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Paleo Lifestyle and Running

Answered on April 26, 2014
Created April 20, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Hey everyone,

I began a Paleo lifestyle about 3 weeks ago and I'm feeling great for it. I'm just enjoying the foods I can eat without calorie counting for once in a long time! I even threw my weighing scales out the window! (not literally but did throw them out). I have started going to sleep and waking up same time each day (even weekends) 11pm-7am. I want to talk about exercise though... specifically running.

I have been off for several months from running due to a tibial stress fracture on my right leg. I have been spending time on elliptical trainers doing cardio and stationary cycles... UNTIL I started this lifestyle then cancelled my gym membership.

From what I read you shouldn't really run that much. That doing endurance runs are bad for you. With stress on body and creation of extra cortisol in the body. My problem is though that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE to run. I don't even do it for health. It's almost religious to me, spiritual. When I run I zone out and am content and at one with the environment and life around me. It is my meditation. I think I will struggle a great deal to take this out of my life. I have struggled enough not doing it for the past few months!.

I just wondered HOW BAD is it for you? I'm talking 3 runs a week (4-5 miles) and a long run(15-26 miles). Generally at heart rate of about 60% max. Then of course maybe all out sprints once a week as advised by the Primal Blueprint. When I compete I will have that act as my weekly 'all out' exercise.

Many thanks

ScottyRunner

Medium avatar

on April 20, 2014
at 02:13 PM

Well I am one of those runners who run with a big smile on his face not all puffed out and looking like they are on the way to the morgue! For strength training I have been lifting heavy objects at home, doing lunges, push ups, squats, pull ups (in park as they have pullup bars). I don't want to go for weights man made as I'm sure they didn't use them back in the days lol. Oh and I have taken up climbing trees which has been a lot of fun :D I'll do burpees once my stress fractures healed over. Should be able to return to normal from 1st June.

Medium avatar

on April 20, 2014
at 12:34 PM

Thanks. I think the moral of it is to listen to my body when it tries to tell me it's doing too much. As I haven't been able to run sicne starting paleo I have been walking loads two or three times a day and I do not sit down for at least half my waking day.

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4 Answers

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0
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 20, 2014
at 11:40 AM

The truth is that there isn't enough evidence out there to definitely say you shouldn't run, period. First off, if you enjoy it then please listen to your body before listening to the handful of bro-scientists you find here on paleohacks. Running at 60% mhr 3 times a week doesn't sound extreme, it sounds like you're meeting minimum AHA recommendations.

Assuming you're following the Primal Blueprint (which you alluded to), Sisson mentions several hours of regular moderate activity as one of his steps. 60% mhr would fall under moderate activity. Please stay physically active, diet is not a substitute for physical exercise!

Medium avatar

on April 20, 2014
at 12:34 PM

Thanks. I think the moral of it is to listen to my body when it tries to tell me it's doing too much. As I haven't been able to run sicne starting paleo I have been walking loads two or three times a day and I do not sit down for at least half my waking day.

