So is it genetic?

Was on the phone to my Mum this weekend and 'fessed up to starting running.

My Dad used to run...marathons, did the Coast to Coast in NZ one year. Ran too and from work most days - he did it for the endorphins.

She sent commiserations to my partner and blamed my father for the bad genes...LOL



  • In my family we seem to come in two sorts - tall & fit or short and "comfortably rounded". I'm in the unfit camp, while my brother is the sporty one. I get support from the family, but there is no way on earth that I will ever beat my little bro in a foot race (not unless I tie his shoelaces together image).

    As an example, I was challenged into running a 10k. Spent just about a year training and achieved 66 mins.

    My brother went out running 4 times and finished in 45 minutes.

    Yep, I hate him too! image

  • Hey Helen liz,

    Sounds like your brother does in sports what my bro can do in music.

    6 months of me learning the harp and struggling to get the technique of string plucking with both left and right hnds, he picks it up, plucks a few strings then gets a damn tune out of the thing...and I've seen him do it with several other instruments too...

    Super talented people like that should be fined LOTS of money
  • Ahhh, that would be a no, my whole family are about as far from runners (as am I) that you could probably get, so I am fighting against some serious genetic disadvatage!!! (well, thats what I tell myself!!)
  • My family share a 'healthy appetite' gene.  So while none of us are couch potatoes, we're either active and large or extremely active and, er, less large!  Big bro was a decent cyclist as a teenager and took up running fairly recently, hoping to break 40 mins for 10k soon.  I'm keeping an eye on my nephew (6 yrs old).  He joined me for my 10k race warm-up recently, nippy little fella!

  • My dad started the running, did about 10 maras before he died.  I took it up, so did my brother, have now encouraged Mr C to do a spot of running and Mini C at 20 months has done 3 races so far in his babyjogger, next one in 2 weeks image
  • Mum used to run when she was still able to. My brother runs. My dad doesnt run but does cross country skiing in the winter. My sister is a horse trainer.

    I used to be the only one in the family who was fat and lazy in my early 20s..

    Not anymore though image

  • my dad has always ran - 1 or 2 miles - as a fitness thing but that's it. WHole family built like brick shit houses - v muscular with a little layer of chub over the top to round everything off nicely.

    Like some of the other posters i feel like i am battling against the wrong body type but the right mindset. C'est la vie.
  • GymAddict, I dont think body type really matters. All of us in my family are tall and slim including me but I am a very slow runner!
  • All my family are alcoholic chain smokers....image

    I am the black sheepimage

  • My brother was a great runner in his teens - county level cross country. Dad also did a bit of running with him, and, with my recent running exploits, has started running again. Both Dad and bro are typical ectomorphs - tall and slim (although bro had a bit of pot-belly before he recently started running again image). I take more after my mum - I'm 5'3" and more curvy; although I am by no means well padded, I'm certainly no Radcliffe. But my WAVAs are slightly above average, and I'm now putting more effort into doing some proper training to try and raise this a bit further!

    I think that genes certainly play a part - had a similar experience to Helen Liz when I did a 10K with my brother a few years ago - but training can really make a difference.

  • LIVERBIRD wrote (see)

    All my family are alcoholic chain smokers....image

    I am the black sheepimage

    Is that cos of all the smoke in the air? Turned your snowy white wool a bit grey? image
  • *nods at BB*image

    BB - what's a "tall, but built like a brick sh*thouse" frame called then?

  •  Not sure LB. I do know that the "short , but built like a brick sh*thouse" frame is called the Lou-Lou  image

    My mum used to throw javelin for the county but I can't throw for toffee.

  • I'm half German. I know that's the real reason......image

    That and wineimage

  • I'm the youngest of five kids. Neither mum nor dad were runners - though dad played golf. All my siblings were reasonably sporty but none of them were runners. I ran 31.46 for 10k when I was at my best - a long time ago! I have a cousin who ran a 2.20 marathon, but I do have 52 cousins!
  • Bazza, I didnt even want to start mentioning my cousins, I have 50+ of them as well and I dont even know half of them!
  • i am one of five also and no none of my family  are runners now (my granfer was in his day) or seem to bothered that i am,

    this is changing as my daughter who is five has done two 'fun runs' a 3k coastal with me last year and the race for life with my wife this year. she loves running so hopefully it has rubbed off.

