7

votes

Do You Run At All?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 08, 2010 at 7:04 AM

The Paleo community seems to be very anti-running except for maybe 10 minutes total of sprints a week. I walk about 5-6 hrs a week, lift weights 3 days a week and do rings and rope climbs one day a week (light, don't push it). I can hike for hours but can't run for 10 minutes. Although Paleo seems to be so anti-running I figured this is an indicator that I need to start running. I was thinking get up to 2 miles at a pace of 8 minutes a mile and that's it. Do you think this is counter productive for overall health? I don't do sprints, maybe I need to do that instead? Hope this isn't a stupid question. I basically have never run for exercise in my life and figured it would help overall fitness.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 08, 2011
at 03:26 PM

LOVE that book; "reviewed" it on my blog @ http://crzydjm.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/born-to-run-christopher-mcdougall/

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 08, 2011
at 01:47 PM

I second the "smile while running"...it's amazing how much better you will feel during your run PLUS everybody that passes you thinks you're a serial killer, he he he

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on June 10, 2010
at 03:43 PM

I know he's not a game animal, but I usually run with my normally quite energetic and athletic dog who never seems to run out of energy. At night. One day we were in South Carolina, it was sunny and at least 93f out. I decided to take him for a run. We got to about 1.5 miles before he absolutely REFUSED to run any more. I had to carry the poor guy back to the shade and let him cool down.

0637289bb4a0ab314d80fa4de627d395

(1015)

on June 09, 2010
at 02:53 AM

One thing they fail to mention about the Mexican Indian Tribe (Tarahumara) is that they also use an interesting blend of plant and herbs in their diet. Turns out one of the plant byproducts they use has a very interesting effect on blood sugar. Basically it helps to regulate their blood sugar and avoid the big spikes. This may have been covered in the book "The Jungle Effect". You can also watch the author of the "The Jungle Effect" on google videos. She gave a 1 hour lecture for the google book talk series.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 09, 2010
at 01:38 AM

Also I'd be curious to see where it says we only had to run an animal down for 15 minutes. The video posted by another person said it took him 8 hrs and it was only done by one runner out of the entire tribe who was designated "runner."

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 09, 2010
at 01:34 AM

That Mexican Indian tribe also only eats rice and beans. I'd be curious to see their overall health and longevity and how long they've had these practices. Also my buddy did a 50 mile race with no marathon training. He said that long of distance is very low pace, barely faster than a quick walk

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 09, 2010
at 01:30 AM

...setting the land? The video left me with more questions than answers but interesting nonetheless.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 09, 2010
at 01:28 AM

Dang don't let Vibram see that video! The most ancient runner had tennis shoes on haha! (I have vibrams not hating) How did they get that huge animal home to the village? Was this done by genetically larger tribal members and the running done by the thin ones? Is this why humans are split into endomorph, ectomorph, mesomorph? If do does this mean that only 1/3 of the human body types were meant to run? I know that the body types are not this neatly seperated but were they originally and has this design been effeced at all during the last 10,000 yrs of sel

5472f6c94387c7fc82a04da4885363b0

(353)

on June 09, 2010
at 12:28 AM

I find 15-30 minutes once or twice a week hard to believe. What book was this again (the one that references 15 minutes)?

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on June 08, 2010
at 04:54 PM

Some hunter gatherer tribes today still practice Persistence hunting. From the records and videos I have reviewed it would seem they ran quite a distance over some of their pray. It was more like intervals, as they paused every once and a while to track the animal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52k6FdApB94

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on June 08, 2010
at 04:54 PM

Some hunter gatherer tribes today still practice Persistence hunting. From the records and videos I have reviewed it would seem they ran quite a distance over some of their pray. It was more like intervals, as they paused every once and a while to track the animal. Check this video out

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 08, 2010
at 01:10 PM

****I love that comment. Exactly, spurts. Short, bursts of all out enery and then chill. That, i believe, is prolly the most "natural" or "intuitive" or "evolution-based" or however you wanna put it. Twitch muscles used, etc. And i think it feels more like playing/fun and less like exercise, perse. Plus I can do it with my neice.

  • Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

    asked by

    (1165)
  • Views
    2.4K
  • Last Activity
    1520D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

13 Answers

7
6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on June 08, 2010
at 01:30 PM

I recommend reading Born To Run, by Christopher Mcdougall. It is a riveting book and will appeal to those with the paleo mindset. It is about one guy's quest to be able to run without pain. Along the way he discovers barefoot running, which leads him to the Tarahumara, the Mexican indian tribe whose members routinely run 100 miles on homemade sandals. It explores human morphology, and we learn that we are practically designed to run. With little hair and numerous sweat glands, we can actually cool ourselves while running--other animals can't do this, they must stop and pant, or die. Because we run on our "hind legs" only, our respiration is totally independent of our gait. Most other running animals can inhale and exhale only one time per stride. He speculates that man is a specialist persistence hunter, which is running game down to exhaustion. I guarantee if you pick this book up, you won't be able to put it down.

However, we also know about the dangers of chronic cardio and chronic inflammation. So, just because we can do it, doesn't necessarily mean we should. I've long admired marathoners for their ability to attain peak cardiovascular performance, and especially for the ability to endure incredible discomfort and pain for the time it takes to complete the race. But I wouldn't want to do it myself, and in the long run I think it's unhealthy. I read somewhere that on a warm day, a persistance hunter might only have to chase an animal for 15 minutes before it overheats and has to stop (for reasons outlined in the book this is not easy). So it seems to me that running 15-30 minutes once or twice a week is probably in keeping with our paleolithic heritage.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 09, 2010
at 01:38 AM

Also I'd be curious to see where it says we only had to run an animal down for 15 minutes. The video posted by another person said it took him 8 hrs and it was only done by one runner out of the entire tribe who was designated "runner."

0637289bb4a0ab314d80fa4de627d395

(1015)

on June 09, 2010
at 02:53 AM

One thing they fail to mention about the Mexican Indian Tribe (Tarahumara) is that they also use an interesting blend of plant and herbs in their diet. Turns out one of the plant byproducts they use has a very interesting effect on blood sugar. Basically it helps to regulate their blood sugar and avoid the big spikes. This may have been covered in the book "The Jungle Effect". You can also watch the author of the "The Jungle Effect" on google videos. She gave a 1 hour lecture for the google book talk series.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 09, 2010
at 01:34 AM

That Mexican Indian tribe also only eats rice and beans. I'd be curious to see their overall health and longevity and how long they've had these practices. Also my buddy did a 50 mile race with no marathon training. He said that long of distance is very low pace, barely faster than a quick walk

5472f6c94387c7fc82a04da4885363b0

(353)

on June 09, 2010
at 12:28 AM

I find 15-30 minutes once or twice a week hard to believe. What book was this again (the one that references 15 minutes)?

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on June 10, 2010
at 03:43 PM

I know he's not a game animal, but I usually run with my normally quite energetic and athletic dog who never seems to run out of energy. At night. One day we were in South Carolina, it was sunny and at least 93f out. I decided to take him for a run. We got to about 1.5 miles before he absolutely REFUSED to run any more. I had to carry the poor guy back to the shade and let him cool down.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 08, 2011
at 03:26 PM

LOVE that book; "reviewed" it on my blog @ http://crzydjm.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/born-to-run-christopher-mcdougall/

7
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on June 08, 2010
at 07:55 AM

I really don't think that running is necessarily bad for your health. I think the main thing to get is that you don't need to run in order to be healthy (nor do any other steady state long and rather intense aerobics).

And this is the great difference between the common wisdom and the 'paleo-exercise-rules'. But you can be healthy and run... for fun.

Long distance running is not necessary for health and from an efficiency point of view, it is not very good at it. Exercising the way you often find in this community (like the suggestions Mark Sisson makes) is better.

But by all means, if you enjoy running, why shouldn't you run? But use your evolutionary framework to avoid some pitfalls:

  • barefoot or minimalist shoes, or appropriate running technique (fore/mid-foot landing)

  • trail running rather than on the track (our organism loves the variety of fractal patterns)

  • don't do steady state running, think of children or animals running

  • use the right fuel aka paleo diet

  • don't use running as your only way of exercise, we humans are allround athletes

  • smile while running (this really helps)

And of course, as you suggested yourself, take a slow and gradual increase in intensity.

If you don't enjoy running, keep on walking as you do, and keep your shorter and intenser workouts short and intense. Seems to me like you're doing fine!