0
B4b3c14b84b8385c42fe61aa1f770b0a

on April 26, 2014
at 05:59 AM

let me tell you about the incredible story as to why there are some people who probably are not well suited to running, but why most homo sapiens sapiens  (us)  are stellar endurance runners. anyone who says that running is bad for your joints, or that running isn't healthy, have most certainly never heard of or simply do not understand the detailed history of human evolution. around 6-7 MYA, the climate began to dry out in africa due to a large tectonic plate (india) pushing up against asia, forming the Himalayan mountain chain. the mountains were formed for much longer than this, but they began reaching heights that were beginning to affect the weather patterns around them. the Himalayas blocked the moist wind from asia from reaching africa and dumping its precipitation. meanwhile, chimp-like primates roamed the jungles and forests of africa. they had fingers on their feet and hands for climbing and living in the trees. they were extremely dependent on their forested environments. as the forests and jungles began to dry up, due to the Himalayas slowly forming, the habitats changed slowly over millennia. those chimp like primates were hobbling along on all fours, trying to scrape out a living. they were jungle survivors, not arid land joggers. food became more and more scarce, and they began to scavenge and their diet changed slowly. they had less access to fruit and vegetation due to the drying out of their home. they had no choice but to survive, or perish. large herbivores roamed the grasslands of africa, and as the chimps turned to other food sources, namely, protein and animal fat, they had to compete with terrifying predators. the chimps were absolutely no match for lions, tigers, and other carnivores that existed then but do not now, or have evolved into other life forms. the chimps would make daring outings into the savanna, hunting for meat and dead animal carcasses and bone marrow, which is high in precious calories and fat. (we love fat so much because it holds more calories per piece than any other natural food source. ancestors who had a taste for fat ate more of it, and prospered due to its calorie-giving properties.) many were not so lucky, but many survived these outings. soon, there was no choice, as in many regions, the forests had either completely dried up or were incredibly sparse and no protection from the powerful sun. The chimps were slowly weaned off of a forest lifestyle. as the chimps began to change their food source to survive, they got better at finding dead meat, and working together, they became survivors. in order to cope with longer distances they were forced to travel, the chimps with slightly longer legs did a little better and could cover more ground more efficiently. they passed on their genes and so on. soon the chimps had inherited many useful traits for surviving in this new environment, from those predecessors who were able to make it. millions of years passed. the climate was now arid, and large herbivores were an excellent source of food. the chimps had changed drastically, due to being put through this evolutionary gauntlet of late. they now had much less hair in order to cope with the heat, since hair traps moisture and keeps the water on your skin from evaporating and therefore cooling your body. they had inherited sweat, although certainly not as good at sweating as you or me, they nevertheless could sweat. as mentioned, sweat cools your body only when it evaporates. sweat could not evaporate when the chimps had body hair. so they lost their hair. they had longer legs due to the advantage of locomotion long legs offered. long legs give you the ability to step less often but cover more ground. their arms shortened, since long arms weren't really beneficial to them in their new environment and awkward while running. they became good at finding dead prey, and occasionally walking after prey for long periods in hopes of it dying so that they could eat it. homo Erectus was now existent. the chimps didn't much look like chimps anymore. their skin was now darker due to the intense uv radiation that certainly would have hindered and damaged any chimps with lighter skin( thats why africans are black, hint hint). they had an adopted taste for meat and fat and they traversed somewhat lengthy distances in order to find this food, all the while eating any sort of vegetation they could find to fuel them while they pursued their main source of nourishment, meat. (this is why we need such varied diets, because hunter-gatherers ate everything and anything they could find due to their scavenging lifestyle, and an omnivores diet was a huge advantage in finding food to survive.                           time passed, and about 1 million years ago, homo Erectus had become so good at finding meat, that they didn't just find it on dead carcasses, they were tracking the animals, imagining themselves in the animals shoes to see where it had gone, and when they deduced through spatial and hunting skills, they followed the animal and they would jog after it until it would ………COLLAPSE AND DIE. …. did he just say… collapse and die? yes, i did. you may ask: well how the heck did ancient chimp critters in africa chase down a freaking wildebeest? (clears throat) let me explain my friends, because now we're getting to the juicy part. we loved meat not only for its calories but also for its fuel for our brains which we used more and more, since a large brain offered a supreme advantage in tracking and finding meat, which then was used as raw proteins and fuel for your growing brain! a cycle! meat was the fuel that helped our brains grow. vegetables didn't cut it, you need meat to have a healthy brain developed and to have the raw protein and calories needed to develop huge brains. homo Erectus got so good at tracking these animals and imagining being in their shoes that they could chase them down and kill it. how? Tools werent invented until much later! well, humans are bipedal, and we can breath as many times as we want per minute to fuel our muscles and lungs, and our body naturally produces sweat which is an extremely effective cooling system. We can just keep going, and going, and going. but for poor old billy the wildebeest, he doest sweat, well, he does, but only a tiny bit, and when he runs, due to his four legs and his gallop, he is unable to breath well when he gallops. and he relies completely on breathing to cool himself. as billy the wildebeest overheats due to a poor heating system, he tries to stop and find shade and escape that dreadful hairless chimp bulbous head creature. he is terrified. a predator that is so slow and squishy and weak, but overtime he tries to escape the bulbous head creature is just…. there. every time the wildebeest thinks he's gotten away, he looks off in the distance and sees a strange stick figure slowly advancing. he cant escape. after several hours of