Born not made?

People tell me runners are born, not made and i'm the wrong shape. What do you think? i think if you want something enough, anything is possible!
What do others think?


  • Bollocks, anyone can run, regardless of shape, otherwise their ancestors would have been eaten.
  • I've heard much the same - training can only do so much, the rest is to do with genetics. Can't vouch for the truth of it at all.

    I did see an interesting programme about a year ago though where they took a group of NON runners from the region of Kenya that has produced loads of very good athletes, and after a few weeks training put them up against some fairly good athletes from other countries. Even after a few weeks' training, the Kenyans made a good fight of it.

    Having said that, that's no reason to stop you or anyone else giving up - there are still targets you can set to improve on your current performance etc.

  • Depends what you want to run for.
    It's true that most top-level distance runners tend to have a 'small' build, and that if you are of a larger build you are not going to win many Olympic medals - but does that really matter?
    As long as YOU are enjoying it and deriving benefits from it, then other people can stick their opinions where the sun don't shine!
  • hear hear
    im sick of people looking at me in disbelief when i say that I run

    Blobby benz
  • there's three basic body types, endomorph, mesomorph... cant remember the other one... but it basically means skinny, muscular or liable to put on weight. every person is a somewhere between 2 of these types.

    however, years of running can somewhat alter this; similarly a 'skinny' type will put on weight after being sedentary for many years.

    every person, regardless of size or age, has an upper limit. it doesnt really matter how high your limit is, just as long as you keep aiming to reach it.
  • Absolutely anyone can learn absolutely anything if they want to enough!
  • Thats right. I'm a much better swimmer and appear to have more of a 'swimmers build' than our svelte elite club runners. But swimming pools only come in rectangular shapes and although I very much enjoy swimming I've not got a pool outside my house! I love running, even in wind and rain, and my targets are self-competitive ones. OK, so I'm a 10/11 min miler, so what! I can go for 12 miles without stopping which is beyond comprehension of most of those that have questioned my ability (based on body shape) in the past.
  • And of course my fat gives me LOTS of stamina, even if Im slow
  • I think the third type is ectomorph Severa?

    Lots of the distance runners do seem to be small - saw (I think) Chepchumba at a Women's Race for Life thing a few years ago and she was tiny, and I think Khalid Khannouchi is pretty small too. Then again, Paula is 5 foot 9 or there abouts.

    I think it's also to do with the amount of slow and fast twitch muscle fibres, amongst other things, plus the innate V02 max.
  • I agree that elite runners are born not made, although that's obviously not to say they don't train extremely hard.
    Some people will take to running more naturally than others. I personally have to work hard at it, while I have friends that make it look easy without much training.
    I know I'm never going to be a 'great' runner but I enjoy it, and everyone benefits from setting their own personal goals and achieving them, whether in the case of Paula Radcliff it's to break a world record, or for me it's to simply finish the race!
  • African peoples have the greatest genetic variety on the planet. Those african countries with altidude have peoples largely who have inbuilt altitude training. However if we are not talking being in the worlds top 200 anyone can run. In country committed to sport all tall children would be trained to be swimmers all flexible children trained to be gymnasts etc, but in this country we choose our own entertainments.
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