  • Nobody in my family runs or has ever run. My wife use to run but has never run for as long as I have known her (medical condition).

    My kids run and it is because of them I now run. Perhaps it is not genetic at all and is more viral.

  • My old man used to run XC when he was in the navy. He also did events like multiple lappers of an aircraft carrier deck while at sea. There used to be (might still be) a race in the RN where they run to the top of Gibraltar and back down. Mother of Muttley does loads of country walks and the odd several lengths of the pool.

    Does this mean that I'm of mixed-race parentage?

  • My family have done every sport under the sun - my brothers and I all run and swim - we even have the same weak ankles - probably from squash.  We all did karate, the boys played rugby, I played touch rugby and hockey.  My cousin is a South African Comrades winner and actually we have a number of South African sportspeople in our family tree (runner, track cyclist, rower) and more provincial sportspeople too (swimmes, squash, sprinter)

    I think being active is as genetic as the pope being atheist.

    It's just a choice we make 

  • Surely performance is genetic?
  • I think in our case, our family was a good example - we were swimming before we could wal, playing golf on golf courses when we were very young and running around on a farm and on bikes for our formative years.

    My whole family has big bones and big builds - my one brother is over six foot and the other two are about 5ft 9".  My mother is tiny - my grandmother was tiny.  My grandfather was over 6ft until the day he died.  

    I saw this thing on a local program that is like Watchdog - they found this scientist in the States who says that there is a "love" gene and that people who may not be able to commit can now blame it on genetics.

    I very much disagree that our entire lives can be blamed on the genes we received.  Look back at every major sport personality and see how "active" their family was - versus how fortunate they are and how hard they worked to reach the pinacle of their chosen sport.

    "The more I practice, the luckier I get"

  • PloddingOn wrote (see)

    I very much disagree that our entire lives can be blamed on the genes we received. 

    Very much agree, however, I think something like pure physical performance must have some base in genetics?

  • Brother A was in the provincial shooting team and  squash team - he enjoys running and swimming and is good at both - but I am better than him at swimming and running.  He loves all sports

    Brother B is incredibly intelligent but was good at rugby, karate and football

    Brother C is a good runner and triathlete - he enjoys all sports

    My cousin was a South African rower and is a runner, swimmer and a really good cyclist - he also pretty much enjoys all sports

    My other cousin is a South African track cyclist

    My other cousin is highly intelligent, but has no sporting abilities whatsoever

    Gene's are too broad - sure half my family must have the "intelligent" gene, and the other half got the sporting gene and some got both.  But then who is to say that it HAS to be gene's?  Why can it not just be hard work and perseverence and the love of...?

  • running isn't genetic in my family but being stubborn sure is image
  • my dad has always been sporty, used to play county cricket, squash, rugby, x country etc. My mum - well the most she does in line dancing and thats only cos we guilt tripped her into it! She loves it now though but she's not one for getting off her butt. I've always done something or other - ballet, x country, swimming, yoga etc and my bro is a snowboard king but the "nature nurture" debate is interesting.......cos my dad was always working overseas when we were young so didn't really "nurture" us to do anything and my mum never did......I asked to start ballet when i was 4 so is there something lurking in my genes that pushes me to want to do something with my body ???? hmmmm

    PO is right that genes are too broad but thats kinda the point, there still so much we don't know about how they influence our lives and how much our environment is responsible. Fascinatingimage

  • Thinking about it most of my family are inactive but we don't get hugely overweight because of it. I think I'm the only runner who does it regularly. One of my brothers cycles a bit but that's mainly to get to places rather than as exercise. He likes hiking but only does a couple of trips a year.

    Scary to think I might be the most active member of my family! image

  • I am probably the most inactive - my one brother runs, plays squash and spends his weekends cycling or hiking.

    he has just got back from a weeks worth of cycling from Penzance to Exeter  image

  • My entire family are inactive.

    When the subject of running comes up, I receive a reaction best described as a mix between bewildered awe and the pity one lavishes on a simple child.

Sign In or Register to comment.