When Was Running Invented? A Brief History Of Running
Running is a method of terrestrial locomotion allowing humans and other animals to move rapidly on foot. Running is a type of gait characterized by an aerial phase in which all feet are above the ground (though there are exceptions).
In contrast to walking, where one foot is always in contact with the ground, the legs are kept mostly straight, and the centre of gravity vaults over the stance leg or legs in an inverted pendulum fashion.
A feature of a running body from the viewpoint of spring-mass mechanics is that changes in kinetic and potential energy within a stride co-occur, with energy storage accomplished by springy tendons and passive muscle elasticity.
The term running can refer to any of a variety of speeds ranging from jogging to sprinting.
Running For Humans: A History
Humans evolved from simpler forms before becoming the homo sapiens we are today. Like so many other species, these ancestors had predators, so the ability to escape was essential for survival. Evolving the ability to run gave our scaleless, skinless bodies a much-needed advantage. Natural selection in action!
They are running and also allow the hunted to become hunters. The groups would send the most skilled or physically fit people to hunt. So running may have naturally turned into a competition to determine the best survivors of the group.
Persistent hunting is thought to be one of the tactics modern hominins use to survive successfully and thrive, leading to our species as we know it today. For persistent hunting, a group of hunters would pursue their prey for several hours, strategically taking turns being the lead runner and tiring the animal. In this way, running can be considered a formal part of our DNA.
Running As A Symbol
The ancient Egyptians used running as a symbol as early as 3100 BC. at an unusual festival called the Thirst festival.
The Sed festival, also known as Heb Sed, was a great occasion to celebrate the continued rule of the pharaoh. They usually started after 30 years of a pharaoh’s reign and continued every three years until death.
This gigantic festival involved several stages. The pharaoh would make various offerings to the gods, and he would then hold a glamorous “re-coronation” ceremony that symbolized the renewal of his rule.
However, the aspect of the race was the course designed for the pharaoh to run himself. A field was built to represent the lands of Egypt. Pharaoh would go around four times. For the first two laps, he would be dressed in the royal regalia of Upper Egypt. For the last two, he would wear Lower Egyptian clothing.
Although many historians have guessed, the consequences of not finishing the race are no longer known. Some think that the race was purely ceremonial, indicating the “overcoming of old age”.
Others believe it was more practical. It is possible that the pharaohs who could not finish the race were not fit to rule, and in that case, they may have been immediately sacrificed to make room for a younger, more capable successor.
Running As A Competition
Perhaps your question was more along the lines of “When was running invented as a sport?”
The Tailteann Games
While it is impossible to pinpoint one place as the true beginning, the earliest recorded event occurred in Ireland in 1829 BC. The Irish people held a festival to commemorate the death of the Irish goddess and queen Tailtiu. It was there that various competitions were held, including races.
This festival was the birthplace of the Tailteann Games, funerary games to honour the dead. There was a wide variety of racing events, including:
- High jump
- Long jump
- Spear throwing
Other events included:
- Sword Fighting
- Chariot racing
Between these events, the Tailteann Games celebrated mass marriages and announced the signing of new laws.
The Tailteann Games were thought to have directly influenced the Olympics.
The first Olympic Games were held in 776 BC. in Greece. Named for the city where they were born, Olympia, the first Olympic Games, were running. Other powers were not added until 724 BC.
At this point, the race was a 200-yard distance called a furlong race. The stadium was a building similar to the stadiums we have today and is where the word as we know it comes from.
The marathon as we know it was inspired by a legend from 490 BC. (as we shall see), but it was not introduced as a sport until much later when the Olympic Games were reintroduced in 1896.
When was running invented as a type of exercise?
It may seem strange to us since runners are now everywhere, but running as a hobby was not always expected.
Running for ordinary people didn’t gain popularity until the 1960s. Before then, it was primarily for athletes and boxers to build their strength and endurance.
In the late 1960s began to write articles about this strange new activity. In these pieces, the runners indicated that they preferred to run in the morning, and they said that afternoons or evenings tended to look suspicious to police.
Police arrested Senator Strom Thurmond in 1968 in Greenville, South Carolina. The reason? He was jogging.
So how did it become popular?
A legendary University of Oregon track coach named Bill Bowerman is said to get a lot of credit for this. He published a best-selling book called Jogging after a life-changing trip to New Zealand. There, he watched their cross-country running programs. The runners’ skills impressed him, and then a spark struck him.
Running began to gain momentum in the ’70s with the rise of famous runners like Steve Prefontaine. These celebrities helped propel him toward a mainstream appeal.
Doctors began looking for studies on the health benefits of taking up running. For example, a survey of more than 55,000 adults found that even 5 to 10 minutes of daily running at speeds below six mph made a difference.
These small amounts resulted in significantly lower risks of death from all causes. The risk of cardiovascular disease plummeted by 45%.
When Was Running Invented As a Job?
Fast forward to 490 BC. C. and we meet a Greek messenger named Pheidippides.
Pheidippides was an Athenian “day runner” for the Greek army, and too early traveller in Greek history. Hemerodrome is the official term for these daytime runners, also translated as “messenger.” Day runners carried messages or proclamations from one country to another, often taking all day.
