Any new thoughts from new readers?
One thing that I found when training for a half marathon is that I had the endurance to run much further than my calfs could carry me (in vibrams), so I had to build up my distance slowly, not becuase I couldn't handle the endurance, I just had to get my calf used to it. I stopped running for awhile after my half marathon but I'm trying to get back into it, mostly with 2km-4km. I like to run just 10km per week to keep my calfs ready should I ever want or need to run long distance.
Any new thoughts from new readers?
I'll chime in. Totally personal, you can get so-called "addicted" to any fitness mode, running in Vibrams (or whatever work for you) is a great complement to other bodyweight training, and I'd moderate your message to your friend such that you emphasize "chronic cardio and no sprints/resistance is bad" rather than generalizing with "no running ever because running is dumb".
I also think, and I've said this before, that if you've ever walked or run in a *truly* wilderness situation, YOU WILL SEEK OUT HARD SURFACES to tread on. As, I think, did Grok. Think about the effort it takes to trot or walk through deep grass or boggy brush versus the effort it takes to go along a rocky outcrop or strip of baked earth. I think a lot of the run-on-trails-to-save-your-joints-from-impact wisdom is great, but I don't think Grok had the option of stick only to neatly built and maintained trails all the time - he definitely would have had to cover major mileage in wildnerness.
-chronic cardio is bad
-some running is great!
-don't get too stuck on anything
-run on whatever the hell you want as long as you listen to your body and do it properly
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Hmmm, going back to the OP. I totally agree. Going Vibrams or any barefoot alternative can be hard without throwing running/jogging into the equation. My n=1; bought a couple pair of Vivo's, trail and regular runners. Nice shoes, think Vibram without the toes. They were the original barefoot running shoes. I don't run. With my body (6'2" 220lbs) I just know I would cripple myself. I do sprint and walk a lot just the same. Getting used to even walking in the Vivo's has been a challenge. You will find out really quick if you have a alignment problem. With me I developed severe achilles tendonitis in my left leg. It has taken a few months to finally work that out (riding a bike seemed to be the best rehab ever), but I am back and walking in the Vivo's. Even if someone was a regular runner, shifting to barefoot could be a issue (IMHO) if they did not work their way and condition themselves into it. Just sayin...wrench or hammer, it all hurts the same. I do feel like there is real benefit in going barefoot, but after 57 years shod in all manner of footwear, feels like I am wearing corrective shoes sometimes.
To quote Shawn Phillips: "I find running unbelievably painful on multiple levels." I despise running and have for all of my fitness life. I'll tolerate sprints for 6 minutes or 12 minutes of HIIT, but that is about it. The only time I feel good running is when I am done and I know I won't be doing it for a while. Actually, I haven't run/sprinted for about 3 months and its no wonder I'm in such a good mood. My 13 year old son runs track and I love him to death, but would rather help him with his polynomial math homework than go running with him because it hurts less.
Disclaimer: I have never run in Vibrams, so maybe it would be revelatory, but I wouldn't bet you my chin up bar that I'd change my mind. Hats off to you guys who like it.
"Do or do not. There is no try." Yoda.
"Addicted joggers, bullshit Vibrams, and anti-running rant..."
yes, no, and ok...
Most of the people I know who run do it to be better runners, and I do know people who run because they "enjoy" running. Are they addicted? maybe. Do I care? nope. They're also not running their body into the pavement because "running is healthy" must do moar.
Vibram's have basically eliminated my patellar tendonitis. Is it really the vibrams? doubtful, it's probably the zero heel rise and low profile sole that did it. I could probably get the same benefit from a pare of Puma's if they made them in my size. And switching to a forefoot strike has definitely helped. As to your running on pavement being unnatural, I don't really care if it is or not, pavement is much more comfortable to run on than grass.
I personally don't like to do distance runs. I did two 5km runs in the two months leading up to the Tough Mudder I ran. I did a lot of sprinting with sports over those two months though and didn't have a problem till about mile 9.
I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.
Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. - Mark Rippetoe
There are many reasons that people enjoy running. Community is a big one. Competition is another. Some sincerely just enjoy the solitude of being out in the nature with nothing but their thoughts. Anti-running rants from non-runners should be taken in context. Everyone knows someone that hurt themselves running. Most people know someone that hurt themselves lifting weights. It's about proper form, training, knowledge, and execution...not about the activity. You can get hurt in any physical event if you violate any of those items, it's not just a running thing.
My n=1 example is from when i decided to switch to VFF while training for a 50M. To "ease" into VFF, I decided to go on a "short 5 mile run" wearing my VFFs. Predictably, I blew up an achilles. It had nothing to do with running and it had nothing to do with VFFs. It had to do with my own stupidity/arrogance.
I've just come back from a run just now, in my Vibrams, and I was thinking about your post and the chronic cardio concept in general while I was cruising along for a relaxed 4-miler in pleasant weather amidst green leaves along a river. My feeling: I think we at MDA Forums sometimes over-apply the chronic cardio concept and perhaps overcorrect our training to avoid it. Not that that's a bad thing either - if you hate all low-key, potentially enjoyable, relaxed distance training because it's actually stressful/not enjoyable/not relaxed at all/painful for you, then hell, don't do it, stick with whatever works for you. But I don't think that we should confuse the type of hellish training that earnest distance athletes do with what I and most other Grokky types do when we run. Which is to say - we're not competing (at least not at a grueling elite level day in day out), we're mixing it up with other things, we are in better touch with our muscles and metabolic needs, and we're getting good things out of it. Running maybe twice a week rather than twice a day probably taps us into similar hormetic benefits as sprinting and lifting heavy things, rather than being an inflammatory, injurious practice.
Bottom line: I think the OP, and many of us, could potentially be a bit more circumspect about calling chronic cardio on everything. Some of our gray area is pretty nice and bright in reality.