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One off chronic cardio

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  • One off chronic cardio

    Hi all,
    New to this primal business - trying it out in an effort to stop some weight gain that has plagued me this last year, and prior to that failure to lose. Last year I trained for and did two half marathons, thinking if I could just run enough the fat would melt off. Obviously not. I think it may have contributed to my developing hypothyroidism, but of course I can't prove it.

    Anyway, i've backed off completely now - one longish weight session with my Personal Trainer, one short one at home, one sprint session, one bike ride (leisurely) and some walking.

    Anyway, given my running history some colleagues contacted me about forming the running leg of a mini-triathlon in my home town, to represent the research centre at which we're all also students. It's a 5km run. I haven't run 5km in over a month, and the triathlon is March - so that'll be like, 3-4 months. I don't want to start training as that falls into chronic cardio. However, I am fairly confident that with regular sprint sessions I should be able to run 5km on the day. Perhaps to a single practice session two weeks out.

    My question is, do you think it's OK to do the odd chronic cardio session for events such as these?


  • #2
    Chronic means all the time.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


    • #3
      Chronic cardio is for all the time and for long distances. 5k is not a long run at all. If you enjoy the idea and you can do it while maintaining your strength training I would say go for it. 5k is not that far at all for a run or a walk.
      Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
      Don't forget to play!


      • #4
        Exactly. 5k is not chronic. Full stop. If you run 5k everyday at the same pace, perhaps it could be, but even that isn't really chronic. I mean, even if you're really slow, that's 45 minutes of running. Chronic cardio is over an hour of cardio at the same pace, done frequently.

        Also, don't do the same pace. Run slower than normal, then do a fartlek (love that word), in other words, pick up the pace for an interval, then slow back down. Mix it up.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dirlot View Post
          Chronic cardio is for all the time and for long distances. 5k is not a long run at all. If you enjoy the idea and you can do it while maintaining your strength training I would say go for it. 5k is not that far at all for a run or a walk.
          What he said.

          To me, cardio becomes "chronic" or excessive when one exercise session leaves you fatigued for the next, and/or you simply aren't enjoying it. If you aren't recovering well and are feeling run-down on a regular basis, that's a good sign that it's time to back off a bit. If you're recovering and feeling great, than I wouldn't be too worried. Listen to your body.

          For me about a year or so ago, once I started pushing into the 30+ miles/week range(plus a couple bike sessions) that my body started to protest. Everyone's different, but in almost every case, 5k several times a week is a very manageable training load.
          Last edited by jsa23; 01-25-2012, 03:53 PM.


          • #6
            I'm training for a half-marathon using the guidelines Mark put out a little while ago for training for a marathon in as primal a way as possible.

            I just keep all my long runs REALLY slow. I experimented with running different paces and measuring my heart rate, so now I have a good idea of as long as I run slower than ~12:00 mile (which it's kind of funny is REALLY hard to get used to going that slow) I know I'm staying in that 55-75% zone. I allow myself one run a week at "race pace" which is more in the 80-85% zone and these are only anywhere from 3-6 miles in length. I also do sprints every 7-10 days. I did 10 X 100m repeats with 2:00 rest in between for sprints the last time I did them and I did each in the 19-24 second range. I also do strength training every 3-4 days, which I just do 2 rounds of the "Essential Primal Movements" as outlined in PBF.

            In the fall, I did a 10K Pumpkin run and followed a 6 week "couch to 10K" program which had runs 3X a week. I did those runs (again really slow) and then mixed in strength 2x a week and then the occasional sprint work. I ended up having a few other challenges -- The St. Louis Cardinals won Game 7 of the World Series the night before and I was at the game and then out until 3am the morning of the race -- but considering all that, I ran a really good time!

            I know there's similar "couch to 5K" programs which have you do runs 3x a week. You might use that and then add the Primal Stuff in (strength, sprints) on the off days, which should work for you since the volume of a "couch to" program would not be excessive for someone who's run in the past.

