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    doyouhas's Avatar
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    I just read an article on the site stating that excessive cardio is damaging to your health. Overall I think this is probably correct and makes sense to me. In that article, Mark compares the body of a typical marathon runner to the typical sprinter. I think that he used two extreme examples to illustrate a point. However, I have a specific case I want to bring up. A man named Dean Karnazes. He is "ultramarathon" runner. And yet when you look at images of him, he doesn't fit that stereotype that Mark brought up. I read an article on him a few years ago in Wired magazine, and he doesn't just do excessive cardio, he does ultra excessive, to the point of his feet bleeding from blisters. And yet his body looks like it has plenty of lean muscle mass.





  2. #2
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    Well, that is certainly interesting. I would like to know more about his training methods.


  3. #3
    Geoff's Avatar
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    This interview touches on Dean's training, and of course there are his books.


    He runs less than many ultrarunners (though 70-80 miles a week is still solid by anyone's count). He also does a lot of other outdoor activities like windsurfing. When he's not actually running his diet is very different from the traditional runner's CW diet (and has some similarities to PB). That said he eats like a pig while competing.


    So, if Mark Sisson's right (as I think he is) that 70-80% of body composition is diet-related, Dean's diet is probably mostly responsible for his look. It's also worth noting that that picture makes him look a lot bigger than he really is.


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    Well, there may be underlying wear-and-tear on his body that won't show up for another few years yet. The evidence of how supportive of health, functional fitness, and longevity ISN'T IN HOW RIPPED A BODY is. There is even some science to suggest that a small amount of fat on a body is healthier than being extremely lean.


    There is a difference between PEAK FITNESS and health. If I could draw a graph with increasing fitness on the X axis, and increasing health on the Y axis, you could see that there is a point out the X axis that the Y axis starts to go down----that point of peak fitness beyond which just a little more causes breakdown, overtraining, injury, and illness.


    Sooze


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    Should have posted this in my reply, but I just remembered it now. Don't discount the fact that Dean Karnazes is probably a statistical outlier. He's almost certainly an exception to the general rule.


    Just because Karno can go ultrarunning and maintain some muscle mass (or that Scott Jurek can do it as a vegan ultrarunner) doesn't mean it would work for most of us.


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    Geoff, I think that's probably true. What's interesting to me is that in reading Elizabeth Marshall Thomas' accounts of living with the !Kung bushmen when they were still hunter-gatherers, she notes that only ONE hunter in the community did the run-'em-till-they-drop type hunts. (I think they are called "persistence hunts" in which a hunter walks and runs an injured animal for as long as 3 or 4 days.) It was something of a specialty, perhaps rather like Dean K.'s.


    Sooze


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    OnTheBayou's Avatar
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    Great observations, especially that X-Y axis thing, sooze.


  8. #8
    Geoff's Avatar
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    This is getting me very interested in seeing the post Mark promised for next week about Jonas Colting's life and training as a Primal triathlete.


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    I've got to admit that I'm skeptical. The photo looks air-brushed to me. I'd like to see the guy in real life.


  10. #10
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    Yes, that image is a little deceptive. But I've seen other pictures from different angles and he still has a good amount of muscle on him.


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