9

votes

If distance running is so bad for us, why does it feel so good?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 05, 2011 at 6:57 AM

It seems to be a common opinion in the paleo circles, that endurance running and other aerobic exercise is very unhealthy. Someone recently even called it 'aerobic suicide' or something along those lines... But I love to run. I feel that discovering barefoot and minimalist running has been the best thing that has happened to me in the past few years, even better than discovering the paleo diet. My favorite runs are slow, at 70-80% of my max HR, currently lasting from 40 minutes to a hour and a half. Running makes me feel AWESOME, makes me sleep better, is so much fun, makes me feel empowered... Why would something like that be unhealthy and bad for me?

I'm going to seriously look into research about this later on, but now I'd like to hear what you guys have to say. Currently my thinking is that aerobic exercise releases endorphins, because it must have been essential for our survival in the past to run down prey and escape from dangers. But evolution only "cares" about reproduction, not longevity, so even if being able to run would help us raise our kids better it wouldn't necessarily be healthy "in the long run", as we age. Correct?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 13, 2012
at 04:10 AM

Here's a good question from Kent Rieske: why is that in every major marathon, there is always a runner who suffers a heart attack and has to be revived? Always happens among runners, who are supposedly in shape, and not among spectators who're watching the runners, who are visibly not in running shape. It's worse when it's a triathlon or ultramarathon (with a full or multiple marathons). Answer: maybe these runners have developed fairly significant levels of internal inflammation from all that running? They may be fit, but their inflammation make them liable for CVD?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 13, 2012
at 04:05 AM

I guess your point is that the stress releases cortisol (or cortisone) and the animal feels no pain, which allows him to run despite the injury. Just like a football player with a broken ankle with a shot of cortisone who carries for the 1st down. But in reality, damage is being done to the system, despite feeling no pain or even feeling euphoric?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 12, 2012
at 07:51 PM

Seriously?? "Most importantly leaves you skinny"? Because that's on my top list of priorities? Shouldn't most importantly be "its good for you" or "it feels great"?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 12, 2012
at 07:49 PM

My boyfriend is an avid biker, and whenever he talks to bikers someone always says "I've never had a bike injury! Except for all those major crashes".

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 12, 2012
at 07:46 PM

Yeah, I agree with @Nance, that was such a good book. Convinced me to move to minimal shoes and just have fun.

A2928e9c9665f6cbb425ac3cbc34bbe0

on April 12, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Ur the obese one you fatty go eat a hamburger

A2928e9c9665f6cbb425ac3cbc34bbe0

on April 12, 2012
at 06:36 PM

Source: My Head, guys com on now do you guys really want to end up like these obese people??

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 28, 2011
at 05:54 AM

if you can run at 75/80% MHR for 1.5 hours, lol, you are not "current (pretty bad) fitness level", in fact if you really can do that in minimalist footwear AND FEEL GREAT afterwards, you are advanced intermediate or beginning advanced with regards to running fitness level

Medium avatar

(39821)

on November 06, 2011
at 05:21 AM

"why would our bodies go to the trouble to release endocannabinoids for something that is bad for us" To dull the pain of course. The "assumption" by the body is that you have a damn good reason for running (escape, hunting etc.)

Medium avatar

(8239)

on November 06, 2011
at 02:39 AM

Firestorm, you sound amazingly sane. Keep it up.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on November 06, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Funny, I'm the exact opposite- a great sprinter, horrible with distance. I think it definitely could have something to do with where in the world our ancestors. I mean, they think there is a link between people who do better on low-carb and having Neanderthal DNA.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 05, 2011
at 09:32 PM

And, I've noticed that each time in my life I gained weight I stopped moving. When I lost weight, I regained my urge to run and it just feels so NATURAL when I'm in good health.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 05, 2011
at 09:13 PM

I enjoyed Christopher McDougall (born to run) enormously. His scenario is fascinating, isn't it? Whether he's right or not we can't know but some of his points are very plausible.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on November 05, 2011
at 09:07 PM

