I think it depends on a number of factors such as:
1. Body type - ectomorph (long/skinny, doesn't put on fat/muscle easily); mesomorph (powerful, puts on muscle easily) and endomorph (naturally tubbier, puts on fat easily, hard to put on muscle). 2.% of fast and slow twitch fibres - will depend on whether you'll excel more at marathon or shorter faster races 3. Time of life you start training 4. Time and commitment available to train 5. Weight you're carrying Even if genetics are against you though, you can still train hard and reach your peak. For example, at 34 yrs I started running, was a short tumpy endomorphic 5'4" size 14 even though I'd kept fit for years, but never ran. Started off running/staggering 2 milers, with a walk break in between averaging 11 min/mile. I built it up just by slowly increasing runs, two years on ran a half mara at 2 hrs, the following year the same at 1.45. The following year I did my first mara at 3.58 followed by another 6 months later at 3.41 and this year am looking to get 3.30. Only now have I added speedwork and hillwork to my training. Oh, and another upside is, I've gone down to a size 10, I've not been that size since 12 years old! Due to my age, now being 38, I don't think I'll ever get below 3.15, what with my age creeping up on me. And I find that I'm naturally better at marathons, not so good at the shorter faster races. So I've listened to what I believe is by genetic capability and that is what I'm going to work on. I think the moral of the story is to play around, find what you're naturally better at and work damned hard at it. Hopefully you can find the time to do so, I'm lucky as we've got no children and I can dedicate time and effort to it. Good luck!
Posted: 02/04/2007 at 08:36