Born To Run Further

What's the difference between a 40-yard dash sprinter and a marathoner? It's more than speed, according to research published in the journal Physiological Genomics. Of the 155 track and field athletes examined by scientists, 80% of the endurance runners had a gene called NRF2. Only 46% of the sprinters had this gene or its variations. These percentages held up whether the subjects were elite level competitors or novice runners.

The Bigger Picture: Extremely well-built bodybuilders are said to possess 'Great Genetics'. Their physiques just fill out better than other competitors. This research suggests that genetics might play a role in whether track and field athletes choose to run for distance or speed. Regardless, there's always that small percentage of people who defy all odds and excel without the benefit of their DNA. Those are the ones remembered for unbeatable determination.
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