My current routine is, with a 35# kettlebell: one-handed swings, snatch, arm press, lunges; and also v-ups (sit-ups) push-ups. I do these in sets of 20, 10, 5, 5 (i.e. 20 one-handed swings, 20 v-ups, 20 snatch left side, 20 snatch right side, 20 push-ups, 20 arm press left side, etc). If I power through it with breaks of only 5-15 seconds between exercises, it takes about 25 minutes. I do this 2-3x per week. This is my only form of exercise now besides walking.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on November 05, 2011
at 08:37 PM

Actually there is plenty of research that too much cardio exercise causes many health problems, including joint and muscle injuries, inflammation, and a weakened immune system. It can also cause you to store excess body fat and have poor sleep. I used to run 10-12 miles per week, and when I stopped running and switched to strength-based exercises, I lost about 10 pounds and feel much better.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on November 05, 2011
at 08:01 PM

My buddy trains with a really famous BJJ coach who also runs a famous MMA gym. He said they they tried crossfit but dropped it as it didn't work for what they needed. I agree, crossfit doesn't create elite athletes only elite marketing

220994a1bcff1923ef0388192bdba8d4

on November 05, 2011
at 07:39 PM

So if I hate the way I felt when I smoked, does that explain why I dislike running?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on November 05, 2011
at 06:43 PM

So what kind of strength workouts are you actually doing for 20-30 minutes?

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on November 05, 2011
at 06:42 PM

Also, I just really love it. No way I'll be running close to 80k/week ever again, but running longer distances feels fantastic. (To me.)

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on November 05, 2011
at 06:42 PM

I wonder about this too. I have been an endurance athlete (first swimming, then running) most of my life. After a couple years' hiatus, I really want to get back to it. I have tried multiple times to 'become a sprinter' with complete failure. I somehow feel as though my body is just cut out to work at lower intensity for long periods of time in total comfort. Distances under 5k (running) used to kill me, but if I raced past about 10k I'd start passing people for the remainder of the race.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 05, 2011
at 05:10 PM

Good answer! A cookie-cutter approach to exercise is no better than a cookie-cutter approach to food--or flower gardening. :-))

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on November 05, 2011
at 04:46 PM

This would not explain the appetite increase from exercise. Appetite is usually inhibited during and immediately after cardio. Appetite increase is more likely due simply to the energy availability. You exercised, you need energy, your body has not consumed energy, it tells you to be hungry.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on November 05, 2011
at 04:43 PM

Cannabis has lots of toxic compounds, but has never been linked to lung disease. Nobody is sure why. Probably somehow stimulates self cleaning of the lungs. Cigarettes obviously DO promote lung disease, even at low doses. Cigarettes + cannabis somehow impair that self-cleaning of cannabis alone, and has been shown to be quite bad if I recall.

Aa5e411ac90ac543cdb7d06a812a908d

(446)

on November 05, 2011
at 04:25 PM

An interesting point of view! I really don't see myself adapted to any kind of exercise - I suck at all sports, sprints, weights and distance running alike. But I do enjoy distance running the most of these. My dad has been an avid cyclist for more than 30 years, now in his fifties and still enjoying long rides of many hours on a regular basis. So maybe I do have a tiny genetic inclination for endurance sports? Who knows.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:45 PM

@Brad: You are mistaken. That small amount of smoke will promote hormesis, the same as 1-2 cigs a day. THC is not toxic itself and the similar is true for other cannabinoids in cannabis. If you are still tripinn its cancerogenic, you could use inhaler to avoid smoke.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:42 PM

@Brad, I don't know about bowl, but there are inhalers too. THC is not toxic, there isn't even LD-50 for it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:38 PM

enter the freezing shower , start yelling like crazy, and get endorphin hit in 3 seconds. I promise.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:37 PM

Thats the deal. 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week is the best. I have totally the same experience.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:35 PM

Arnold used it quite a lot when he was in form. Anyway, I didn't know that small doses promote activity, although I experienced but I thought I was trippin'. In mices, that is indeed what is happening - small doses promote it and large suppress it. It seems that cannabis will turn from pure evil to panacea.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:29 PM

Bill Clinton might not have "inhaled" but he is a jogger, so... ;) I have run for years, and have no intention of stopping now, in fact, I'm having even more fun than ever b/c I'm trying barefoot running. But one thing I have done is reduced the number of times a week I run - now instead of running every day, I do intervals maybe once a week, and sometimes I just walk instead of run. I feel just as fit.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:19 PM

Why not smoke a bowl and go running? Well, the 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco might be a reason...

