Why do Kenyans Make Such Great Marathon Runners?

There’s no denying that when it comes to endurance running, Kenyans rule. But why?
 

There’s no denying that when it comes to endurance running, Kenyans rule. But why? One theory is that it’s because most of the country’s top runners come from the highlands. Training at a higher altitude where the air is thinner helps the athletes develop powerful hearts and lungs, giving them a marked advantage when they compete at sea level where oxygen is more plentiful.

Another factor could be their diet. When Nderi trains outside of Kenya, he makes sure to carry plenty of ugali (made from maize flour). Mixed with water and a bit of salt, ugali provides plenty of carbohydrates. Nderi has a saying: “No ugali, no power.”

A third, slightly more controversial factor, could be genetics. Kenya’s four running tribes traditionally rely on cattle herding for their livelihoods. Centuries spent chasing after livestock might have helped these tribes evolve into better runners.

Some people draw a link with poverty but there is no evidence to support this. In the Rift Valley, children have to run for dozens of miles to get to school as few families can afford bicycles or cars. This could give them a headstart to becoming great marathon runners later in life.

Related Stories


Vote it up
14
Like this Article?Vote it up

Advertisement

Lastest Deal
Katy Perry CD & DVD Collection
Katy Perry CD & DVD Collection
49.98  $24.99 buy
Advertisement

Latest Contests

Free E-Book Samplers

Ultimate Book of Knowledge
new
Ultimate Book of Knowledge
The one-stop treasure trove of fascinating facts. How does a touchscreen work? Why does the sky change colour?...
Download
Ultimate Book of Vegetables
Foods That Harm Foods That Heal Cookbook
Fix It Yourself
 
 
Advertisement
Important Information
Customer Care

Shop at our store!

• Books
• DVDs
• Music
• Gifts

Click Here

 

WIN! WIN!

Your chance to win cash & prizes!
Enter now

Are you a winner?
Click here