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Grok was a marathoner?

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  • #31
    The first recorded marathon runner died immediately after finishing the run. The fact that others want to honor that man by repeating his activity on a regular basis doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me. Years ago I was a cross country runner, but that was 2 miles and a relatively easy task. It wasn't a grueling 26 miles.

    Remember the story of Nathan Hale. A fine patriot. I don't want to honor Nathan under a stout branch of a stately tree. The fact that he did it does not mean that I must prove my patriotism every Independence Day with a rope and a tree. Besides, that is one of those things where 'once is enough'.

    Running marathons seems the same to me.
    Tayatha om bekandze

    Bekandze maha bekandze

    Randza samu gate soha

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    • #32
      HAHAHA perquin i am quoting you on my face booksaying "The first recorded marathon runner died immediately after finishing the run."
      Get on my Level
      http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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      • #33
        Originally posted by OnTheBayou View Post
        Long and super slow is "anti-primal."


        While this is an ongoing argument here and elsewhere, the overwhelming evidence is that Grok seldom ran long and slow. If he/she did, we would not be such lousy long distance runners compared to animals that are born as runners.

        As much as I love this site this is one of the things that I think mark needs to tackle. This debate rages on but I think the evidence is clear. Long migrations are very much primal but at a very slow pace. The fact that we have covered the whole planet primarily by foot shows this. The point is that we did do it slowly. The question that needs to be answered is how fast is too fast? I imagine that our migrations would have been a fast walking pace, if your doing faster than that then its a personal question of how fast is too fast.

        It is absolute garbage though to suggest that we didn't cover long distances at times. The question is how fast did we do them. Everyone points to the whole thing about us not being faster than other running animals, but the problem is that we probably didn't run. I bet I could walk just as far if not further than almost all land animals.

        Its not didn't we cover long distances but a question of how fast we did them.
        It is sad that the measuring stick of our progress is the speed by which we distance ourselves from the natural world. Even sadder is that we will only see this when there is no nature left to save.

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        • #34
          mjoshuahill, I don't get your objection?? Everyone agrees that lots of eg low impact walking is very primal

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          • #35
            The point I am making is the cutoff between what is low level aerobic and chronic high intensity cardio is not as clear cut as saying walking versus running. Lance armstrong could out ride most people on what is a very easy pace for him. To say that running long distances is not primal assumes that the running is not low level aerobic when for some people it is.
            It is sad that the measuring stick of our progress is the speed by which we distance ourselves from the natural world. Even sadder is that we will only see this when there is no nature left to save.

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            • #36
              I think Mark's been pretty clear about what he thinks constitutes "chronic cardio" :
              Intense cardio as we commonly think of it today means long stretches at a sustained heart rate in the 80+% range.
              So Mark's concept of "chronic cardio" really has two elements: (1) long duration and (2) elevated but sub-maximal heart rates. Assuming that you're fit and healthy, running a fast mile or three a couple of times a week is probably o.k. Likewise, going hard and long once in a while likely won't cause any irreparable damage (Mark admits as much in the book). As smart endurance athletes have known for a while though, going long and somewhat hard all the time can easily get you into over training.

              Mark's views on low-level cardio seem equally clear to me:
              Low level aerobic activity involves working at 55 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate....For fit folks, the low aerobic range usually kicks in on the lower end (55%) with a slow to medium paced but easy hike, a slow bike ride or relaxed cardio workout at the gym. An out of shape person would likely hit that same 55% with a stroll around the block. Now flip to the upper limit (75%) of low level cardio, and a fit person is likely looking at a vigorous hilly hike, a somewhat hilly bike ride, or a medium cardio workout at the gym. An unfit person will achieve that 75% with a medium level hike, a minimally hilly and casual bike ride, or an easy-medium intensity cardio workout on the gym equipment.
              Note that Mark doesn't mention duration in this description. It's almost (but not entirely) impossible to over do it at this level of intensity, as long as you keep it relatively easy.

              So I agree with your statement that
              [T]he cutoff between what is low level aerobic and chronic high intensity cardio is not as clear cut as saying walking versus running.
              But it's not the mode of movement that matters. It's the relative intensity and - for the higher end stuff - duration that matter. For an endurance guy like me or Jonas Colting, gentle running can be quite compatible with the "move slowly" zone. Last week I was out in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a nice 12 mile run and never once did my heart rate monitor's upper alarm (set for 75% of my max heart rate) beep.

              Also, let's not forget that the terrain Grok was moving across was likely a lot rougher than what most of us encounter most of the time. It's easier to maintain a quicker pace on paved paths, sidewalks or even well used single track, than it is cross country bushwhacking over hill and dale, navigating a tropical rain forest jungle, or making your way through knee high grass on the Savannah. Of course a quicker pace might involve higher impact forces to which we're not well suited, but that's an issue of orthopedic safety, not cardiovascular safety.

