Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
14 Jul

Persistence Hunting in the Park

UPDATE: Wow! Quite the response to this post! I had a good chuckle at many of the comments at first, but things have spiraled out of control a bit. First, let’s please keep things nice and civil in the comment boards. Heated arguments are one thing. Nasty ad hominem attacks are another, and they’ll be removed. Second, the reality is that if you never get within 40 yards of your target they’ll never be aware of your existence. I thought it went without saying, but don’t invade anyone’s personal space and don’t do anything else that common sense tells you not to do. I took out the line “Hide behind a tree for a second or two.” just so no one gets the wrong idea.

In most locales, summer is upon us. The sun acts as powerful beacon, a call to action for even the habitually sedentary to venture out and frolic in its rays. Hopeful mothers and fathers nudge chubby kids with creaky Xbox fingers, barely able to grasp the brand new football with which they’ve been tasked, out the door to partake in a mysterious, archaic activity known as “play.” Running shoes are finally removed from shoeboxes and attached to feet. Excuses to avoid going outside grow exceedingly pathetic and totally unconvincing, even to the skilled self-deceivers, who can no longer deny the basic awesomeness of a summer day. Squinting into this wonderful, terrible new light, they all gather in public areas – parks, hiking trails, outdoor malls, beaches – each in turn making personal pledges (or fulfilling imposed ones) that this will be the summer they finally take advantage of the great outdoors.

They are also weak and defenseless and, especially as they try to right the metabolic ship with outdoor Chronic Cardio through the park/sidewalk/trail/track, thrown into a state of confusion by all the sights, smells, and fresh air accosting them. Stale air-conditioning this is not. They are unprepared for what awaits them.

You, however, have been preparing for this moment for months, if not years. You’ve been eating meat, vegetables, roots, and fruit, molding your body and stoking your furnace with healthy fat, appropriate amounts of glucose, and measured bouts of intense lifting, sprinting, and steady movement. Even if you’re just beginning your Primal journey, even if you’re still adjusting – you’re still way ahead of the rest of ‘em.

It is a good time to be a persistence hunter.

Next time your stomach rumbles for a little physical exertion, venture out to the local park or track. Any spot where people will be jogging will work. You could even hit up a trail, as long as you’re sure there’ll be joggers. (I did this once in the back of a 10k race). Strap on your shoes (or don’t), wear something comfortable (or wear as little as possible), and survey the area. It’s now sacred hunting ground. You are the hunter; you can have your pick of the lot.

Regard your prey. Pick a jogger, any jogger, and let him or her gain some distance on you. A few dozen yards, perhaps. Now, walk after your target.

Keep your eye on the target, but let it gain ground on you. This isn’t a race, remember. It’s a battle of wits, of picking and choosing your spots.

When your target is a few hundred yards ahead, start to jog. Don’t let it range too far ahead, but don’t over exert yourself. Kiss the ground with a soft stride, making as little noise as possible. If you’re not barefoot, run like you are. You wouldn’t want to tire early and come home empty-handed; you can only subsist on foraged bitter nuts for so long.

Keep that pace for a couple minutes. Now speed up a bit. If you begin to gain ground, stop before you catch up completely.

Now sprint! Sprint for thirty seconds, and really push it – you might even be licking at their heels, but do not pass your prey. You’re not ready to finish just yet.

Stop. Let them continue on. Once they’ve turned a corner, passed behind a bend, or otherwise disappeared from sight, continue on. Jog, but jog in fractals. Start, stop, and run in spurts. For this portion, you aren’t breaking up the hunt into jog/sprint/walk sections; you’re melding them all together on the fly. Sprint for two seconds, stop for three, then jog for ten. Leap over branches, vault over bushes. You can even drop to all fours and crawl along the trail for a bit. Get creative.

(By now, it’s obvious that you’re a bit of a nut. You’re going to look a little strange. Are you okay with that? You should be used to it by now.)

Once you catch sight of your target, catch up by any and all means. Sprint if you have to. Just pass them up (no actual hunting, of course) and take a breather. You’ll probably need it. Flop down on the ground, stretch out, because you deserve it. Keep your wits about you, though, for there’s more prey afoot.

Even as you rest up, start the process of selecting your next target. After all, it’s open season and your tribe is hungry.

If there are multiple joggers zigzagging all over the place in all directions, you might try switching to a new target every time a new one passes in the other direction. Follow one for a couple minutes, then switch to another going the opposite way. Sprint after that one, then jog/crawl back in the other direction. How close can you get and for how many times without any of them knowing you’re there? The possibilities are endless.