Aa5e411ac90ac543cdb7d06a812a908d

(446)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:39 PM

Great answer and a fascinating link, thanks! I had no idea that the "endorphin hypothesis" might just be yet another myth... And I also don't fully buy the claims that endurance running is always unhealthy. But many people who know much more biochemistry etc. than me have claimed that running is bad for us, so there must be some truth to those claims too. I'll continue my running (in moderation of course, along with some sprints and weight training) for sure because the benefits for _me_ are so huge, but it's always fun to see what science has to say.

Aa5e411ac90ac543cdb7d06a812a908d

(446)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:22 PM

Just to clarify, I never said that I run every day, 'cause I don't. At my current (pretty bad) fitness level, that would be overtraining. I probably run every other day on average. I think we all agree that there can be such a thing as too much exercise, aerobic or anaerobic...

Dc5144de5078c44a2b106ff25778fd3d

(308)

on November 05, 2011
at 11:19 AM

Good question! As a trail runner I've been meaning to ask this myself.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 05, 2011
at 09:32 AM

Also makes me think of MMA fighter Nick Diaz who had said something to the effect of "so what if I smoke a bowl and go run a marathon." can't remember the exact quote but he frequently competes in marathon/triathalons and is an outspoken advocate of cannabis.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 05, 2011
at 09:29 AM

Interesting post. I used to love to run in my pre-paleo/primal days. Only discovered it in my early 20's but I ran well in excess of 50 miles a week, a lot for a guy who started well over 300lbs. and only dropped to 250lbs. at the time.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 09:11 AM

This may also explain why exercise improves appetite so weight loss is improbable. Great find , didn't know about this. Endocanabinoid system is amazing.

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13 Answers

best answer

7
Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on November 05, 2011
at 08:11 AM

There is some evidence that the reason it makes us feel so good - and why some people seem to be "addicted" to it - is that it engages the endocannabinoid system - basically the body's internal cannabis manufacturer. Research is now tending to think that endorphins are not likely the reason, because they are too large to overcome the blood-brain barrier. The NYT did and article on this some time back. This post lists some recent research:

http://addiction-dirkh.blogspot.com/2010/08/cannabis-receptors-and-runners-high.html

Now the million dollar question: why would our bodies go to the trouble to release endocannabinoids for something that is bad for us? Running at slow speeds is an incredibly efficient way to get from place to place and IMHO there's no reason to believe paleo man wouldn't have trotted over long distances. The Tarahumara do it. Native Americans did it. Many in Africa still do it (that's why they're such good distance runners - they ran miles and miles back and forth from school as little kids, so the story goes...).

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:29 PM

Bill Clinton might not have "inhaled" but he is a jogger, so... ;) I have run for years, and have no intention of stopping now, in fact, I'm having even more fun than ever b/c I'm trying barefoot running. But one thing I have done is reduced the number of times a week I run - now instead of running every day, I do intervals maybe once a week, and sometimes I just walk instead of run. I feel just as fit.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on November 05, 2011
at 04:43 PM

Cannabis has lots of toxic compounds, but has never been linked to lung disease. Nobody is sure why. Probably somehow stimulates self cleaning of the lungs. Cigarettes obviously DO promote lung disease, even at low doses. Cigarettes + cannabis somehow impair that self-cleaning of cannabis alone, and has been shown to be quite bad if I recall.

Aa5e411ac90ac543cdb7d06a812a908d

(446)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:39 PM

Great answer and a fascinating link, thanks! I had no idea that the "endorphin hypothesis" might just be yet another myth... And I also don't fully buy the claims that endurance running is always unhealthy. But many people who know much more biochemistry etc. than me have claimed that running is bad for us, so there must be some truth to those claims too. I'll continue my running (in moderation of course, along with some sprints and weight training) for sure because the benefits for _me_ are so huge, but it's always fun to see what science has to say.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 09:11 AM

This may also explain why exercise improves appetite so weight loss is improbable. Great find , didn't know about this. Endocanabinoid system is amazing.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on November 06, 2011
at 05:21 AM

