Based on evidence from evolutionary biology, physiology, and anthropology, it has been hypothesised that endurance running historically is important in the pursuit of prey, with key physiological adaptions evolving over millions of years to benefit long distance running, from early hominins through to modern homo sapiens (Brooks, 2012; Hawley, Hargreaves, Joyner, & Zierath, 2014; Schulkin, 2016). Bramble and Lieberman (2004), postulate that homo sapiens are, as a species, designed for endurance, with highly developed, specialised features that may have provided a significant contribution to the evolution of the human form.
Human endurance capacity is comparable, and often exceeds, that of other mammals, with key evolutionary, ancestral adaptations including, upright, bipedal locomotion, a tall, narrow physique, long legs and a developed
Comparatively recently, in evolutionary terms, our endurance potential tends to be visible in athletic performance. In addition to the rapid rise in the number of ultra-marathon events being planned, and the number of successful participants, there has been an increase in the amount of research conducted on participation profiles and performance in ultra-marathoners (Fonseca-Engelhardt et al., 2013; Hoffman, Ong & Wang, 2010).
Bramble, D. M., & Lieberman, D. E. (2004). Endurance running and the evolution of Homo. Nature,432(7015), 345-352.
Brooks, G. A. (2012). Bioenergetics of Exercising Humans. Comprehensive Physiology, 2(1), 537-562.
Brooks, G. A., Fahey, T. D., & White, T. P. (2005). Exercise physiology: Human