Why the mind games?

The success of a workout. Whether you actually motivate yourself enough to begin and complete it, your performance throughout, and your intensity hinges largely on your state of mind. Persistence hunting in the park (yeah, I know, I thought about calling it “stalking” in the park, but somehow that sounded wrong) is a fantastic way to visualize and compel you to workout without “working out.” You’re in the moment, but that moment doesn’t occur on a treadmill while zoning out to the TV; you stay engaged in the act of movement itself. You’re aware of your muscles contracting and extending. You feel each footfall, every tiny pebble, every expansion of your lungs. You can’t ignore your physicality, nor should you want to, because we are physical creatures whose physicality must be nurtured and stimulated for us to be whole and healthy.

Give persistence hunting a try and report back with your experience. Grok on!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Gentlemen,

    I’d suggest you stick with “hunting” men. I’m guessing a woman noticing this behavior might be inclined to make a scene, call the police, spray mace or have some other unpleasant reaction.

    Hey Mark, is there a coupon for a bail bondsman in the primal survival kit??

    Justa wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • Ah yes, the “all men are potential abductors/rapists/boogeymen” phenomenon… can’t stand that crap. Not saying anything about you, mind, but just stating observation on the current pathetic mindset of the country at large.

      Russell wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • Your remark disgusts me on so many levels.

        Emily wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Whose remark? Russell or Justa?

          mike wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • I’d guess Russell’s. Justa is merely bringing up the point that women are (and should be) cautious. Russell’s comment is a little closed minded. It’s not a phenomenon. Most “abductors/rapists/boogeymen” are men. Aduh.

          Ben wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Definitely Russell’s. I have an excellent article in mind to help us all out on this difficult-to-discuss subject, but sadly the exact title is not coming to mind.

          Emily wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Hey Emily,

          I think I know the article you’re talking about. It’s called, “Shutup Russell”.

          Jake wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Hey Emily – did you know that the overwhelming majority of infant abuse and deaths are the result of women/mothers?


          Does that make you feel like ALL women are bad people? Hmm??

          Or maybe just a few individual women did something bad, and maybe we shouldn’t judge the gander, more so the goose???

          Evan wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • It is sad and disappointing, but more because there are some dangerous men out there that have to ruin the lives of good people. The news daily has reports of rapes, murders, kidnappings, and so on. I have women and children I love, and when strange men are around, I’m on alert and more protective. Most men are not the ones we need to worry about, but it only takes once for something bad to happen. Trying to pretend that it is a pathetic mindset of the country, rather than a reality that there are bad people present in our society seems misguided.

        Justin wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Yes, but it isn’t something you would generally say, you know?
          While it is true that a lot of crime in DC (where I live) is from african american ghettos, would it be “appropriate” to say I should “avoid” black people while I am in DC?
          In general, if you are alone anyone is a threat. But if you’re in the park then what is the big deal?

          Vince wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • Well if someone were acting that way around you while you were out jogging, would your first instinct be to think, they are just playing a game? I’m with Justa, it could get ugly if a man chooses a woman as his “prey”.

        Dave wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • My first instinct would be to wonder why this freak is hunting me in the park.

          I love MDA, but this is a BAD idea.

          In theory, using a faster runner as a rabbit is a great training tool, but sprinting up behind someone and then backing off…weird

          Doug wrote on July 15th, 2010
      • You’re so right. Men never rape women. Female joggers are never, ever attacked.


        I hope you wake up some morning suddenly female. Then maybe you’ll get it.

        Dana wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • I think what he meant was that its a public place and relatively safe. If you feel like there is a threat, then dont go jogging in the dawn/dusk hours. GO during times when there are lots of people.

          Criminals dont like witnesses, stay around plenty of other people and the actual probability of being attacked plummets im sure. At that point energy is simply wasted worrying about such things…imo it would be akin to being afraid to walk out the door, since i might be hit by lightning.

          Nobody is saying a female shouldnt be afraid if they feel they are being stalked…but use common sense and assess the situation. Are you jogging at 5am? 6-7pm? Sure, id be creeped out too, and im huge. But if we are talking noon on a sunday…..just chill tfo.

          Be smart, and not just afraid all the time. Dont let media sensationalism make you think that all of a sudden its armageddon and you need to be afraid of everyone.

