I blame my parents.
Track coaches have long claimed that the best sprinters are born, not made. Now, new research on the biomechanics of sprinting suggests that at least part of elite athletes’ impressive speed comes from the natural shape of their foot and ankle bones.
Using ultrasound imaging, researchers compared the feet of 12 top college sprinters with those of 12 mere mortals. Surprisingly, the athletes had particularly short heels and longer-than-average toes — features that actually put them at a mechanical disadvantage when running.
“What we found is that sprinters actually had less mechanical advantage than the non-sprinter subjects that we tested,” said biomechanics researcher Stephen Piazza of Penn State University, co-author of the study published Friday in the Journal of Experimental Biology. “This was surprising to us because we expected that sprinters needed all the help they could get.” [More]
It's a wonder I get anywhere.