Genetics Will Only Get You So Far…From There the Running is Up to You

daRUNism…survival of the fastest. 😉 The topic of running and genetics…talk about opening up a can of sperm worms.
running sperm
FACT: Genetics will invariable play a role in how fast someone has the potential to become. It will effect which event they are predisposed to compete the best at.

FACT: You can’t change genetics.

FACT: Using the excuse of genetics alone for accounting that so-and-so is able to achieve an athletic feat is a cop-out.

The last one there is what gets under my skin when people make any kind of remark, “You’re lucky, I wish I were a runner.” It really gets me fired up when people blame ‘good genetics’ as a sort of cop-out for runners who set records, win races or beat them. Like because they ‘look like a runner’ and may make it look easy while they run that somehow diminishes their accomplishment. Yes, I’ve jested along with all others that I may harbor the ‘wish’ to be a bit more Kenyan or Ethiopian…but I know that genetics alone will only take a person so far.

FACT: Even the most genetically blessed super-human, say we created it in a lab, would not be a record holder if they didn’t have the will, drive and dedication to do the training.

With running, mentality and work ethic are something that can’t be genetically programmed or forced onto a person. They are also what, I believe, will take you the furthest. If I could draw it to a metaphor of walking that Yellow Brick Road…

Genetics may take you TO the Yellow Brick Road by some freak, chance-happen twister and at least kill one of the witches to make your journey easier. But after that you’re on your own to chase those monkeys, make it through the poppies and get to your OZ.


Follow that Yellow Brick Road…

Running isn’t easy and while yes, you can’t really change your muscle fiber ratio (I’ll never be able to sprint to save my life) you can always make the best with what you’ve got. Further, with hard work you will be able to pass up those ‘lucky twister’ genetically blessed runners who slack a bit.

Don’t let genetics to be your excuse crutch to not believe you can do better. Finally, do not ever, for one second, believe that the runners you see on TV, the ones heading off to the Olympics got there from a ‘lucky twister’ alone…if you saw how hard they work you’d learn that they are willing their way through those blasted poppies and bringing it when some crazy, flying monkeys try to get in their way.

1) Genetically, do you feel you are a little lucky with the gene pool in at least being predisposed to running? Which event do you feel you are best suited for?

2) I see genetics as sort of taking you to that ‘glass ceiling’…yes people can skate by off of talent alone but it does catch up to them. When do you think most people hit the ‘I can’t skate by any longer’ ceiling and have to decide to either ante up or settle?
I’d say mostly after graduating high school and working their way through college.

3) Have you ever used genetics as an excuse or crutch? OR if are really ‘lucky’ genetically and happened to skate by for awhile, what changed in you to make you be more accountable to your training?

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9 thoughts on “Genetics Will Only Get You So Far…From There the Running is Up to You

  1. So true…it’s too easy to blame genetics!

    I’ve always skated by on being slender and tall. People just kind of assumed I was sporty. I’ll never be super fast, but now I push myself to improve. xx

    • haha…and i’ve got friends that are completely the ‘perfect runner build’ but HATE the sport. tall and skinny doesn’t mean u’re a shoe-in! sorry, bad pun…lol

  2. Very true. I believe yes talent is genetic, but a great athlete is not just genetically blessed. Its hard work, big dreams, and dedication. You have to have a heart Like a lion to be great!!

  3. It always interests me that people choose to blame genetics for some things and not others. Everything we do is influenced by genetics to some extent – and nothing is influenced by genetics 100% – so recognising what we can change (and also accepting what we can’t) is so very important!

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