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what makes a runner quick?

(12 Posts)
Hatwoman Sun 02-Oct-11 18:53:20

I have a friend who is quick. but she doesn't really train that much envy. for example: two weeks ago she did a 25 miler having run about twice in the last month and never gone further than about 16 (once). today she came second in her category in a 20 miler - having run about twice since the 25 miler. how does she do it? and how can I ever get just a bit closer? I'll never beat her but would love to close the gap a bit. (if you're reading this - I admit it - I'm just envy smile wink)

DrNortherner Mon 03-Oct-11 07:30:29

The presence of fast twitch fibres isn't it? Fast folk have more than others. We can TRain our fast twitch fibres I think, but sadly, some folk are just quicker than us with less training.
<off to google to prove I didn't make that up>

inmysparetime Mon 03-Oct-11 07:39:16

My DS is really fast and doesn't train at all envy. I suspect his fast metabolism allows him to access glucose really quickly when he needs to ramp up the pace. Try filming yourself as you run, to see if you can make your movements more effective and not make any unnecessary movements. That's what Olympic runners do anyway.

ginmakesitallok Mon 03-Oct-11 07:50:04

You don't need to train that much if you are doing the right sort of training - if her training is more intensive then it will have a higher and longer lasting impact than lower intensity training. Your friend may also have a higher aerobic capacity - which means she can work at a higher rate than you. Unless you have hyperthyrodism there is no such thing as a "high metabolism". (thanks to DP who lectures/researches this stuff!) Apparently fast twitch fibres are linked to power generation, not aerobic capacity.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 03-Oct-11 08:05:48

So drnortherner is right then gin, having speedy fast twitch fibres is down to dumb luck genetics?

ginmakesitallok Mon 03-Oct-11 08:11:08

DPs off to work -and I only know what I pick up in passing! I think that it's to do with the nuber of fast twitch fibres you have, and it's down to the right sort of training - not genetics. (In the past the genetics theory was usedd to explain the high number of successful coloured athletes, but I think that has pretty much been disproved)

rhetorician Mon 03-Oct-11 10:44:01

so what is the right kind of training? (very slow runner here, do lots of mileage)

MoshiMoshi Mon 03-Oct-11 11:08:39

hattie - are you sure she isn't on drugs..? wink

Hatwoman Mon 03-Oct-11 11:13:22

ok you lot. dh reckons fast twitch muscles are what makes you quick over 100 metres. so he's dubious that this explains my friend's speed.

having said that not only does she do really well at 5 miles and 20 she wins the parents' race (app. 50 metres) at sports day.

Hatwoman Mon 03-Oct-11 11:14:34

dh thinks it's:
- runners' build (skinnier with longer legs)
- very competitive
- prepared to run so hard she nearly pukes

rhetorician Mon 03-Oct-11 11:20:26

I"m a goner then, as none of your DH's criteria apply to me - certainly not the first or last!

DrNortherner Mon 03-Oct-11 12:51:43

Well I am pretty speedy over 100 metres (one of fastes women in my running club, burn off most of teh men at BMF) but am not fast at all over distance, average 55mins for 10k and did a half in June in 1.58. So fast twitch perhaps do only work for short periods of time.

hat I would say my pace improved after concentrating on form and plyometrics. Then you cover ground quicker with higher leg lift etc and a more economical style of running. Other than that is's hills and intervals training I reckon.

My dh also tells me I could acheive better times but I don't run out of my comfort zone for long enough hmm

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