The Science of Running

George Z. Dupain

Abstract


Running is the most primitive of all types of muscular activity. It is man's oldest racial movement. The effects of running are physiologically more far-reaching than any other form of physical activity. Running does not overdevelop or hyper-trophy any muscular groups. It normally develops in the safest way the very dynamos of life, the heart, lungs and vascular system. Running awakens the most primitive urges and joys of life, because there still exist in the neurones of man the remnants of his ancestral flights in chasing, hunting and catching. When youth and man run they wildly and joyously recapitulate the story of their long distant past. The recorded history of the art shows Pheidippides, the greatest runner of all time, performing a deed unbeatable up to modern times. Two great athletic deeds he is honoured with. Not only did he run from Athens to Sparta in two days, a distance of 152 miles, but he bore the message of the Greeks' victory over the Persians from the battlefield of Marathon to the City of Athens. It is not recorded in what time he did this 26 miles, but the distance was run so swiftly that it was the cause of his death, for he only had time to utter the words " Rejoice, we conquer " and he collapsed.

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