Well, you do agree with the fact that if your hematocrit is in the 30s, you might need medical attention. So there is a "best for running fast" level that is not super low or super high. 50 is better than 36 for racing in the Tour de France, for example.
Blood, liver, global hemoglobin mass, etc. matters in running. "Having good blood values" is part of natural talent since your blood is built, in part, by your genetics.
But I am not hitching my wagon to one or another of the 7 factors; I am just saying they all play a role. I am not a doctor, so I don't know the precise levels for each factor.
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Audience member: Tell me about your first marathon.
Bill Rodgers: Oh, it was terrible. I was still smoking at the time, and I worked an overnight shift at the hospital the night before. My longest training run was 7 miles. My motorcycle broke down on the way to the start. I died badly and walked most of the last 6 miles.
I am sure I am remembering the details wrong, but Alberto once spoke to our high school at a banquet (in the 1980s). He had a funny answer to "what was your first race like?"
"Well," he said, "I wasn't actually in the race since I was still just in junior high. My older brother was running at Districts in cross country and I wanted to cheer for him. So I ran the whole race alongside the lead pack cheering. He won districts!"
Audience member, "You mean you just ran with the lead pack of high-schoolers at Districts while cheering?"
But do you agree with me that the people you are referring to who do things that naysayers said "would never happen" are precisely the naturally gifted physical specimens with huge amounts of talent? [And who work hard, etc.]
Or are you say that maybe genetically untalented people will somehow work hard enough to run elite times?
You are getting it backwards. Millions of HS boys would win races against girls purely because of their "physical bodies." It is the genetics of lungs, muscles, leg length, hip width, etc. that matter in those scenarios. The girls are just as motivated to win their State track championships but their times are slower than the boys.
Shelby Houlihan was more motivated than my (male) college roommates to run a fast 1500m but she would always be the slowest of all them only because of her genetics (physical body). She can't train hard enough to ever beat them because of her "physical body."
Bo Jackson vaulted 12'6 in high school without having ever vaulted before the meet. That is his "body" pole vaulting, not his psychology or grit or drive to succeed. I "wanted it more" but never vaulted that high. Bodies matter first. If you put all these elite bodies in the same competition THEN the mind-set and grit matter.
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Fair enough. You are right that it could be more (or less) than "seven." Those are just the broadest categories I could think of at the time.
It might have been better for me to just say: Muscles, lungs, bio-mechanics and blood chemistry. If you are below average or average physically, you can't train your way out of it.
Those four cover the "act of running" as broadly as possible. I am not trying to get into the weeds or dial in the exact percentages. We would both tell the OP that natural talent is real and it really matters a lot even if we can't measure every aspect of it precisely.
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For clarity purposes... what I am saying is we can't define exactly what is needed.
I am also saying that some day a person who is taller than your 'limit' may in fact run faster than you think he can because he will have more of some combination of the other 'gifts', this combination will make up for the height limit you have somehow created.
You are jumping into a discussion way too late. It's kind of a waste of time to explain because you don't know any of the context or understand what was meant.
And to answer your question... I did compete in school... wasn't good in HS but beat all of the guys in college that I couldn't beat in HS... even the guys you said you couldn't beat in college... you and I have had this discussion many times over the years.
We have different experiences so we have different perceptions. That's life, I suppose.
I think it would be clearer if we just left our own experiences out of it. What do you think is true for the entirety of the sport? Does innate natural talent matter? You said it did. Does it exist on a spectrum from little to a lot? We all agree it does.
No physically untalented person can ever win a gold medal. We know that because we have been testing it out for the last 125 years at the Olympic and World Championship level and only talented people (like Joan Benoit, Jesse Owens, Zola Budd, Billy Mills, Peter Snell, Kip Keino, etc.) have won those races.
Are we really blaming "lack of effort" for our lack of Olympic medals? Are you saying we all had that kind of potential? Does everyone have the potential to win a gold? If not, what is holding us back?
Can you humor me and name at least five of the these “far more traits” If someone can barely break 60 in the 400, how can he possibly beat someone that is just as strong while having low 50s speed? What am I not understanding?
You and I have often had this discussion? Do you always use “Looking for answer”.
You say that every high school team in America does this every year. That is certainly a generalization and a huge one. Many kids on lots of high school teams overtrain, do not get enough sleep, eat poorly, do not hydrate properly, do not stretch enough, never weight train, or weight train too much. And that's just the start. Talent is talent but it's not that simple. There are many sources where kids can get help these days, but the coach is still incredibly important. You must do things right.
Also, what should the OP call the ability to be good at something without training, motivation, effort, or practice? I know a kid who won League in the 400m with a 50.1 as a freshman. He didn't "love running" and had only run in a season's worth of meets. Would you say he "earned" his abilities or just had them to begin with? What if I told you he didn't eat healthy, visualize, stretch, lift, or do any of the "intangibles." He just showed up and ran a 50.1 -- that seems like the definition of Natural Talent.
Does the OP think there is anything I could have done (nutrition? sleep? core work?) to beat that kid? Bad news for me, there wasn't. I was the über-dedicated runner who got also bumped off varsity by some soccer players who got cut and switched to track because our practices were shorter. They ran in the high 16s in cross that year on talent (and soccer).
Some have the ability to improve more than others. Steve Prefontaine had that. A few of us have the same thing to a lesser degree. Some seem to not be talented that way and have to work for everything. But the more you do anything the easier it should become!