            Bottom line -- you CAN training for and run a 5K race within PB.
            Re-focusing on the Primal Lifestyle in 2012!

            Starting: 221.0lb, 29.5% BF (1/9/2012)
            Latest: 208.9, 26.1% BF (3/19/2012)



            • #7
              One-off chronic is one of the best examples of an oxymoron I've seen for a long time. That's seriously stupid.
              F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.


              • #8
                Thanks for the replies (the ones that were helpful rather than insulting). I only ask because I previously ran 2hours+ runs regularly, and was unsure where to draw the line. I am not a fast runner and 5 km will probably take me over a half hour. I wanted to err on the side of caution, given that previous running training helped get me the +10kg I have today.

                Paleo Bunny, forgive me, I have not had time to memorise every piece of advice in the primal books, websites, blog posts and forums yet. I am new to this and haven't yet had the time to spend hours examining every tid bit of information. Chronic means long lasting. I would think this could be interpreted as one long lasting session, or as people have now clarified for me, regular sessions day after day. If I ran for half an hour, my heart rate would definitely be over 75% max. I was unsure if this would be classified as chronic, as it is much longer than the 5x1 minute sprints I currently do, once per week. I did read in the book that multiple shorter sprints are better than one longer session of steady running - hence, I thought the longer steady state runs, being longer lasting, may be classified as chronic. I don't think it was a stupid thing to ask at all. And even if it was, so what? I am so glad this is a welcoming forum the helps all new comers and doesn't denigrate and discourage them from ever asking another question for fear of further ridicule. You're a real treasure.


                • #9
                  If you can't run at 75% of max HR, try hiking, or just walking really fast. Get a heart rate monitor if you don't have one. It will distract your mind from the boredom of moving slowly

                  Eventually, you will be able to run at 75%. When I started running about a year ago, my slowest running was in the 80% range. Now I can run at less than 70% of max HR.

                  And yes, the sprints will help a lot, and you could probably do pretty well at a 5k with just sprinting, at least if you include longer intervals. I like to do one of these as one session:

                  rest for 1:30 between each one, or 1:00 for the 400s.

                  The 1600m intervals will be at pretty much your 5k race pace (and the distance is pretty close too, 4800m vs 5000m).


                  • #10
                    OP, don't get insulted, it's the internet and a lot of people get their personal joy from being asses online. Your plan doesn't meet the definition of chronic cardio though, but I can understand your concerns and why you asked. Welcome and good luck.
                    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least and this (personal fave):


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lucy1984 View Post
                      Chronic means long lasting. I would think this could be interpreted as one long lasting session, or as people have now clarified for me, regular sessions day after day.
                      Right. In the case of chronic cardio it's more about how frequently you go for long runs. If I go for a 25 mile run today, but it's the only run I do all month, then it's not chronic cardio. It's just one long-ass run. On the other hand, if I run 5 miles 5 days a week every week, then yeah... I might be doing chronic cardio.

                      It's all about how often you do it. Chronic means frequent or persisting.

                      You can very easily and effectively train for a 5K race without approaching anything Mark would call chronic cardio. Sprint sessions are very effective for training for 5Ks. Mix in some occasional fast 1-2 milers, and a long slow 3-4 miler every now and then and you're good.

                      Allow for plenty of rest and recovery also, that race of yours is still a long way out. Good luck.


                      • #12
                        Cheers for all the advice. I think I may add a short run once per week, instead of one of my walks. Also, I have an upright boxing bag that I gave up upon starting the primal diet - looking forward to getting that out once a week and giving it a good kick.

                        I used to run 50mins 5 days per week, and 2+ hours another day, but I doubt I'll fall back into the trap - I hated all that running and only ever did it because I thought the fat would melt off. When it became apparent that this was not the case, all that motivation to get up at 4.30 and run left my body pretty much over-night!