          Shawn wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • Also it’s not just this country that has this mindset, and may I remind you that if you’re some random stranger following me in a park, I have NO idea who you are and NO clue of your intentions. I have to assume the worst or I could wind up dead.

        Some other commenter said “oh it’s safe in a park”–B.S. …the Central Park Jogger was so labeled for good reason. SHE WAS RAPED IN A PARK.

        I’d suggest that if you’re that oversensitive about a total stranger mistrusting your intentions, and if you are THAT entitled to play-stalk a woman jogger, that you pre-arrange such with a woman you actually know and with whom you enjoy mutual trust. Hate to break it to you but you are NOT entitled to play around with random strange women without their consent, and especially if they have no clue what’s going on.

        Dana wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • Actually, that is not a pathetic mindset. Nearly 90% of all violent crimes are committed by males. Most of the time our intuition can warn us of those likely to harm us so I’m sure most of you here wouldn’t alarm someone but in a game like this my intuition might cause me to jab you in the eyes.

        Maybe the reasons it is women who hurt children is because we are the primary caregivers and there really isn’t a very good ‘village’ system set up as there used to be in tribes where mothers only had the responsibility of care for 40% of the time whereas in general we now give 100% of care while still maintaining attachment parenting (i.e. breastfeeding, babywearing, etc.) Maybe Mark should write an article on men wearing babies as some tribes do….Grok on!

        I like the idea that some of the others proposed…a husband/wife/partner game.

        I think this article is very creative but I don’t think it is a very good idea.

        Carrie wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Carrie, those are truly outlandish statistics pulled out of….what??? You guessed it. Do us all a favor please. Cite sources rather than spouting off BS numbers. You’ll appear more intelligent that way. You people are acting like a bunch of moronic babies. This article was supposed to be a fun, humorous, entertaining way to spice up your playtime. Just try to be intelligent about how you do this in public.

          Brian wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Brian –

          Here is a link. Please, try not to be so outlandish here in a public forum. :)

          One of the interesting things to note from this link also is that most of the victims are men also.

          I am not living in fear here. I am just well aware of my surroundings and am not practicing denial. We all have a ‘wild’ brain and we should not think that we Primal eaters are the only people who act on ‘fight or flight.’

          Carrie wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Umm…what link?

          Brian wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • From what I have seen in my over 40 years of experience in this life is that most children are hurt by step-fathers.

          As for strange men following or stalking me, I would also assume the worst. I have known many women who have been stalked, beaten, or raped by men. In my small town women out jogging are major targets and women do get raped in parks and even abducted off main streets and dragged into cars. I am in Australia, so it’s not just the USA.

          Angelina wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • I forgot to add the link to the post. It is awaiting moderation. Spam filter I’m sure.

          For the record: I am not against this post. I read it with intrigue and a smile on my face as I envisioned the fun it would be. My comment was mainly to Russel who is in apparent denial about male perpetrators. Then after reading the rest of the comments, there are obviously quite a few people who are uncomfortable with this sort of play. Although it seems to take the fun out of it for some of us, I feel it is important to recognize their feelings, especially as people who relate to us here in the primal lifestyle. With this being said, I wouldn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable or feel as though they had to have their cortisol/wild brain kick in while on a run because I slipped up and they noticed me.

          Imagine this: We are all sitting in a room and suggest playing this ‘game’ and some people express their discomfort about it as they have here. Do we say “Ah, who cares what you think.” Or do we say, “Okay, bad idea. Let’s play a different game.”

          Carrie wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Carrie –

          A few things you should note about your statistics.

          1) Majority of homicides cited are male on male homicides (ie: no female victim).

          2) As cited per your article: Women are more likely than men to have had a prior relationship with their victims, 62% versus 36%.

          That leads to: most female instances are circumstances of domestic violence.

          3) Do you really think female perpetrated instances of domestic violence are fully reported and/or taken seriously?

          We ALL are aware of the meme that “men are violent prone” – which is what sprung the comments from Russel, Brian, and myself.

          Hey – we can talk about the misandry (funny, that’s not even a recognized english word!) in our current society if you want, but most people can’t even broach the topic.

          Evan wrote on July 15th, 2010
        • Evan – I did note that men are usually the victims in male violence in my second post.

          I’m not arguing anything about men and violence. I just read Russel’s comment as dismissive to facts so I thought I would just inform.

