What makes East African middle and long distance runners the best in the world? How should contemporary academia approach this question?
The success of East African distance runners has generated a plethora of studies but much of the 'evidence' presented to support hypotheses is anecdotal, arguments being led by non-academics who use popular media as their medium rather than relying on scientific publications. This has resulted in many stereotypical arguments being advocated.
Within the academic community, research has also been restricted by its isolation within either the natural science or social science communities. East African Running: Towards a Cross Disciplinary Perspective, presents a rare collaboration between researchers from the sports sciences and social sciences to explore the questions raised by the phenomena of East African success on the track. The text includes:
Includes contributions from John Bale, Jim Denison, Timothy D. Noakes and Craig Sharp.
Foreword Norman Myers Introduction Notes on Contributors Part 1: Socio-Economic and Cultural Perspectives 1. Kenyan Running Before the 1968 Mexico Olympics John Bale 2. The Promise and Possibilities of Running In and Out of East Africa Grant Jarvie 3. Raiders from the Rift Valley: Cattle Raiding and Distance Running in East Africa John Manners 4. The Haile Gebrselassie Story: A Biography of Difference Jim Denison Part 2: Physiological Perspectives 5. Outstanding Performance Despite Low Fluid Intake: The Kenyan Running Experience Barry W Fudge, Yannis P Pitsiladis, David Kingsmore, Timothy D Noakes and Bengt Kayser 6. Energy Balance and Body Composition of Elite Endurance Runners: A Hunter-Gatherer Phenotype Barry W Fudge, Bengt Kayser, Klaas R Westerterp and Yannis P Pitsiladis 7. Diet and Endurance Performance of Kenyan Runners: A Physiological Perspective Dirk L Christensen 8. Dominance of Kenyan Kalenjins in Middle- and Long-Distance Running Henrik B Larsen 9. Understanding the Dominance of African Endurance Runners: Exercise Biology and an Integrative Model Kathryn H Myburgh 10. Studies of Physiological and Neuromuscular Function of Black South African Distance Runners Yolande Harley adn Timothy D Noakes 11. Erythropoietic Indices in Elite Kenyan Runners Training at Altitude: Effects of Descent to Sea Level Brian Moore, Robin Parisotto, Craig Sharp, Yannis Pitsiladis and Bengt Kayser Part 3: Athleticogenomic Perspectives12. Genes and Human Elite Athletic Performance Daniel G MacArthur and Kathryn N North 13. Genetics and Endurance Performance Helen M Luery, Kyriacos I Eleftheriou and Hugh E Montgomery 14. Evidence for the 'Natural' East African Athlete Robert A Scott, William H Goodwin, Bezabhe Wolde, Vincent O Onywera, Mike K Boit, William O'Connell and Yannis P Pisiladis Index