(Edit: for clarity: I do agree that running too much is unhealthy, see many of the other commenters, see chronic cardio)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 08, 2010
at 01:10 PM

****I love that comment. Exactly, spurts. Short, bursts of all out enery and then chill. That, i believe, is prolly the most "natural" or "intuitive" or "evolution-based" or however you wanna put it. Twitch muscles used, etc. And i think it feels more like playing/fun and less like exercise, perse. Plus I can do it with my neice.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 08, 2011
at 01:47 PM

I second the "smile while running"...it's amazing how much better you will feel during your run PLUS everybody that passes you thinks you're a serial killer, he he he

5
D64a0ae059bb55a0881236bb60f81f7e

(204)

on June 08, 2010
at 10:52 AM

To think that many of our "Paleo" and "tribal" ancestors didn't do significant running is ridiculous: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52k6FdApB94

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 09, 2010
at 01:30 AM

...setting the land? The video left me with more questions than answers but interesting nonetheless.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 09, 2010
at 01:28 AM

Dang don't let Vibram see that video! The most ancient runner had tennis shoes on haha! (I have vibrams not hating) How did they get that huge animal home to the village? Was this done by genetically larger tribal members and the running done by the thin ones? Is this why humans are split into endomorph, ectomorph, mesomorph? If do does this mean that only 1/3 of the human body types were meant to run? I know that the body types are not this neatly seperated but were they originally and has this design been effeced at all during the last 10,000 yrs of sel

3
07e18915420250c0c68b420db3a0c6b2

on April 08, 2011
at 05:02 AM

I've bee a long-distance runner for 27 years. I took it up as a child with severe asthma at my pediatricians request, ran my first 8 miler at 11 and kicked my asthma's ass within a year. Today I'm a barefoot runner and do it because I love to do it....the runner's high is like a blissful state in mediation for me....it comes around rarely. No, I....like most of the distance runner's I know, run because we love it, because it's a form of meditation and an opportunity to be very present in the body. There are specific books written for distance runners, so I balk at the notion that a distance runner can' do well on a paleo diet, nor that a paleo eater can't/shouldn't be a distance runner...any thoughts?

2
8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

on June 08, 2010
at 11:06 AM

I don't believe that our ancestors, in a societal way, did long-distance running that would equate to anything like our half-marathons or marathons. I do believe, like many of you, that they did run -- at least for some kind of long distances, more like our 5K's.

I ran before I started Paleo, and had already run a couple of half-marathons plus a bunch of smaller races. I am not a guy who runs every day, nor do I run 50+ miles a week even. However, I do still run half-marathons (two down already this year, one in Rochester and one in Buffalo) and have other long races coming up this year (including my first full marathon in September).

Ryan, I think running is a nice counterpart to doing any kind of crossfit or cross-training. Many running coaches and writers highly advocate cross-training on the days off from a running program, so why not vice versa? 8-minute miles are no joke, either, so I applaud you for being that fast! :)

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on June 08, 2010
at 04:54 PM

Some hunter gatherer tribes today still practice Persistence hunting. From the records and videos I have reviewed it would seem they ran quite a distance over some of their pray. It was more like intervals, as they paused every once and a while to track the animal. Check this video out

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on June 08, 2010
at 04:54 PM

Some hunter gatherer tribes today still practice Persistence hunting. From the records and videos I have reviewed it would seem they ran quite a distance over some of their pray. It was more like intervals, as they paused every once and a while to track the animal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52k6FdApB94

2
1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on June 08, 2010
at 08:24 AM

I run 2-5 miles a few times a week in vibrams or cross country flats. I don't like to jog much, so I tend to run hard for a few blocks and then back off, weave between obstacles, jump and touch signs, anything to make it fun.

Paleo is big on sprints because of the McMaster and Tabata studies, but there is also research demonstrating the benefits of intervals in 3000m runners.

Manipulating high-intensity interval training: effects on VO2max, the lactate threshold and 3000 m running performance in moderately trained males.

Kurt has two posts on the potential negative effects of habitual long distance runners (marathoners), but the volume of work they do is far beyond running two miles a few times a week. I see little evidence to suggest your goal would be anything but positive for your health.

Cardio causes heart disease

Still not born to run

0
4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 08, 2011
at 03:23 PM

In preparation for an employment PT test, I began running back in 2006. At my "peak" I was logging 25-30 miles a week and enjoyed the time I sank into the running. I've gotta be honest, I still enjoy a nice long run and the feeling I get when finishing that run. I've never been a real competitive sports person but running is different. I compete against myself and have run countless races, from 5Ks to half marathons. Since mid-2006 I've logged almost 2000 miles (according to the logs I've kept pretty fastidiously on RunningAhead.com). Also worth mentioning is that 95% of my runs now are in VFF's where they used to be in all the fancy-schmancy running shoes that the majority of runners cram their feet into.