"why would our bodies go to the trouble to release endocannabinoids for something that is bad for us" To dull the pain of course. The "assumption" by the body is that you have a damn good reason for running (escape, hunting etc.)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:45 PM

@Brad: You are mistaken. That small amount of smoke will promote hormesis, the same as 1-2 cigs a day. THC is not toxic itself and the similar is true for other cannabinoids in cannabis. If you are still tripinn its cancerogenic, you could use inhaler to avoid smoke.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:19 PM

Why not smoke a bowl and go running? Well, the 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco might be a reason...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:42 PM

@Brad, I don't know about bowl, but there are inhalers too. THC is not toxic, there isn't even LD-50 for it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:35 PM

Arnold used it quite a lot when he was in form. Anyway, I didn't know that small doses promote activity, although I experienced but I thought I was trippin'. In mices, that is indeed what is happening - small doses promote it and large suppress it. It seems that cannabis will turn from pure evil to panacea.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on November 05, 2011
at 04:46 PM

This would not explain the appetite increase from exercise. Appetite is usually inhibited during and immediately after cardio. Appetite increase is more likely due simply to the energy availability. You exercised, you need energy, your body has not consumed energy, it tells you to be hungry.

220994a1bcff1923ef0388192bdba8d4

on November 05, 2011
at 07:39 PM

So if I hate the way I felt when I smoked, does that explain why I dislike running?

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 05, 2011
at 09:32 AM

Also makes me think of MMA fighter Nick Diaz who had said something to the effect of "so what if I smoke a bowl and go run a marathon." can't remember the exact quote but he frequently competes in marathon/triathalons and is an outspoken advocate of cannabis.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 05, 2011
at 09:29 AM

Interesting post. I used to love to run in my pre-paleo/primal days. Only discovered it in my early 20's but I ran well in excess of 50 miles a week, a lot for a guy who started well over 300lbs. and only dropped to 250lbs. at the time.

4
Cdee7454bccdc4ac14ec23b9657eb573

on November 05, 2011
at 09:17 AM

Run if you want to run. If you prefer an evolutionary explanation, remember that wounded game animals by no means just fall dead when hit. A hunter may well have to run after it for miles, before other predators get to it. Even using modern weapons, hunters today often have to follow a blood trail to the wounded or dead animal.

-Steve

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 13, 2012
at 04:05 AM

I guess your point is that the stress releases cortisol (or cortisone) and the animal feels no pain, which allows him to run despite the injury. Just like a football player with a broken ankle with a shot of cortisone who carries for the 1st down. But in reality, damage is being done to the system, despite feeling no pain or even feeling euphoric?

3
Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

on November 05, 2011
at 04:39 PM

Pretty much all research ever has shown the incredible benefits of cardiovascular exercise. Running slow, running fast, they all have their benefits.

Reactive oxygen species are involved in upping the bodies own antioxidant systems, as well as being one of the triggers to adapt. If you supplement vitamins E and C in large doses, you can inhibit the insulin sensitizing effects of training (ROS are GOOD sometimes).

The backlash against lots of low intensity cardio is probably just a current reaction. Before that, there was a backlash against intervals, and before that, a backlash against lots of low intensity. You can read about Evolution of Training.

I suspect a lot of people in the paleo crowd tried the "lots of cardio, low fat" method of losing weight unsuccessfuly, and because of that now dislike cardio and carbs. It's always important to keep in mind context, and low fat/low carb, high intensity cardio/low intensity cardio can all be healthy provided they are programmed intelligently. Do whatever makes you feel good. I know I couldn't get through certain bad weeks in my life without running and weightlifting.

If running makes you feel good, do it. Do it as much as it makes you feel good. You'll probably end up doing a moderate amount of volume across a range of intensities. Long and slow when you feel like it, short and fast when you feel like it. Just build up to your volume slowly and you'll avoid a lot of the issues that plague runners (especially if you do some strength training).

All that being said, if you want to be an elite runner, you have to be willing to put in a huge amount of easy volume, at least for the first 10 years. After that, it might be okay to back off on the base training. Don't believe the hype on crossfit endurance, they haven't created a single elite athlete. Last I checked most elite runners put in about 85% of their miles in at an effort of 1 (on a scale of 1-3).

