According to Adrian Bejan, an American engineering professor at Duke University, ‘Blacks tend to have longer limbs with smaller circumferences, which makes their centers of gravity higher compared to whites of the same height.‘ Black tall players with long limbs have longer levers which affect their athlete’s speed and agility. For this reason, you will find the shorter players are more athletic on the tennis court.
When determining how fast you can go in a race, several factors can either increase or restrain your ability. Some of them include your physical attributes, genetics, nutrition, and training. Read on to discover more.
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Several physiological characteristics associated with the running performance of athletes are genetically influenced. These characteristics include the muscle fiber type, muscle insertion points, and lever length. With the right training, an individual can also become fast on the field, but most black athletes have a greater advantage because of their genetics.
How genetics play a role in determining the running speed
Genetics plays a major role in traits such as flexibility, muscle fiber type, metabolism, and the rate at which individuals are easily injured. A good example of the effect of genetics on the speed of athletes is the lactate threshold which leads to impaired recovery and frequent muscle fatigue.
During exercise like running, lactate is produced and used up by the body muscles, including the skeletal muscle that utilizes oxygen. The ability to move lactate to the various body tissues aids in performance and less frequent fatigue.
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Some of the genes linked with athletic performance are ACTN3 and ACE. They affect the muscle areas and have become an important key to maintaining strength and endurance.
- The ACTN3 gene provides information that produces a protein (alpha (α)-actinin-3), mostly seen in active muscle fibers. A variant in this gene, called R577X, quickly produces and breaks down an abnormally short protein called α-actinin-3.
- The ACE gene provides information that produces the angiotensin-converting enzyme, converting a hormone called angiotensin I to another form called angiotensin II. The result, Angiotensin II, influences skeletal muscle function and controls blood pressure in a typical black athlete.
Other genes may perform various functions in any athletic performance. Some play a major role in skeletal muscles, while others aid in producing energy for the activities in the body cells or cellular processes.
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Limitations of genetic analysis in predicting running speed
The speed of an athlete can indeed be improved, however, it is wrong to suggest that everyone can be a top sprinter. If top sprinters undergoing proper training aim at improving their speed development, but do not get to their full potential in genetics, then athletes who will most likely reach their speed limit will be much lower.
With time, training methods to improve speed are introduced and used by more athletes, exposing more people to their full-speed potential. The major limits to genetics in speed performance remain in the type of muscle fiber, their activation, and the body and structure of the athlete.
Apart from genetics, certain activities help to improve the fast speed of an athlete. The development of speed in a black athlete is related to strength development; which training and exercise can do. From sprinting to soccer, training improves muscle strength through speed and increased motion level.
How training affects running speed
Training for speed in black athletes increases agility and strength with specific movements and sprinting techniques. With continuous practice, the ability of a muscle to induce strength and increase the fast twitch muscle in an athlete increases. Athletes also gain experience and muscle memory that mimic movements during a sport or game event.
Different types of training and their impact on running speed
One may be mediocre in running and not know the various ways to train to improve speed. Learn more about speed workouts and make the sport enjoyable and better.
- Periodic Workouts are the most common training for speed for sprinters. They are a type of workout that changes different levels of high intensity and low intensity while training.
- Tempo Runs are another speed workout in running, which can sustain your every pace throughout the run. This type of training aims at teaching the body to endure, thereby increasing the lactate threshold.
- Hill Running is one of the most effective speed training that exists for any athlete. It not only increases speed and strength but also burns calories, improving the running form of a black athlete.
Importance of consistency and progression in training for improvement
Consistency in athletic training remains a very important factor when aiming to accomplish your gym goals. Without consistency, it becomes difficult for the body to adapt and form endurance habits.
3. Physical Attributes
Sprinters are easily differentiated from endurance athletes. When you look at the physical attributes of a black athlete, you will most likely notice their unique muscle bulk, especially in the major athletic movers.
Physical attributes that contribute to running speed
Certain physical characteristics that affect the running speed of an athlete include:
- Posture: A regular endurance black athlete may not have the same well-developed upper body muscle mass as a black sprinter who is well-developed in the upper back area with good scapula positioning on the upper back.
- Stature: Studies show that the size of an athlete does not affect their running speed. They may be short or tall, but their size is not consequential in endurance performance. However, the shorter athlete will most likely be able to accelerate and control their body weight compared to a taller athlete.
How body type, muscle composition, and limb length impact running speed
- Limb Length allows a wider range of movement during sports activities like running. At the end of the run, one can achieve maximum speed.
- Body Type is a great factor in improving your running speed. An athlete just has to understand their body composition, which will allow them to focus on their goal. No matter what, work towards living within a healthy body type range.
- Muscle Composition can affect speed as it has more percentage of fast twitch fiber, compared to the muscle that has a lower percentage of slow twitch fiber. However, the muscle position is genetic and can be affected by training and vigorous exercise.
Role of nutrition and injury prevention in maintaining physical attributes
As an athlete, your body needs the right amount of energy, vitamins, and minerals to keep your bones strong and at the right density. During vigorous exercise, it becomes easier to reduce any risk of fractures and breaks in the body. The right diet will also help to strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
4. Environmental Factors
Environmental factors should also be taken into account when addressing the speed performance of an athlete. These factors, which cannot be controlled, include temperature, altitude, allergens, and pollution.
How environmental factors such as altitude and temperature can affect running speed
Environmental factors such as altitude and temperature are also considered when preparing for sports or matches. At altitude, there is reduced air resistance and the force of gravity is lowered, which allows an athlete to run with speed. When it comes to temperature, athletes should know the dangers of training in hot and humid conditions, as it could lessen the symptoms that precede heat injury.
How training and racing conditions can impact performance
Training as an athlete allows the body to build up strength and endurance, which improves skill levels and confidence. It also gives athletes an in-depth knowledge of their sport, exposing them to some of the healthy ways to improve their minds and body.
It’s no news that everyone is not created the same. The world today records Black people as the fastest athletes in running. However, some factors can affect one’s running speed, including genetics, physical attributes, and body composition. It is very important to consider each of these factors, as they will help you understand your body and achieve your athletic goals. As difficult as achieving these goals may be, there is a chance to be consistent and improve your athletic performance today.
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