          Also, I am currently reading a non-fiction book by Gavin DeBecker, our Nation’s best-known expert on the prediction and management of violence, that pertains to stalking and other similar behaviors so it’s just something on my mind right now.

          As I said before, I think this game sounds creative and fun but there is a fair amount of people that represent a majority who say they wouldn’t want to be on the other side of this game. It’s just a matter of respect and having fun at the expense of someone else whether they are aware of it or not really doesn’t seem like something a responsible person who is concerned about their health, and possibly even the health of others would do.

          Carrie wrote on July 15th, 2010
        • Carrie –

          Fair enough.

          In regards to russel’s comment, it would be wise to pay attention to the fact that it was even made.

          These comments aren’t made by misogynists or chauvinists either (I’m fairly certain the majority of MDA fans are open minded; I like to think I am).

          That is, why are men even saying such things that are “dismissive” to the plight of women?

          Evan wrote on July 15th, 2010
      • While I sympathise with your frustration with the view of all men as potential molestors – and I really do sympathise – you have to also look at it form the other point of view.

        Most rape victims are still female. And most rapists are still male. So a woman isn’t out of line to be a bit wary of strange men acting out hunting maneouvers on her. imo.

        I think the ‘generally stick to hunting men’ comment is a good bit of friendly advice. :)

        Sylvie wrote on July 15th, 2010
      • Well said Russel. While there are bad apples in every basket, the real problem is adolescent adults in the US unable to think and judge for themselves.

        Here’s my technique: I live my own life and ignore the catatonic freaks. If a female is unsure about me in passing, she’ll find out in short order I’m no threat when she checks out my hot ass and wonders why I didn’t pay any attention to her.

        Ah the allure of a focused man. Imitated by many, exuded by few.

        K-man wrote on July 16th, 2010
      • considering the language Mark has used and the problems a lot of women joggers have had with stalkers Justa’s comments are justified Russell. perhaps you should educate yourself and open your narrow arrogant view before trying to mansplain to the rest of us.

        Amy wrote on August 2nd, 2010
      • Well, gosh–for being bogeymen, which usually don’t actually exist, they sure do manage to do a whole lot of real, actual raping. Weird!

        See if you think it’s a “pathetic mindset” when, at bare minimum, 1 in every 4 people of your gender has been raped (to say nothing of harassed, stalked, abused, etc.). If I see someone who’s been pacing me on a jogging path suddenly start sprinting up behind me, my natural instinct to defend against a possible attack that’s a very real threat on a very regular basis is going to take over. That’s not a “pathetic mindset;” that’s survival instinct.

        Tee wrote on August 2nd, 2010
    • Also, it’s just plain considerate to not treat a woman as prey, given how often women are already preyed upon for real in this world.

      Can we not approach this in the sense of being considerate? Does it all have to be about what the woman will do? It’s not like she’s doing anything *wrong.*

      If you absolutely must do this with a woman jogger, I might suggest you arrange it with a female friend beforehand. And you still might get the attention of a random passing cop, so be aware of that possibility too. Don’t let your friend get too far ahead, so that you can call her back if you run into trouble.

      Dana wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • in my opinion, the point of this exercise is to not be seen. So the problem of scaring women/men into calling the police is null and void. Once you feel that you have been ‘made’ then you should move to a different target. If we were hunting deer in the same manner you would have to follow it and not be seen so this should be done the same way.

      Jason wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • good point. just hope you don’t pick a strong woman who will ‘see’ you before you notice you have been seen. :)

        Carrie wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • “just hope you don’t pick a strong woman”

          You can’t be serious. HAHA

          Listen, I treat women kindly because I was raised to and it’s the right manner of conduct. But facts being facts, and reality being what it is, even a ‘strong’ woman is nothing to be concerned of in the physical sense you were inferring. It’s basic physiology, the male human is physically dominant.

          Of course, wimpy computer geeks fall outside the range of male and ‘ride’ the fence.

          With that said, we all need to be mindful of how we treat each other, gender/race/etc irrespective.

          K-man wrote on July 19th, 2010
        • I’m simply amazed at the lengths to which men will go in their minds to re-assure themselves that women are weaker, that men can dominate them, etc, etc. This must be the logic behind attacks on women: “She’s a woman, she’s weaker, I’m more physically dominant, survival of the fittest, etc.”

          I’m glad K-man was raised to treat women kindly, but I’m also amazed that he and so many men here seem to assume that women’s strength (and dignity, and safety)is laughable.