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 05, 2011
at 05:10 PM

Good answer! A cookie-cutter approach to exercise is no better than a cookie-cutter approach to food--or flower gardening. :-))

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on November 05, 2011
at 08:37 PM

Actually there is plenty of research that too much cardio exercise causes many health problems, including joint and muscle injuries, inflammation, and a weakened immune system. It can also cause you to store excess body fat and have poor sleep. I used to run 10-12 miles per week, and when I stopped running and switched to strength-based exercises, I lost about 10 pounds and feel much better.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on November 05, 2011
at 08:01 PM

My buddy trains with a really famous BJJ coach who also runs a famous MMA gym. He said they they tried crossfit but dropped it as it didn't work for what they needed. I agree, crossfit doesn't create elite athletes only elite marketing

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:50 PM

No one's talked about differences in muscles yet so I'll start that conversation. We say different people have varying diet needs, so why wouldn't your reaction to endurance exercise depend on your genes as well?

I've always been jealous of the beautiful muscles displayed by sprinters and middle-distance specialists, but when I rode my bike I found that after about 3 hours on the road (in an event) I was steadily passing a bunch of people with beautiful muscles.

My family carries almost pure "slow-twitch" muscles and if a lion chased us we'd be dead. On the other hand, once we're fit enough to go for an hour we can go all day--literally. I think we carry nomadic genes from the high north as our skin is Transylvania-level pale with very dark hair and eyes.

Isn't it possible that some of us--such as the Kenyans mentioned by gydle or Caucasians like me--are adapted for endurance exercise?

Medium avatar

(2169)

on November 06, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Funny, I'm the exact opposite- a great sprinter, horrible with distance. I think it definitely could have something to do with where in the world our ancestors. I mean, they think there is a link between people who do better on low-carb and having Neanderthal DNA.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on November 05, 2011
at 06:42 PM

Also, I just really love it. No way I'll be running close to 80k/week ever again, but running longer distances feels fantastic. (To me.)

Aa5e411ac90ac543cdb7d06a812a908d

(446)

on November 05, 2011
at 04:25 PM

An interesting point of view! I really don't see myself adapted to any kind of exercise - I suck at all sports, sprints, weights and distance running alike. But I do enjoy distance running the most of these. My dad has been an avid cyclist for more than 30 years, now in his fifties and still enjoying long rides of many hours on a regular basis. So maybe I do have a tiny genetic inclination for endurance sports? Who knows.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on November 05, 2011
at 06:42 PM

I wonder about this too. I have been an endurance athlete (first swimming, then running) most of my life. After a couple years' hiatus, I really want to get back to it. I have tried multiple times to 'become a sprinter' with complete failure. I somehow feel as though my body is just cut out to work at lower intensity for long periods of time in total comfort. Distances under 5k (running) used to kill me, but if I raced past about 10k I'd start passing people for the remainder of the race.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 05, 2011
at 09:32 PM

And, I've noticed that each time in my life I gained weight I stopped moving. When I lost weight, I regained my urge to run and it just feels so NATURAL when I'm in good health.

2
E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on November 05, 2011
at 11:33 AM

I love running. I do it because I genuinely enjoy it and not for any weight loss benefits. Yes I do it for the endorphin hit, just as I enjoy lifting very heavy weights for that feel good hormone shot. I run slow though and not hard core tempo running that keeps my heart rate up in the 85% range. Being on my feet hours and hours a day as a nurse exposed to disease, stress, people's problems is probably worse but someone has to do it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:38 PM

enter the freezing shower , start yelling like crazy, and get endorphin hit in 3 seconds. I promise.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 07:11 AM

Perhaps this will interest you

Are we born to run ?

Age-related changes in skeletal muscle reactive oxygen species generation and adaptive responses to reactive oxygen species

Marathons and Heart Damage

I guess it all depends from the context

It looks like sprint is better option when time management is a problem and far more sustainable. You can't deny your own results, so if it makes you feel THAT good, just run.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 05, 2011
at 09:13 PM

I enjoyed Christopher McDougall (born to run) enormously. His scenario is fascinating, isn't it? Whether he's right or not we can't know but some of his points are very plausible.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 12, 2012
at 07:46 PM

Yeah, I agree with @Nance, that was such a good book. Convinced me to move to minimal shoes and just have fun.

