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  1. #1
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    Chronic Cardio question

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    I actually enjoy going on a slow long distance run. If I do this once a week is that going to mess me up to much?

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    arthurb999's Avatar
    arthurb999 is offline Senior Member
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    I doubt it... how long we talking?

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    Suki's Avatar
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    Eh. I'm an endurance junkie, can't get enough long rides - though I've made it a point to focus on sprinting. What do you mean "mess" you up? What are your goals?

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    I like to go on 3 mile runs. My goals are fat reduction add muscle and over all better health

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    EGYnutrition is offline Senior Member
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    The best exercise is the exercise you love to do most. Regardless of the workout plan or diet plan you follow, you shouldn't give that up. Or else what's the point?

    Keep doing the run.

    In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: www.livingnotsurviving.com

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    You're fine. The thing with cardio is that you tend to want a "reward" when you've just exerted yourself. The harder you work, the hungrier you are. If you can bypass this - you really don't have anything to worry about.

    Also, cardio can work against one's efforts to gain muscle but I don't think you're running enough for that to matter at all. As long as you're doing some resistance training - you're fine.

    Most importantly, if you run for stress-relief as I do, it is FAR more beneficial to do so than to not. Stress is a killer.

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    Any idea what your heart rate is when you're doing those runs? According to Mark, "move slowly" is, roughly, 55-70% of your max HR. For me, that's everything from brisk walking (at the low end) to about 11 minutes per mile near the top end. Just by way of comparison, I run 5-K's in around 20:00 right now (sub 6:30 min/mile). So, as I see it, you've got three options - 1. keep the runs really slow and easy, 2. crank it for 3 miles and make it a high intensity workout, or 3. put it in that middle zone of "comfortably hard" once in a while. Option 1 is probably - indirectly - better for fat loss (since you'll be moving slowly you'll have more energy for other hard workouts), option 2 is probably better for muscle, and option 3 is probably better for just getting out and having some fun without worrying too much about things.

    That said, as long as you're not hitting the chronic cardio zone all the time, those 3 milers are probably not long enough in duration to worry about much. It's when you get going for an hour plus day after day in that zone that the chronic cardio can get ugly.

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    Thanks Geoff. I dont keep track of my heart rate. All I know is I try and crank my run up as much as I can stand

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    Quote Originally Posted by irishhandgrenade View Post
    Thanks Geoff. I dont keep track of my heart rate. All I know is I try and crank my run up as much as I can stand
    Sprint! Try cranking it up even more for less time. HIIT is amazing for weight loss.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishhandgrenade View Post
    Thanks Geoff. I dont keep track of my heart rate. All I know is I try and crank my run up as much as I can stand
    Is it high intensity? Using heart rate monitors can give you a numerical indication in reference to your maximum heart rate, but even without one you can use some usual points of reference:

    - can you do the exercise while breathing through your nose only?
    - can (or could) you have a casual conversation during the exercise without getting out of breath?
    - do your muscles burn (indicating anaerobic metabolism) throughout the exercise?
    - while you're running, do you feel like you could keep on doing this for hours?

    If the exercise is intense (you breathe heavily and your muscles burn, and you feel exhausted afterwards) then you probably shouldn't do it too often (I'd say once or twice a week) or maybe change to an alternating scheme of intense and low-intensity workouts. Like Mark says in the book, low-intensity is the foundation of everything, and even if you manage to do high-intensity workouts frequently and avoid carb binges afterwards, there's still the problem of increased cortisol levels which interfere both with fat loss/management and development of lean (muscle) tissue.

    Hope this helps ... I'm not yet fit myself actually, but I'm trying to get there and after having read several books on nutrition and exercise I firmly believe that Mark's simple approach (Move frequently at low pace, add some intense weight lifting and sprints with plenty of time to recover in between) is *the* single best one.

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