How Body Type Can Dictate Your Sport
|January 19, 2014||Posted by Sarah under Fitness|
Well runDisney has taken up most of my blogging time these past few weeks. Last week was the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and this week was the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend. I’ve been taking a break from running for a while, but I still LOVE Disney races, so I’ve been following all the fun and cheering on my friends along the way. But all this running madness did get me to thinking…
I recently saw this video on the difference between a sprinter and a marathoner. It basically comes down to explosive strength vs. endurance. This does apply to both sprinters and marathoners, but it also applies to numerous other athletes as well. Where do I fall?
Sprinters train their muscles to react quickly and use short bursts of energy to achieve quick goals. They need total body strength and muscle. All that muscle gives them explosive power to run fast, lift heavy things and push extra hard, but it also adds weight, weight that makes it quite difficult to run a marathon. That’s why these athletes excel at sports like sprinting, rowing, weightlifting and speed skating.
Marathoners on the other hand do not need those strong, explosive muscles to run long distances. They keep their weight down and train their muscles to carry them for long distances. Speed and strength isn’t as important as endurance. Besides marathons, these athletes excel at other sports like cycling and cross country skiing.
Well I don’t really fit into either category, but I definitely lean more towards sprinter than marathoner. Yes, I’ve run a marathon but it was far from an easy task to complete. I’m not exactly what you would call “light on my feet” and while I can endure many miles it’s not very fast. My energy tank runs low fairly quickly. I’m just not built like your typical runner. Look at my friend Marc for example, tall, thin, fast, and runs ultra marathons…he’s your typical marathoner.
I’m somewhere in between. I have great explosive strength that allow me to lift heavy and I have increased my endurance to get me through half and full marathons, but I don’t completely excel at either. And due to my genetic make-up, I probably never will. I can train my muscles to be better in one area then the other, which is what has been happening with my CrossFit training. I’ve been focusing more on lifting weights and slacking on my running, and I have seen a definite decrease in my endurance because of it.
So yes it’s genetics, but you can also train you body to excel in one area or the other. Do you want to run marathons? Focus on endurance and put in the time with some long runs. Do you want to sprint or lift heavy things? Work your entire body and build your strength.
Where do you fall? Do you excel in one area or are you more 50/50 like me?