Long Distance Running: Our Evolutionary Past, and its Mismatch With the Modern Environment




Hereford, Daniel

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When compared to other mammals, bipedal humans are unique in their capacity for endurance walking and running. Recent discoveries in the fossil record provide solid evidence for our transformation from tree dwellers to elite runners. In addition to our unique structural adaptations, the human body contains an elaborate pain regulation system. This biochemical system supports and encourages our ability to scavenge over many miles. Unfortunately, modern society differs drastically from the one we evolved in. This mismatch produces many negative effects including dramatic changes in our mood, and our propensity for injuries while engaging in physical activity. Through a better understanding of our evolutionary origins, we can begin to make changes to our approach to running that allow it to be more enjoyable, and less injurious



Running., Endocannabinoid., Evolution., Runner's high., Vibram., Barefoot running., Running injuries.