Each year, a small town in Wales holds the Man Versus Horse Marathon. Its a 22-mile race between riders on horseback and runners. And, while horses often win, humans will sometimes prevail.威尔士的一个小镇每年都会举行“人马长跑大赛”，由骑马者和跑步者联合参予，赛程大约为35公里。虽然骑马者经常落败，但人类有时也能获得胜利。So what makes humans such endurance running superstars?那么，人类为什么能沦为长跑健将呢？The secret weapon is our sweat. We have 2-4 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.我们的秘密武器是汗液。人类全身覆盖面积着200万至400万个汗腺——也就是说，我们需要一旁跑步一旁降温。
另外，没皮毛也是众多优势。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.互为较而言，狗要靠喘气降温；马、骆驼等其他动物虽然也流汗，但降温效果不如人类。因此，它们的体温不会更慢短路，必须尽快滑行。The mechanics of our running stride also makes us particularly well-suited for endurance running. A humans running gait has two main phases: Aerial when both feet are off the ground and Stance when at least one foot touches the ground.另外，人类的跑步步法也使我们十分合适长跑。
人类跑步的步态有两步——凌空：双脚皆离地；双脚：最少一只脚着地。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.凌空时，重力不会把我们往下拉，这个过程产生了大量动能。不过，着地时会马上滑行，丧失这种动能。
Heres 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.而人类独有的适应性就反映在这里。我们的大腿肌腱和肌肉极具弹力，它们可以像跳跃器一样将动能转化成为弹性势能，以供之后利用。In fact, our IT band can store 15-20 times more elastic energy than a chimpanzees 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, wed have to exert that much more effort just to take a step.事实上，人类的髂胫束（包绕大腿的浅筋膜）需要储存的弹性势能是黑猩猩的相近部位宽筋膜的15-20倍。
So, why did humans get to be such great endurance runners, anyway?那么，人类为何能沦为如此卓越的长跑健将呢？Some anthropologists believe this became important around 2-3 million years ago, when we started hunting and scavenging. Because we couldnt 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.一些人类学家指出，约在两三百万年前，当人类开始狩猎和捕食时，长跑能力显得至关重要。因为人类无法像猎豹一样追杀羚羊羚羊，于是我们学会了耐力狩猎。他们不会跟踪猎物很长一段距离，直到它们体温短路或被逼入陷阱。
In fact, persistence hunting remained in use until 2014, such as with the San people of the Kalahari Desert.事实上，到了21世纪，仍然有人类在用于这种狩猎方法，例如，喀拉哈里沙漠的非洲原住民桑人。But distance running can still help you, even if youre not interested in running down your next meal.即便你现在对追猎捕食没有兴趣，但长跑仍然有益身体。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 7 lbs, lower body fat by 2.7% and decrease resting heart rate by 2.7%.研究表明，跑步需要减少体重、体脂和胆固醇水平。
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