Just Another Hobby Jogger wrote:
Everyone knows the stories of various successful Kenyans running to and from school, not eating processed foods, not playing video games all day.
Paul Tergat lived less than half a mile from his school, and he walked to this school every day. Wilson Kipketer lived right next to his school. How did they manage to overcome such disadvantage?
Yes it’s a bit of a myth that all Kenyans run to school because that is far from the case. There are kids who run to school but most of them walk to school and most of them have schools which are not far from their homes.
When I went to Ethiopia, I did not see any kids running to school and more importantly I did not see any young kids participating in distance running. Football/ soccer was generally much more popular with young kids.
In Assella, the birthplace of Haile Gebresellasie, I did not see any kids running, I only saw teenagers and adults running. This was back in 2009 and I doubt that things have changed much since then.
I think this myth is greatly exaggerated and far from the truth. I think most Kenyan and Ethiopian elites only started running in their late teens, and some of them in their early 20s. It is absolutely not necessary to start running at a young age before the age of 15 or 16 and it would probably be counterproductive. It does help however, to lead a healthy and active lifestyle in general with a good diet and most of these elite Kenyans and Ethiopians have that going for them.