              By way of putting some color between the lines, allow me a long quote from "The Paleo Diet for Endurance Athletes" in which Cordain and Friel recount Dr. Hill's experience with the Ache. According to Dr. Hill when the Ache hunt:
              10 km per day is probably closer to their average distance covered during search. They might cover another 1-2 km per day in very rapid pursuit. Sometimes, pursuits can be extremely strenuous and last more than an hour....The difficulty of the terrain is really what killed me (ducking under low branches and vines about once every 20 meters all day long, climbing over fallen trees, moving through tangled thorns, etc.) I was often drenched in sweat within an hour of leaving camp, and usually didn't return for 7-9 hours with not more than 30 minutes rest during the day....The really hard days when they literally ran me into the ground were long distance pursuits of peccary herds when the Ache hunters move at a fast trot through the forest for about 2 hours before they catch up with the herd...I only kept up because I was in very good shape back in the 1980s when I did this...Most hunting is search time, not pursuit, thus a good deal of aerobic long distance travel is often involved (over rough terrain and carrying loads if the hunt was successful). I used to train for marathons as a grad student and could run at a 6:00 per mile pace for 10 miles, but the Ache would run me into the ground following peccary tracks through dense brush for a couple of hours. I did the 100 yd in 10.2 in high school...and some Ache men can sprint as fast as me.
              So, I think Mark sums it up well with Primal Laws 2 and 4: Move around a lot at a slow pace, and run really fast every once in a while.
              Last edited by Geoff; 05-05-2010, 07:31 PM.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Geoff View Post
                I think Mark's been pretty clear about what he thinks constitutes "chronic cardio" :
                So Mark's concept of "chronic cardio" really has two elements: (1) long duration and (2) elevated but sub-maximal heart rates. Assuming that you're fit and healthy, running a fast mile or three a couple of times a week is probably o.k. Likewise, going hard and long once in a while likely won't cause any irreparable damage (Mark admits as much in the book). As smart endurance athletes have known for a while though, going long and somewhat hard all the time can easily get you into over training.

                Mark's views on low-level cardio seem equally clear to me: Note that Mark doesn't mention duration in this description. It's almost (but not entirely) impossible to over do it at this level of intensity, as long as you keep it relatively easy.

                So I agree with your statement that But it's not the mode of movement that matters. It's the relative intensity and - for the higher end stuff - duration that matter. For an endurance guy like me or Jonas Colting, gentle running can be quite compatible with the "move slowly" zone. Last week I was out in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a nice 12 mile run and never once did my heart rate monitor's upper alarm (set for 75% of my max heart rate) beep.

                Also, let's not forget that the terrain Grok was moving across was likely a lot rougher than what most of us encounter most of the time. It's easier to maintain a quicker pace on paved paths, sidewalks or even well used single track, than it is cross country bushwhacking over hill and dale, navigating a tropical rain forest jungle, or making your way through knee high grass on the Savannah. Of course a quicker pace might involve higher impact forces to which we're not well suited, but that's an issue of orthopedic safety, not cardiovascular safety.

                By way of putting some color between the lines, allow me a long quote from "The Paleo Diet for Endurance Athletes" in which Cordain and Friel recount Dr. Hill's experience with the Ache. According to Dr. Hill when the Ache hunt:


                So, I think Mark sums it up well with Primal Laws 2 and 4: Move around a lot at a slow pace, and run really fast every once in a while.
                I agree on all points, I just feel that the constant "grok didn't run marathons" statements were slightly out of context without taking into account intensity of said runs.
                It is sad that the measuring stick of our progress is the speed by which we distance ourselves from the natural world. Even sadder is that we will only see this when there is no nature left to save.

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                • #38
                  Grok was not a marathoner

                  Grok was not a marathoner.....well he wasn't a blogger either.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by VanillaSpice View Post
                    Grok may or may not have run marathons, I don't know and I don't care. I can say though that Grok didn't sit in front of a computer screen, read forums, and debate with other Groks whether 100g or 150g carbs in his diet was better. Grok probably did what he wanted to, what felt good at the time, and likely didn't do or the eat the same thing another did Grok did 100's of miles away. To each Grok his/her own.

                    Regardless, I came here to talk long distance training and foods. Here is what works for me, found through trial and error. I came from the typical CW triathlete/marathoner high-carb diet which only worked for me because I didn't know any better. I've been paleo/primal since last fall with huge benefits.

                    In the on-season I train 10-14hrs/week, often doing sessions 2x/day. I do a mix of LSD and speed, depending on the day. Yes, chronic cardio is my drug. I eat 1-2 pieces of fruit before a workout, I used to do gels beforehand but they left me drained presumably from the sharp up/down in blood sugars? Biking and running for me require different fuels. On the bike I can eat nuts, dates, Lara bars and do OK. On the run, those foods are too heavy and upset my stomach. I had doubts about it at first, but I've learned that my long runs don't need the 250-350 calories/hr (of carbs!) recommended by CW. I'm doing better than ever now eating a gel every 5 miles on any run over 15 miles, which works out to abt 125 calories/hr. Shorter runs I may or may not need a gel. To my understanding, some carbs are needed for us to burn fat.