          I’ve been to some women’s self-defense classes, and I was amazed at how hard women can hit if they want to. You might ultimately prevail in a fight with a woman, but a strong, trained woman is going to make it cost you. I was in a fight with a man who assaulted me, and I won. I am not a martial artist, and he was bigger than me by a good bit.

          Methinks the gentlemen do protest too much.

          shannon wrote on July 20th, 2010
        • K-man, maybe on a fair one-on-one fight in a boxing ring would be true since testosterone does give men who workout an advantage on upper body strenght (but makes them a bit more sensitive to adrenaline’s mind-numbing effects which doesn’t help), but the more you take into account other real life factors the less this becomes true – weapons (can muscles stop bullets?), backup friends, knowledge of major weak spots in the body, surprise attack/first strike, fighting style/training, endurance/energy, clear-headedness, pain resistance/the ability to take a hit, getting pissed enough to come back for round 2, and willingness to do anything necessary to protect yourself (how many people don’t have it in them to kill/hospitalize someone and risk jailtime without hesitation to save themselves? Those who can will always have a psychological advantage over those who can’t)

          mm wrote on July 20th, 2010
    • If I decided to “hunt” a women and he or she makes a scene by calling the police or whatever then I will just explain to them exactly what I am doing.

      I would tell them I am simply exercising the primal way and would ask them if they would like to know what it is….

      Primal Toad wrote on July 15th, 2010
      • Good luck with that.

        shannon wrote on July 15th, 2010
      • Never mind that I am already constantly watching my back and on guard whenever I’m out alone, and that if someone was worrying me enough to warrant a call to the police or my pepper spray, their behaviour would have ruined my run (as well as my day) and would probably make me avoid that park from then on. Don’t worry about that, because it’s all a great way to teach women about “the primal way”. Plus, YOU got some motivation out of it, so that’s all that matters.

        A little off topic, but I’m really sick of being told by men that I’m “overreacting” when I don’t want to walk alone at night, or go out running by myself. If it seemed like someone was following me in the park, I would get out my pepper spray, and the minute they came “right onto my heels” I wouldn’t hesitate to spray it. It bothers me that the same people who say this kind of behaviour is fine are probably the ones who blame the victim when a rape actually happens. Yes, I realize that’s a gross generalization, but it seems like anyone who has no understanding or sympathy for the amount of fear that women live with would be someone with no understanding of how and why rape happens.

        Grace wrote on August 2nd, 2010
      • No, no, no. That’s not how this works. 1) No cop anywhere is going to have a shred of patience for your, “But officer! Don’t you want to know about exercising the primal way?” preaching, and at best, s/he will tell you to get the hell out of that park and go home. 2) How about, instead of putting the onus on female joggers not to get creeped out by you doing something that would appear to almost anyone who hasn’t read Mark’s blog to be creepy, you take responsibility for yourself and your own actions and recognize that the onus is on you not to come off as a creep in the first place? If you creep out someone enough that she feels the need to involve the police, YOU’RE the one making the scene, not her.

        Tee wrote on August 3rd, 2010
  2. What a fun idea. What a good way to step outside of the comfort zone as far as ” looking normal” is concerned.
    I can see how playgrounds and parks could offer ample opportunity to practice moving over a challenging surface.
    I have to agree that persistence hunting a woman, especially by a man, might be a bad idea. Unless it’s your significant other, and she is practicing escaping a predator. In that case, let the games begin!

    Chris wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • Haha, I thought the same thing…letting the husband wander along ahead, while I save my burst of speed to blow past him at the perfect moment! Though he’s too competitive for that I think, he’d catch me for sure.

      I honestly didn’t even think people would consider “hunting” someone smaller/more vulnerable than themselves, but my point of view is that of someone who is smaller than most people, not bigger! A bigger man would definitely have more trouble with this particular workout…

      Hannah wrote on July 14th, 2010
  3. this is a really cool post. Last summer i actually had this exact framework in mind when i would go hang at my local track in NYC. There were always some low and slow joggers doing endless loops, and i would really do pretty much exactly what you are saying – follow them for a couple laps, establish their pattern/pace, etc then i might fall back and rest for a minute on the side, then pick them up again for maybe one lap, then BAM id sprint like madhell and catch up to them (well, i’d keep going pass them so they didnt think i was a crazyrambokillerstalker:).
    anyway, excellent post.

    ben wrote on July 14th, 2010
  4. Mark, I was very disappointed to find that this article wasn’t about ACTUAL persistence hunting. I want to run down a deer in the park! =P

    Jim wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • SO, why don’t you? We have plenty of deer around here. I could see doing this with a deer.

      jeff wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • deer are so dangerous. I bet they would stomp you. have you seen the videos of them protecting their young?

