. Of course, not all residents simply chase the antelope in the hope of preparing dinner from it later. Due to poorly developed infrastructure, people have to engage in cattle breeding, moving animals between very distant pastures, and children have to walk tens of kilometers to school.

Why Kenyan runners are the fastest in the world

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Kenyans They have a fairly simple approach to running and training.

In their opinion, the main thing to do is just start running. Western athletes weigh themselves with heart rate monitors, applications in phones draw diagrams with progress - and this is very distracting from the main thing. Kenyans insist that you just need to listen to your body. The body is better than any doctor can tell a person about the changes that occur in the body, and the difficulties that arise after prolonged training. In addition, Kenya practices group exercises, in which titled athletes and ordinary tourists take part.

This allows young athletes to learn from international record holders, and marathon veterans to keep up with young talents.

Why Kenyan runners are the fastest in the world

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Why Kenyan runners are the fastest in the world

Photo: shutterstock. com

Athletes eat very simply . The rift valley gives them rice, corn, beans and green vegetables.

Such foods are high in fiber, carbohydrates and low in fat. The main dish - ugali, porridge from corn. It is quickly absorbed by the body and has a high energy value: such a dish will give energy even to the morning workout before breakfast. Kenyans do not use sports supplements or energy drinks. The only thing they drink in large quantities is milk tea.

It promotes perspiration and thus lowers body temperature. According to Kenyan runners, a cup of Kenyan masala tea, drunk after a workout, relaxes muscles and reduces pain the day after sports loads.

Why Kenyan runners are the fastest in the world

Photo: shutterstock. com

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