                    And when I say "a gel", what I'm really eating varies. I've experimented molasses and honey and there are gels on the market that are honey-based. I hate that many of the commercial gels and sport drinks have food coloring, stevia, xylitol, etc, depending on which brand you buy. Ick. But I see it as part of my 90/10 rule--90% good food and 10% less than ideal.

                    What I've found to matter the most is the post-training food. As soon as I can tolerate it, I eat a baked potato, banana, or similar easily digested carb along with water. Then an Ensure or recovery fluid with 4:1 of carb: protein. I aim for 200-400 calories asap. Then in about an hour a real meal with protein and fat. If I skip the recovery carbs, I'm dead for the next session. Not sure why, but I need to do it.

                    This may or may not be the same for everyone. Pardon the pun, but YMMV. But I'm enjoying the thread and wanted to share what I've learned. One Grok might get by on less carbs, while another needs more. One Grok might prefer Crossfit-type stuff another might prefer the LSD. Then there are Groks like me that do both!

                    Haha! Cant help but notice you do a mix of LSD and speed!

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                    • #40
                      Some Groks most certainly were long distance runners. Some were reef divers. Some were tree climbers, others climbed cliffs. Some walked alot. Look up Persistence Hunting by Hunter Gatherers. This is pretty well documented. Man cannot run as fast as most animals, but he can outrun them for distance. Persistence running was basically picking an animal out of a herd and chasing it slowly until it collapsed from exhaustion. It isn't like we could sprint after an antelope, tackle it and kill it with one bite to the throat. We chased them down slowly. We also spied the skies for vultures and took off on long distance runs to get that meat. Humans have the best cooling systems of any land based animals, which gives us a huge advantage as distance runners. It's silly to think we didn't take advantage of one of our greatest strengths. That doesn't make it healthy, unfortunately.

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                      • #41
                        I think a lot of people think persistence hunting is like doing a marathon after an antelope. I don't think that was the case. I think it was extremely light jogging, to a trot, to a brisk fast walk.

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                        • #42
                          Agreed. That's why I said some Groks were "distance runners". The cardio stress of going 26 miles as fast as possible is a different story. But it's also probably foolish to assume they didn't pressure the animal with a lot of pace at times. They also took many angles of pursuit to set up a relay handing off the beast to the runner who took the right shortcut. Then the others could rest while that runner tried to drive the animal towards fresh human legs. And they ran with spears in hand jumping bushes and rocks through varied terrain. Kind of like the logo...

                          I think in my 20s I would have enjoyed the hell out of this type of hunt. A bunch of my buds acting like a pack of wolves.

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                          • #43
                            Im pretty sure I wouldn't have lived long back in the day........but that's neither here nor there.

                            I can see both sides of this debate to an extent. I can't see myself ever giving up running completely, although I do like to tinker around with my routine and I also include sprint intervals on a step platform in between each mile. (Was a step aerobics addict and always will be - for me, those classes were as fun as going out dancing!) I'm sure there will be more tinkering now that I've gotten so many ideas from the many fit folks here.

                            With distance running, it's not just about the physical benefits for me. As far as I'm concerned, it's the best free therapy there is. It helps me de-stress and clear the ole noggin. I figure it's a little more Grok-like than sitting in the office of a shrink. However, Grokness isn't my goal. (thank God)

                            Thanks to all for an interesting read. Even though opinions vary greatly, I appreciate the passion people have about the subject(s).
                            Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.

                            - Robert Louis Stevenson

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Napoleon79 View Post
                              I think a lot of people think persistence hunting is like doing a marathon after an antelope. I don't think that was the case. I think it was extremely light jogging, to a trot, to a brisk fast walk.
                              Here's a video of some of the few people in the world who still do it
                              www.KataStrength.blogspot.com
                              Free the Kettlebell

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Napoleon79 View Post
                                I think a lot of people think persistence hunting is like doing a marathon after an antelope. I don't think that was the case. I think it was extremely light jogging, to a trot, to a brisk fast walk.
                                I agree. I think Grok was an ultramarathoner who had a very substantial base from a lifetime of primal exercise. A long, loping run to persistence hunt antelope by grok might have been analagous to me taking an 8 hour hike in moderate terrain. There is a line of logic that some runners hold to that the best training is high volume low aerobic - that this will actually increase race tije performance at higher paces over time compared to moderate-high intensity sustained runs (not talking intervals here). I haven't read enough or experienced enough to know if the logic holds up; just that there is this thread of logic, which would be pretty compatible with PB exercise logic.

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