galloping. poor billy is done, a wasted heap of fresh meat. he lays in the sun, unable to breath, dying of heat stroke. that dreaded slimy bulbous head chimp is here, he's walking up to me, IDGAF, I'm dying of heatstroke, this is the end. the bulbous headed slimy skin chimp picks up a rock or some object and crashes it against billy;s poor head. he is dead. looks like there's fresh burgers on the menu tonight. the point is: all humans descend from these dark-skinned, bulbous headed slimy skinny ape creatures. every single man woman and child on this planet. they dominated. they spread out, leaving africa 1 million years ago and settling all parts of the world, although some not until much later. over the next million years, subsequent waves of humans left africa, over thousands of years traveling to new lands for the novelty, the food, the experience, for survival. now here is the question… how the crap did these humans get around? DRUM ROLL PLEASE……………………………………………… …………  ……  …. . .. . feet. we didn't have shoes. we didn't have moccasins. we didn't have nike freaking frees nor adidas trail blazers nor won ton jack slinging 2 inch thick running shoes. nope. we didn't. we just had feet. your foot is a marvel of natural selection. its arch is what transfers the energy of the initial impact when your foot hits the ground into forward motion. chimpanzees do not have an achilles tendon. but we do. a fully strengthened Achilles is capable of withstanding up to 2 tons of force before snapping. thats right people, you have a built in rubber band on the back of your heel. your hand fingers AKA toes, well, we don't use those for climbing trees anymore, but short toes are GREAT for gripping the ground and stiffening the said arch as a lever and propelling you towards your next billy the wildebeest, or in most cases now, your next McDonald's. ( o wait, we have SUVs) your spine is S-shaped which allows it to absorb up and down force. barefoot running forces you to run on your mid-foot , not your heel,(come on, would you pound down on your heels down the street barefoot? That would hurt!). you may ask, “but we have modern roads that are hard and paved, we cant go barefoot now.”this is where i get a sardonic look on my face and explain that the biomechanics of barefoot running make it so that it does NOT MATTER how hard or soft the surface is you are running on. your legs bend in an S shape at the joints and absorb the impact through your calf muscles, and your arches, and your quads, hams, and butt. chimps don't have butts cuz they don't rely on long distance running. we have huge butts because they are the anchor for endurance running. Running with thick shoes forces you to land on your heel, which has zero impact absorption and jars your entire leg and back and knee. If you dont use thick hoes, you’ll be running till your 105. Maybe not 105, maybe just 100. there are endless body parts that are testament to our evolutionary history of running long distances to catch billy the wildebeest. -nuchal ligament in your neck for stabilization while running, most animals don't have it strong and thick like us -splayed feet and short stubby toes -sweat -big bulbous butts -sparse hair -foot arches -achilles tendons        it goes on and on. then you may ask: well i tried barefoot running and my feet hurt so i quit." i say: your poor feet have been in dark sweaty casts your whole life and you expect them not to be sore? work into it , slowly. the other thing: many people have "deformed" feet, due to abusing them via shoe wear and socks for years and years. these poor people probably cant embrace the endurance running history of our forefathers, and to them i say: i'm terribly sorry. get surgery, and thank nike for doing it to you. then you might say: well i have flat feet… and i say, yes you do, and because humans have embraced farming and agriculture and a sedentary lifestyle, there are people now who can survive with being born flat footed, so they pass on their genes and now there are quite a few flat footed people. the arch is key in long distance billy hunting. BUT, even people with flat feet or low arches can get stronger arches by running barefoot. your arch WILL get stronger and higher with barefoot use. and now ladies and gentlemen, i hope there weren't too many TL,DRs on here,(too long, didn't read) i hope you all remember what you learned, because most of the current population on earth has NO IDEA about their evolutionary past. you ALL have inherited paleolithic bodies as well as brains. we were good at living like we did for millions of years. now in society things are much different and people wonder why there are so many problems.(ha-ha) IMPORTANT NOTE: THE REASON YOU SHOULD START RUNNING IS NOT ONLY FOR EXTRAORDINARY HEALTH BENEFITS (google them) BUT FOR THE RUNNERS HIGH!!!!!! the runners high is something all humans get when running several hours at a time or even less. opioids (think heroin, morphine, OPIATES!!!!)in your brain are released in a flood and make you happy, pain free, relaxed, and in love with life and with others. your life will improve dramatically. exercise is OUR EVOLUTIONARY HERITAGE. DO IT. and now, here is the SOLE footage of an african tribesman, hunting billy. poor billy. the footage is beautiful. ironically, he is wearing shoes that some westerner thought to magnanimously bestow upon him. Enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=826HMLoiE_o -W

0
6e09555349d00cd7f5579745e315b17b

on April 20, 2014
at 02:02 PM

Doesn't look bad to me, man. Especially since you're adding a sprint (although I would probably exchange a sprint for one of the runs, but that's just personal preference) If you enjoy it, that's a pretty good sign that it's working for you, and we shouldn't underestimate the mental and emotional benefits of exercise which are just as important as the physical aspects.

You threw out you gym membership, but you haven't given up strength training, have you?

Medium avatar

on April 20, 2014
at 02:13 PM

Well I am one of those runners who run with a big smile on his face not all puffed out and looking like they are on the way to the morgue! For strength training I have been lifting heavy objects at home, doing lunges, push ups, squats, pull ups (in park as they have pullup bars). I don't want to go for weights man made as I'm sure they didn't use them back in the days lol. Oh and I have taken up climbing trees which has been a lot of fun :D I'll do burpees once my stress fractures healed over. Should be able to return to normal from 1st June.

0
2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on April 20, 2014
at 12:55 PM

All of the evidence I have seen only shows that running marathon like distances is bad for you heart. Staying physically active is very healthy and definitely recommended! I run a few miles every other day at least, which keeps me in shape and my stress levels down.

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