Pheidippides was entrusted with an essential part of the story when the Persians invaded. The Persians had taken the coastal plains of Marathon, and the Greeks were outnumbered. Miraculously, the Greeks managed to drive them back.
He was sent from the battlefield back to Athens to announce his victory.
Pheidippides ran more than 25 miles to deliver this news. Some historians claim that he went much longer, as it is likely that he first went to Sparta to gather reinforcements. Some even estimate that he went closer to 150 miles total with the Spartan stop included.
The story goes that he arrived in Athens about two days later. Upon arrival, he stripped off his clothes to shed the extra weight and proclaimed, “We’ve won!” and then dropped dead on the spot from exhaustion.
To honour Pheidippides and his journey from Marathon, the races as we now know them became known as marathons. These would not make it to the Olympics until they were revived in modern times.
A lesser-known race, which has been held in Greece since 1983, is the Spartathlon. This one also follows the story of Pheidippides but includes the 153 miles or 246-kilometre Spartan detour. The first Spartathlon winner, Yiannis Kouros, still holds the record for the fastest time at just 20 hours and 25 minutes.
I hope I’ve answered the question, “When was running invented?”.
As you can see, running was never really invented; in fact, it has been an integral part of our lives throughout the history of our species, and at different times it has been a sport, a job, and now, more popularly, a form of recreation.
For the less distance-inclined, running remains one of the most popular forms of exercise. There’s even a day for it: Global Running Day, meant to celebrate the sport of running, which takes place every June.
An epic journey doesn’t have to result in a fall to your death at your destination. If you plan to start running yourself, you don’t have to settle for the essential equipment of ancient Greece. Equip yourself with gear that provides protection and cushioning to build your strength.
If you find yourself ready to imitate Pheidippides and complete a marathon yourself, make sure you have the proper training plan to guide you. Good luck!
History of jogging
What about jogging? If you’re wondering when jogging was invented, we have to jump ahead to the second half of the 19th century. Around this time, runners are mentioned in the literature of the day. But sworders may have been jogging as a form of training long before the 16th century.
Running to get fit only became popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Runner and trainer Arthur Lydiard helped popularize the sport, which first appeared as an organized activity in New Zealand in the early 1960s.
American track coach Bill Bowerman brought the concept to the US. It quickly rose to prominence, first as aerobic training for athletes and then as a recreational activity for just about everyone.
Why is running popular?
Weight concerns and deciding to enter a race are also common reasons Americans begin practising the sport. Nearly 80 per cent of American runners continue to run to stay healthy or stay in shape. Relieving stress and having fun are top reasons why people continue to run as a sport in the United States.
Who invented jogging?
Arthur Lydiard was a supremely successful coach of distance runners, best known for guiding Peter Snell to three Olympic golds. But he was also the man who invented jogging, effectively the catalyst for the fitness boom of the last quarter-century.
When was the first running race?
Dating all the way back to 776 B.C., the first event of the first-ever Olympics Games was a foot race. In 490 B.C., a Greek soldier named Pheidippides is said to have run from Marathon to Athens, Greece-roughly 25 miles-to deliver news of a military victory against the Persians at the Battle of Marathon.
Was running actually invented?
It is thought that human running evolved at least four and a half million years ago out of the ability of the ape-like Australopithecus, an early ancestor of humans, to walk upright on two legs.
Why is a marathon 26.2 miles?
The idea for the modern marathon was inspired by the legend of an ancient Greek messenger who raced from the site of Marathon to Athens, a distance of about 40 kilometres, or nearly 25 miles, with the news of an important Greek victory over an invading army of Persians in 490 B.C.
After making his announcement, the exhausted messenger collapsed and died. To commemorate his dramatic run, the distance of the 1896 Olympic marathon was set at 40 kilometres.
When did long-distance running become popular?
Long-distance running gained prominence as marathons evolved. The modern marathon’s roots trace back to the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, where a Greek messenger ran approximately 26.2 miles to deliver news of victory. The modern Olympic Games further popularized the marathon distance.
When did women’s running gain recognition?
Women’s participation in running faced societal challenges for a long time. However, the 20th century saw a shift, with notable instances like Kathrine Switzer’s participation in the 1967 Boston Marathon challenging gender stereotypes and paving the way for women’s running.
Running itself, where one keeps one’s shoes attached to one’s feet using cloth and laces, was started in 1748 around the early spring when Thomas Running found that he could move faster if the wind were at his back, thereby keeping up with the body heat he was losing.
He was warmer by the increased speed due to the warmth of the air keeping up with him, and he also found that his shoes stayed with him at the higher rates due to the significant wrapping of leather and cloth around his foot.
Earlier attempts to keep up with the warm winds were failures because heat rises, so body heat is lost as it moves upward.
Also, attempts to keep cloth on foot were hampered by improper tying of boots around the ankle rather than around the foot like we currently use. Increasing the speed resulted in improper shifting and significant gaps in exposed skin.
We also find that the most famous runner, the messenger from Marathon, moved barefooted up across multiple terrains, so his body heat was lost, and his shoes failed to stay on.
I saw someone mention Hermes, who wore sandals with no upper foot protection, and they also provide no toe protection across gravel or glass or large rocks that purposefully stub your toes. Also, Hermes is an awesome God of messengering who uses magic, so that shouldn’t count at all.
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