        Carrie wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • I’d love to see someone attempt this with a deer in the woods. They’re like ghosts with how quiet they are and as soon as they get spooked they’re gone. You’d have to be superman to keep up.

        jus wrote on July 15th, 2010
        • Well if watch the video that Mark posted (follow the “persistence hunter” link.

          You can see that these bushmen run down a Kuku which is an antelope.

          Only thing is this is in a savannah plain, rather than woods. I agree that in wooded forests this wouldn’t work as well.

          As this WHOLE thread has been hijacked, perhaps quite a few have missed the point:

          The principle of persistence hunting means that despite their quicker pace, animals cannot pant whilst they run, if they cannot pant they cannot cool down, so if the human can keep them moving they eventually die of heat exhaustion…

          Humans are the ONLY animal that can “run” and cool down at the same time (due to our largely bare skin and MASSIVE amount of sweat glands)… thing is we never evolved to run marathon distances – the intermittent fractal running that Mark describes is what we are best at…

          We are clever little monkeys! 😉

          Luke in Oz wrote on July 15th, 2010
        • Can’t watch the video (thanks, Websense) but on the plains I can understand this working. If you had to rely on persistence hunting where I live, you’d be eating a lot of pork. I have actually run down hogs before while hunting (they’re not as fast and can be pretty clumsy so they’re easy to follow as they barrel through the brush).

          I’m always surprised at how fast and agile deer are in the woods. The closest I’ve come to hand’s reach was when I walked up on a spotted fawn (and that’s only because it’s natural instinct was to stay hidden). I have had some luck in the past removing my boots and stalking up for a better shot in my socks so this fall I may try using my VFF’s.

          jus wrote on July 15th, 2010
        • @Luke in Oz

          “… the intermittent fractal running that Mark describes is what we are best at…”

          Maybe it’s best for us, Luke. (I don’t know about “what we’re best at.) But it’s not what anthropologists mean by “persistence hunting”.


          “To take a 60-mile run through woods and swamps and over hills and rocks after a deer is an ordinary every-day task for an Apache hunter, and he always gets the deer.”

          To coin a phrase, it was no walk in the park.


          “… he jogs along at a five miles an hour gait, never lagging, never stopping.”

          Nothing “fractal” about that.

          I’m not recommending anyone do that – just pointing out that that’s the anthropological fact, like it or not.

          Lewis wrote on July 15th, 2010
    • I was thinking the same thing! I just finished Born to Run a few weeks ago and have been intrigued by the concept of persistence hunting (real hunting) ever since.

      sara wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • I’m guessing most states don’t have a persistence hunting season, so your local game warden may persistence hunt you.

        Paul C wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Ugh, I just had this horrible vision of narrowly missing a deer with my car, only to strike a guy wearing a loin cloth and VFFs.

          Paul C wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Hahahahaha now that mental image gave me a good chuckle :)

          sara wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • HAHA! Awesome visual.

          Nick wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Well, maybe, but if he stops me what is he going to arrest me for? I wouldn’t have a weapon on me. =P

          And as for the fear of hitting me with your car, I guess I can understand that. But if you hit the deer after I’ve been persistence hunting it, I call dibs!

          Jim wrote on July 15th, 2010
    • No deer in the city….lots of squirrels though.

      mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm squirrel

      Doug wrote on July 15th, 2010
  5. I love this post! I love when I can combine play and exercise. So much better than a treadmill.

    A variation that may seem a little less threatening (though just as crazy- but who cares?) would be running FROM people as they jog along; occasionally sprinting, jogging, crawling low behind bushes to stay out of sight, or climbing a tree to get away. Switch joggers as you come accross them, or just stay ahead of the same jogger the whole time, using your hearing or even smell (those chronic cardio folk can get smelly!) to stay just out of sight.

    anzy wrote on July 14th, 2010
  6. Though I don’t play myself, the pattern of movement sounds like it could be more easily achieved by playing soccer. (Maybe basketball, too, to some degree.)

    George wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • Agreed, playing soccer is very primal. I got into my best shape while playing in a co-ed over 40 league.

