LONG DISTANCE CAPACITIES OF AMERINDIANS

Alain Riveros Rivera

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Joyner et al. (4) analyze the main factors contributing to the improvement in marathon races emphasizing V̇o2max, lactate threshold, and running economy (RE). We consider it important to foreground the role of high altitude. There is evidence that four weeks of training periods at simulated 2,000–3,100 m can decrease the V̇o2 for a given velocity (5). Also, there are interesting investigations not only in African but also in Amerindian athletes. The latter living between 2,000 m and more than 4,000 m of altitude are not such good marathon runners as East-Africans, but successful on longer distances. Interestingly they do not train only on mountain planes but also on steep ascents.

The last Tour de
France winner Egan Bernal living near Bogotá/Colombia may
climb from 500 m to 3,000 m during one training unit (2).
Similarly, the Tarahumara tribe in Northern Mexico live and
train alternately between 800 and 2,400 m of altitude. They
usually do not win Marathon races but are excellent runners on
mountainous distances between 60 and 700 km. Unfortunately,
only a few investigations on the physiological basis have been
performed (e.g., 1, 3). The body shape with long slender legs
is similar to that of Kenyans; together with light sandals and a
stiff foot arch, this helps to save energy. Running downhill
(usually half of the distances in Tarahumara competitions)
costs very little energy.
Translated title of the contributionComentarios sobre el punto de vista: fisiología y maratones rápidas
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1078
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume128
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2020

Cite this