How Humans Evolved To Become The Best Runners On The Planet

– [Narrator] Cheetahs are
the fastest land animal in the world. But did you know that humans
can leave them in the dust? At least in the long run. That’s right, when it comes to endurance, we can outrun wolves,
cheetahs, and even horses. Now in the beginning, humans fall short, because we’re lousy sprinters. Case in point, Usain Bolt
couldn’t outrun a cheetah in the 100-meter dash if he wanted to. And he tried. But marathons and ultra-marathons are a whole other ball game. Each year, a small town in Wales holds the Man Versus Horse Marathon. It’s a 22-mile race between
riders on horseback and runners. And while horses often win,
humans will sometimes prevail. So what makes humans such
endurance running superstars? The secret weapon is our sweat. We have two to four million sweat glands all over our body, which means we can run and cool
ourselves at the same time. Having no fur is also a huge plus. In contrast, dogs rely
on panting to cool down, and other animals, like horses and camels, also sweat, but less effectively. As a result, they overheat
faster and must slow down sooner. The mechanics of our running stride also makes us particularly well-suited for endurance running. A human’s running gate
has two main phases. Aerial, when both feet are off the ground, and Stance, when at least
one foot touches the ground. While in the air, gravity pulls us down, which generates a lot of kinetic energy. However, the second we hit the ground, we instantly decelerate, losing that kinetic energy in the process. Some of it goes into vibrations and sound as we strike the ground, but most of it actually goes
straight to our tendons. Here’s where our special
adaptations come in. The tendons and muscles in
our legs are very springy. They act like a pogo stick, converting kinetic energy
from the aerial phase into elastic potential energy,
which we can use later. In fact, our IT Band
can store 15 to 20 times more elastic energy than a
chimpanzee’s similar body part, the fascia lata. When it comes time to step
off, those springy tendons can turn 50% of that
elastic pogo stick energy back into kinetic, making
it easier to propel forward. Without that extra energy, we’d have to exert that much more effort just to take a step. So how did humans get to be
such great endurance runners? Some anthropologists believe
this became important around two to three million years ago, when we started hunting and scavanging. Because we couldn’t chase
down a gazelle like a cheetah, early humans learned persistence hunting, where they would track
prey over long distances until the prey either overheated,
or was driven into a trap. In fact, persistence hunting
remained in use until 2014, such as with the San people
of the Kalahari Desert. But distance running can still help you, even if you’re not interested in running down your next meal. Studies show running
can lower body weight, body fat, and cholesterol levels. And the longer you train, the
greater the health benefits. Just one year of training has been shown to reduce body weight
by about seven pounds, lower body fat by 2.7%, and decrease resting heart rate by 2.7%. It may seem really hard, or maybe even impossible to
run a mile or a marathon. But in fact, you were
born to go on that run. We all were. (upbeat music)

100 Replies to “How Humans Evolved To Become The Best Runners On The Planet”

  1. are you on the crack?
    have you seen squirrels, dogs, cats, rabbits, cheetahs run?
    most mammals will smoke a human in a foot race.

  2. Me At Age Four: Yes, I’ve Finally Mastered My Bear Crawl!
    Me At Age Six: Yes, I’ve Finally Mastered My Sprinting Skills!
    Me At Age Nine: Yes, I’ve Finally Mastered My MineCraft World!

    Me At Age Fourteen: Ooh, It’s Gonna Get Swifts In Here!

  3. 2:52 am I the only one wondering why the Son (San?) people apparently stopped doing persistence hunting in 2014…???

  4. In stamina yes, but speed no. Quadrupedal animals are alot better at high speed than bipedal because of their center of gravity is more concentrated in one spot than bipedals, its a trade.

  5. In the animal kingdom, Speed is still considered. 20 miles per hour is considered trotting speed for a lot of large quadrupedal animals such as lions and horses. 30 mph is considered running for many large animals, and is considered some-what slow for a quadrupedal megafauna. 40 mph is considered fast, mainly seen as a sprinting speed for horses, and Lions. 50 mph is very fast, a sprinting speed for Zebras. 60 mph and 70 mph is considered crazy fast, the speed of the Gazelles and Cheetahs. So if any of you athletic sprinters who can run 20 mph, just consider yourself your top speed is only as fast as a trotting horse. As a species, 20 mph is a humans maximum speed limit.