1
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 05, 2011
at 08:43 PM

One thing that has been instrumental for me in figuring out what I do for exercise has been figuring out what I feel good doing (like I've worked hard), and what gives me pain or leaves me feeling wrung out and crappy. I am pretty sure that ancient/paleo people had different people in the tribe who were uniquely suited to different tasks -- as I've said before, I don't have the balance or build to thrive as a hunter... but I'm pretty sure that hunters ran long distances at a stretch -- and sometimes at the drop of a hat -- so I figure that some folks are meant to be runners, and others just aren't. I'm not, but that's OK. There are a lot of other cool things I can do instead. If you enjoy it, and it makes you feel good about what you're doing, then maybe you're just a "runner" type -- so enjoy it, don't obsess about it, and believe your body when it tells you you're doing something good for it.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on November 06, 2011
at 02:39 AM

Firestorm, you sound amazingly sane. Keep it up.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on November 05, 2011
at 12:58 PM

I ran consistently for about 3 years, about 10-12 miles per week. I am definitely not built for long distance running (short arms and legs, "big boned", heavy musculature) but I did really enjoy it for a while, for many of the reasons that you say.

I was however worried about injury. I got a soft tissue injury in my knee a few years ago which sidelined me for about 2 months. I was also a bit frustrated by my lack of weight loss and muscle definition. Despite all of the running, I could not seem to lose weight. Going Paleo and low carb, I lost about 7-8 pounds, but I couldn't lose more, and my legs never really seemed to get stronger.

After reading various things in the Paleo blogosphere about exercise, I made the difficult decision to stop running and switch to high intensity strength based workouts. I had achieved pretty good running distance, and could jump up and run 3-4 miles at the drop of a hat and hardly be tired afterwards, and I did not want to lose that.

But this was the best thing I ever did. After changing workouts, I lost about 7-8 pounds quickly (a few weeks), and the weight and waistline kept coming off, though I made no other dietary changes. My appetite, mood, sleep, etc all got even better than they were before. Something about the strength workouts definitely stimulates some hormones or something that made me feel great even days after working out. I am now getting muscle definition for the first time, and can leap up a flight of stairs 2 or 3 at a time with no problems.

One of the best parts about it though is that these workouts are so much easier on my schedule. I had been running about 45 minutes 3-4 times per week. Now I workout about 20-30 minutes 2-3 times per week, about the half the time overall. When I am super busy, even two 20-minute workouts in a week keeps me on track. It is so much easier to keep this schedule that I feel this is more maintainable.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on November 05, 2011
at 06:43 PM

So what kind of strength workouts are you actually doing for 20-30 minutes?

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on November 05, 2011
at 09:07 PM

My current routine is, with a 35# kettlebell: one-handed swings, snatch, arm press, lunges; and also v-ups (sit-ups) push-ups. I do these in sets of 20, 10, 5, 5 (i.e. 20 one-handed swings, 20 v-ups, 20 snatch left side, 20 snatch right side, 20 push-ups, 20 arm press left side, etc). If I power through it with breaks of only 5-15 seconds between exercises, it takes about 25 minutes. I do this 2-3x per week. This is my only form of exercise now besides walking.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:37 PM

Thats the deal. 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week is the best. I have totally the same experience.

0
A2928e9c9665f6cbb425ac3cbc34bbe0

on April 12, 2012
at 06:34 PM

Running is a very healthy aerobic exercise, both physically and mentally. Physically, it leaves your heart in GREAT condition, and most importantly leaves you skinny. You are less likely to obese or overweight. I am a cross country runner as well as a track runner. You don't want to end up overweight now do you? take the right path..... Peace out

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 12, 2012
at 07:51 PM

Seriously?? "Most importantly leaves you skinny"? Because that's on my top list of priorities? Shouldn't most importantly be "its good for you" or "it feels great"?

A2928e9c9665f6cbb425ac3cbc34bbe0

on April 12, 2012
at 06:36 PM

Source: My Head, guys com on now do you guys really want to end up like these obese people??

