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The Human Body Is Built for Distance

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  • #16
    1

    There wasn't anything much really new in that article that we didn't go through here:


    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...e-the-shoes%29


    I think Primalchild has it spot on, as walking could explain everything listed in the article. There was nothing that seemed to leap out as being specific to running long distances
    The "Seven Deadly Sins"

    • Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . • Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . .• Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
    • Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . • Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . • Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
    • Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)

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    • #17
      1



      Hopefully, as the blogosphere grows, fields resulting from the overlap of evolutionary biology and other health-related disciplines, like Evolutionary Medicine, for example, will get more attention by the scientific community.

      “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
      "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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      • #18
        1



        Just for kicks I pulled out my copy of Cordain's and Friel's "The Paleo Diet for Athletes." On pp. 181-3 there is an interesting account of Dr. Kim Hill's experience hunting with the Ache and Hiwi tribes of South America back in the 1980s. Too long to reproduce in it's entirety here, but some highlights:


        Ache - Hunted almost every day (only rain kept them in). Averaged about 10 km of fast hiking (~1.5 km/hr) through the rugged jungle in pursuit with another 1-2 km per day in "very rapid pursuit." Occasionally their hunts included "fast trots" through the jungle (~3 km/hr) for over 2 hours while in pursuit. Total time each day about 7-9 hours, but hard days were followed by easier days. Dr. Kim was a former college football wide receiver, and, at the time of these hunts, he was a well trained long distance runner. He says the Ache could "run him into the ground" on their hunts and some of the Ache men could sprint faster than him.


        Hiwi - Hunted only 2-3 days a week and wouldn't go out if they were "tired." Travel during their hunts was not as strenuous as the Ache and their pursuits were shorter. However the Hiwi would regularly go on long walks of 80-100 km to visit another village, stay for just a few hours and then return home - walking all through the day and night.


        Dr. Kim makes a point to note that these tribes of hunter-gatherers were not superhumans: "They are what you would expect if you took a genetic cross section of humans and put them in lifetime physical training at moderate to hard levels."

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        • #19
          1



          Thanks, Geoff.


          Dangerous, of course, to generalize from two snapshots to the species, but maybe the best we can do.


          Still sounds like running is something we CAN do, and often HAVE to to, but not something we SHOULD do.

          Comment


          • #20
            1



            OtB - Completely agree about being careful not to generalize. Just interesting to note that the behavior patterns Dr. Hill describes seem more akin to fast hiking with bursts of sprinting, not jogging. From Dr. Hill's description it sounds as if the Ache were bushwhacking through the dense tropical rain forest without a machete. It wasn't a distance run on single track trails. Under those conditions 3 km/hr would be quite a workout. Note also that the Hiwi took long walks - they didn't run ultradistances. As Mark noted, running ultradistances like the Tarahumara requires a significant source of carbs that were largely unavailable to the Ache and Hiwi. It could be that long distance running is (largely) a post-agricultural phenomenon.


            (BTW - my bad in the prior post going with "Dr. Kim")

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            • #21
              1



              Interesting Geoff, thanks got posting.


              Whenever I think of sprinting vs. long distance running, I can't help thinking of huge physical differences between Olympic sprinters and long-distance runners. The later tend to look like crap compared to the former.

              “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
              "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
              "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

              Comment


              • #22
                1





                I grok, therefore I am.

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                • #23
                  1



                  Priceless

                  “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                  "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                  "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    1



                    Not to take issue with the point of the picture's comparison, but I believe the sprinter is Dwain Chambers and that that picture of him was taken at a time when he was using performance enhancing steroids.


                    Regardless of the drugs, the well developed musculature of many sprinters is largely the product of their time in the weight room. Elite marathoners don't do much, if any, weight training because carrying excess muscle is detrimental to their performance goals.


                    FWIW - here is Usain Bolt, the current 100 m and 200 m world record holder. He does a lot less and lighter weight training than most of his competitors and it shows (in his appearance, of course, not his performance).





                    Yeah, I think Bolt's physique is probably healthier than that hapless Finnish marathoner. But it doesn't necessarily have to be THAT bad for distance runners. Here's Steve Prefontaine





                    Not bad for a distance guy (though admittedly not a marathoner).

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      1



                      Maybe could can determine the average phenotype for the long-distance runner by compiling the pictures of these athletes?:

                      http://tinyurl.com/yjnx9bl

                      “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                      "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        1



                        *double posting

                        “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                        "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                        "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          1



                          SS - Doug McGuff calls athletic competition accelerated evolution for that very reason. As he sees it, with the exceptions of "freaks" like Bolt who break the established mold, within any given sport the most successful athletes tend to share a similar body type. There's a body type that tends to have the greatest potential for success at the marathon, but it's not the same body type as a top point guard, offensive lineman, golfer, or boxer.


                          I think we need to remember, though, that professional athletes whether marathoners, sprinters, weight lifters, or any other sport are performance specialists. Their bodies reflect their training and they train with a specific performance goal in mind. The Ache and the Hiwi don't train, they live. Their only performance goal is survival. As Mark wrote last week, hunter-gatherers have a much more complete fitness than both the couch potatoes and Olympic specialists (and are probably generally healthier to boot) but, as Cordain and Friel write, "[w]as there ever a hunter gatherer who could have taken home an Olympic gold in an endurance event in the last 30 years? The answer is no." Olympic level training just ain't how they roll.

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                          • #28
                            1



                            Well said Geoff!!!

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                            • #29
                              1



                              ditto, great post Geoff

                              “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                              "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                              "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

                              Comment

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