  6. I wonder if most of the human race today isn't the result of selective breeding somewhere along the line. They say that around 70, 000 years ago we were reduced to just a very small number. after this we may have been so much alike that we needed to do some selective breeding to produce small humans then larger humans then taller humans then faster humans think of what we can do with animals in just a few Generation.

  7. 1:40 who else runs with their ankles coming in contact with the floor first???

    Far as I remember, I & most people I know, run on their toes & foot, seldom letting their ankle touch the ground!

  8. The cheetah is 70 MPH humans can’t beat that the paragon felacon can dive at 120 MPH a human has no chance against that actually I don’t believe this
    No hate

  9. A cheatah will defo outrun us no matter what 75mph man 75mph vs 28mph(Usain bolt fastest man) and were even lower

  10. "we're best in the long run"
    "horses win most the time after 22 miles"

    Guess we gotta make it 30 to really count

  11. Our great stamina is relative. In Africa humans have a missive advantage as we have no fur where as other animals do, causing them to over heat. Also they can’t sweat to expel heat and have to pant, againing giving us an advantage. There was a story of Kenyans waiting till the hottest point in the day then running a cheetah to exhaustion because they can’t cope with the heat. However in colder climates we are not as effective as fur coated animals will remain cooler. Perhaps this is why Africans are the best runners as this method of hunting is best suited to African eco systems.

  12. Tech insider, You forgot an Animal!! The.. … Its a dog, ehm. I dont mean a normal dog,but some kind of dog mixed with Husky.

  13. You missed something and I’m not saying this to be rude but YOUR TELLING US TO RUN if we see a bear. Y’all already know that YA CANT OUT RUN A BEAR just wanted to say that bye bye

  14. the reason so many people find it hard to go run is because of bad experiences associated with running, like rushing somewhere on a schedule, or being forced to run until you vomit or feel nauseous (never do this, its stupid as hell. Its your body telling you to stop right now!) bad form caused by shoes, and the heaviness of shoes making running harder.

    I could barely run a mile at a scheduled track meet, in a circle around a large building complex with my heavy nikes.

    easily ran a mile and a half across and around a large field for fun, without shoes, and on a hot day.

    both instances I had been eating badly and not working out.

    all about perspective and circumstance 😉

  15. Humans are not the best endurance runners (although the we are good). We are among the best in hot conditions. However, camels, ostriches and kangaroos would smoke us in both sprints and marathons even in hot conditions.

  16. If molecule to man evolution were true then abiogenesis would necessarily have to be true as well. But since abiogenesis is not true it then follows that molecule to man evolution is not true either and has no foundation on which to stand.

  17. Can humans surpass the Cheetah Cat that can clock in at 75 miles an hour . Humans are short distant fast runners but not because of evolution scientists theory. The opposite of how the Bible explain how man was created by God from the dust of the ground. When everything on this earth decay it turns to dust God have proven His word to be true. ( He created everything ). ( Evolution is False ) Amen ( We need to give our creator God. A Great big Shout Out of appreciation for His wonderful work and creations ) All Thumbs-Up . Thanks

  18. Also born to die from injury by the time we're 30. In my dreams if I have to travel fast I get around like John Carter.

  19. "What makes humans superstars at endurance running?"
    "Horses sweat, but less effectively than humans"
    Shows endurance race that horses dominate at

  20. Well……….

    looks at belly

    Im fast sometimes but my endurance tho

    I have short legs and yet im one of the tallest in muh class

  21. It’s quite simple. Humans evolve as fast runners because. They were either chasing their food. Or theirs food chasing them.

  22. Humans didnt exist 2 million years ago, they are just 62 generations before Christ, and it's been 20 centuries and 19 years (2019 years) after Christ. Reference:

  23. Humans: *hunting*
    Humans: *sees deer*
    Deer: I’m finna dust these mans
    ** 30 minutes of running**
    Deer:*slows down alot*
    Humans:yeeeah bring that ass here boy

  24. human: i can run fast
    cheetah: nuh-uh runs 30 meters per second
    cheetah: ah i must recover
    human: ah-HA so you CANT run fast!

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