My goal a couple years back was to work my way up to an Ultra-Marathon and I'm still interested in that but it's not as important a goal anymore. Gearing up for another PT test (and the Warrior Dash at the end of this month), I've started back into a mile or two a couple times a week just to get the running going again.

Since going paleo/primal/whole-food/whatever-label-you-want, I've continued working out but the runs aren't quite as long. I'm coming to realize that somewhere between 5-10 miles at a time is about the most I really need/should run on a regular basis. I've never been a speed demon but during my heaviest running years (2006/2007) I averaged an 8-9:00 pace over the course of my runs.

The study cited by Dr Harris breaks my heart, but nobody seems to have a definitive answer on how much is really too much. I will continue running recreationally hopefully until I can't any longer, but in the last year or so, I've become "enlightened" when discovering these way of eating and living and realizing that exercise isn't quite as necessary as I once thought it was. I exercise for pleasure now.

0
03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on April 08, 2011
at 02:08 PM

I run, but not so much as to cause overuse injuries (shin splints, runner's knee), and it's generally less than 15-20 miles/week. I get bored after 3 or 4 miles. I don't train for a race, I have no intention to be a triathlete right now, and it's a very cathartic experience when I run. I get away from all the stressors, and monotony that comes along with long shift work (14 days on/14 days off). I also use it as part of the constantly varied functional base of exercise I use to stay in shape for the duties of my career in Search and Rescue and the Navy Reserve. I find there is a huge difference in chronic, zombie cardio runs; and just hitting the trail a few times a week. Likewise, what works for me isn't for everyone. running works for me, but swimming, biking, squash or Ultimate work for others. If you feel like you want to improve your distance time, then by all means you are entitled to run more.

I wouldn't recommend jumping from two mile runs to a marathon, but there is nothing wrong with running for time. Try running for time at your pace. You may not keep an 8 minute mile pace, but if you jog for 45 minutes at a relaxed pace, you will be fine.

0
3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on June 09, 2010
at 03:21 AM

Keith at TheoryToPractice has written about the genetic component of physicality... some of us are bred for power and others for endurance. I believe you are a lucky evolved person if you've actually got both who can sprint in a super sprightly fashion as well as perservere and endure for distances despite ascents and terrain... To me that would be the ultimate fisher/hunter or warrior.

Anyway we are all unique, no? I think our training programs can be unique too. Personally I like low intensity jogging/biking/swimming in the form half-marathons and mini tri's and the training (coz I'm stuck with the goal-oriented meme!) This really calms my mind and is super restorative and relaxing, esp when I've got my MP3. Is marathon running that bad? Esp if one is cross trained, sleeps and recoveries well? Is not in an inflamed state (pooped out misaligned cortisol, poor muscle recovery, etc)? Eating properly (evo/paleo style with plenty of omega-3, vit D + hormone optimization, etc)? Maybe there are too few!

0
485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

on June 08, 2010
at 03:55 PM

Other than short sprints I think running is insane. People justify it because they like it. The runners high is actually the body preparing for severe injury or demise. Blood thickens, the vessels constrict anticipating much bleeding, and endorphins are released anticipating pain.

0
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on June 08, 2010
at 03:53 PM

I'm just doing little bits of sprinting as i go on my long walks... I'm enjoying the rapid improvement of my capabilities, But have no intention of ever running for more than half an hour.

I think that won't take me into the long term damage zone while still evincing my survival heritage of being able to run like hell till out of all danger!

Edit: i live in a very hilly area, and make sure that i use different gaits while on different terrains... I'm always interested in how is uses differing sets of muscles.

0
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on June 08, 2010
at 11:54 AM

I get bored running on the track, I get more than enough running playing Ultimate!

0
1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on June 08, 2010
at 07:34 AM

Two miles at eight minute per mile pace is exactly what I do once a week. I think the anti-running stance you mention is a response to the 50+ miles a week routines many people advocate, aka chronic cardio. Sure that's detrimental, just look at how many runners end up crocked in later life. A few runs every so often if you're body tells you it's ok is just fine. Richard did a good post on this recently on Free the Animal

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!