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on April 13, 2012
at 04:10 AM

Here's a good question from Kent Rieske: why is that in every major marathon, there is always a runner who suffers a heart attack and has to be revived? Always happens among runners, who are supposedly in shape, and not among spectators who're watching the runners, who are visibly not in running shape. It's worse when it's a triathlon or ultramarathon (with a full or multiple marathons). Answer: maybe these runners have developed fairly significant levels of internal inflammation from all that running? They may be fit, but their inflammation make them liable for CVD?

0
Medium avatar

on November 05, 2011
at 03:20 PM

If you enjoy running long, run long. That's different from adding the idea that it's good to run long often, especially on some schedule invoking high degrees of discipline. I loved running marathons and ultra marathons. Then I found it wasn't much fun any more: the "oh it's Saturday, time for my weekly 15-mile trail training run" approach. These days my focus is HIIT which, again, I happen to enjoy. And three weekly gym workouts emphasizing compound movements. I still am drawn to the marathon, as an event; attracted to the distance in some romantic, mythic sense, as opposed to actually wanting to train up again. If I decide to run another marathon, I sure won't use classical high-volume training. I'll do it for fun, forget about speed, and will do my best to mitigate oxidative stress during and after.

I ran the Kauai Marathon last year. Great fun. Best part? Kauai. Repeat: Kauai. My training was "sub-optimal" (in terms of standard marathon training). I had a blast. If you are a marathoner and "had a blast" is part of your regular vocabulary, keep it up. Otherwise: WTF are you doing, dude?

0
93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:19 PM

I rode a bike like that for years. The low-impact version of running. Didn't hurt me a bit (except for the accident that cost me an achilles - now I'm REALLY restricted to low-impact). But it didn't save me from the disease of SAD-induced obesity and heart failure. Actually, the strengthened heart saved me from dying. But not the disease.

A2928e9c9665f6cbb425ac3cbc34bbe0

on April 12, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Ur the obese one you fatty go eat a hamburger

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 12, 2012
at 07:49 PM

My boyfriend is an avid biker, and whenever he talks to bikers someone always says "I've never had a bike injury! Except for all those major crashes".

0
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on November 05, 2011
at 02:54 PM

I wouldn't say it's 'unhealthy and bad for you', but running is taxing for the body (but easily enough made up for with rest and adequate nutrition), and taken to an extreme, there's evidence it can cause permanent damage to your heart. CW seems to regard running as a benefit for your health in every way, and that's definately not the case either.

Evolutionarily speaking: yes, we're very well-equipped to run long distances better than most animals, we're unheard of in this ability among primates, and that's why we can get a 'runner's high'. But in a natural evironment it seems people avoid this kind of extreme energy expenditure. Hunter-gatherers run to hunt large game, or even persistance hunt (though that's usually performed only by a couple expert runners), but not every day, and only a few people in the tribe. Hunter-gatherers are very active but usually at a low level - walking, digging, carrying, grinding, butchering, cooking, making tools (much of that performed seated/squatting). Especially hunter-gatherer women who are often carrying a nursing infant with them all day. I can't help but wonder if that's why exercise-induced amenorrhea is so common even in modern women who eat more calories, more carbs, ahnd have more protective body fat...

Cardio also does not help many people to look good naked. Sometimes I think it actively hurts (check out all the posts by people doing Crossfit 2x or more per week who have gained guts while eating paleo).

0
B5cc60ce970d2efed2de1f01c3b33e86

(410)

on November 05, 2011
at 10:45 AM

I by no means think distance running is bad for us. But 40-90 minutes every day, that seems excessive, and excess is bad for us. A weekly mix of resistance training, sprints, sport of choice whether that be flag football, basketball, of going out for a 10 mile run I personally don't think it will hurt. Like I said, moderation.

Aa5e411ac90ac543cdb7d06a812a908d

(446)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:22 PM

Just to clarify, I never said that I run every day, 'cause I don't. At my current (pretty bad) fitness level, that would be overtraining. I probably run every other day on average. I think we all agree that there can be such a thing as too much exercise, aerobic or anaerobic...

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on December 28, 2011
at 05:54 AM

if you can run at 75/80% MHR for 1.5 hours, lol, you are not "current (pretty bad) fitness level", in fact if you really can do that in minimalist footwear AND FEEL GREAT afterwards, you are advanced intermediate or beginning advanced with regards to running fitness level

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