Distance runner Paula Radcliffe has won dozens of long-distance races and held the women's world record for the marathon since 2003. Scientists, trainers, and athletes alike have wondered about the extent to which muscle structure and function contribute to success in athletes such as Radcliffe. What makes elite distance runners so good? Are their muscles somehow different from those of less successful athletes and non-athletes?
Predict who would likely have a greater proportion of fast glycolytic fibers in their gastrocnemius (calf) muscle—an elite distance runner or an elite sprinter. Explain.
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