      TexasPrimalSurfWahine wrote on July 14th, 2010
  7. Oh-my-good-god, Mark! Only a man would think stalking a woman jogger is a good idea!! The heck with “you might get sprayed with mace” — how about: you might terrify some woman who doesn’t know you from Adam!

    And Russell?
    “Ah yes, the “all men are potential abductors/rapists/boogeymen” phenomenon… can’t stand that crap.”

    Too bad you “can’t stand” what is a woman’s TRUE perception of the world. How about you go take a nice walk in a bad area in Detroit some night? See if you are uninterested in/unconcerned by who might be following or jogging up behind you!

    I’m guessing you don’t closely know many women – sister? wife? daughter? — to know that this is not some idiotic fear, but a necessary survival awareness. I’m just so astonished at your lack on understanding of women, and their true jeopardy in the world today, that I don’t even know how to answer you!

    It’s too bad good men are viewed with suspicion, but until the ACTUAL (real, physical) “abductors/rapists/boogeymen” are controlled or neutralized by good men, then the good men must suffer the appropriate suspicion a woman MUST have of unknown males! (Hell, good men should HELP women deal with both that reasonable fear and their actual danger! Not deride it as “crap”!!)

    Elenor wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • Someone really needs to take a chill pill.

      Or, remove the stick from your @$$, whichever you prefer.

      It’s an article on a workout idea and a comment about how this society is scared/freaked out about way to much, mainly because of a failed media that gets off on focusing and over-reporting negatives to get higher ratings at the expense of having an overstressed and overly frightened population.

      Brandon wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • Your second paragraph really isn’t called for (can’t think of a situation where it would be). It has nothing to do with the media exploiting peoples’ fear. The behavior Mark describes would be unsettling to ANYONE who encountered it, whether they had over-exposure to media scare stories or not.

        Dave wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • It’s true that if most people noticed someone intently sprinting towards them from behind it would be unsettling. However, let’s face it, most people wont notice. Most people are completely oblivious to their surroundings. Those you are aware, for the most part, are the people freaked out by the media.

          Brandon wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • Rape and murder aren’t over-reported. Just the opposite. I was raped in 1992 and never reported it because it wasn’t violent and I had gotten myself into a stupid situation. But I also did not consent, and I was drunk, so it sure wasn’t consensual sex.

        I didn’t have physical injuries, but there were emotional consequences that stayed with me for a long, long time, ruined my relationship with my high school sweetheart and stunted my ability to relate well to any other man or to make healthy choices in relationships. Up to that point, I had been OK. Afterward, I was a mess for the better part of twenty years.

        This is not s?!t to play around with or scoff at. If you haven’t been there then you don’t know and you should save your opinion for something you actually know something about.

        And mine, as I said, wasn’t a violent rape. Imagine what women who’ve suffered the violence must be going through. I don’t even want to think about it.

        If you don’t want to think about us, go look up a forum on the Internet for male survivors of rape and ask *them* what *they* think. I dunno. Whatever floats your boat.

        It ceases to be a statistic when it starts being you.

        Dana wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • But they are over-reported. I don’t mean in the sense that they don’t happen or are falsely reported. I’m talking the nightly news. Not just with rape or murder, but with all negatives.

          It’s statistically true. If in one day, there’s one rape, but three cases of women fighting and preventing rape, the news is only going to cover the one rape, and they’ll cover it for days. I’m not saying that the rape shouldn’t be covered, but so showed the failed attempts.

          It’s not a secret. There are books about it. It’s common knowledge. The nightly news is designed to make you scared. They put extra attention on negatives and cover those negatives for extended time; all for the purpose of scaring you, getting ratings, and selling ads. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the truth. And believe it or not, I do know a few things about this topic, thank you.

          I’m not saying rape doesn’t happen. And how about you know what you’re talking about. If you think I don’t care about women and what happens to them, think again. My best friend is a woman and I love her with all of my heart. She means more to me than most of my own family members (immediate family included) and if something ever happened to her, better believe it, the perpetrators would be wishing for death.

          I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, that it’s not tragic, that it’s not something to be concerned about. All I said is that people are overly paranoid, because of the media.

          And I’m sorry that it happened to you. Violent or not, bad situation or not, intoxicated or not, it is tragic. And it’s unfortunate that you didn’t report it. You should have. But just because you didn’t report it doesn’t negate the FACT that the media abuses these cases. Not reporting it was your mistake, and yes, a lot of women don’t, again, a mistake.

          Brandon wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • ??

        A lot of women have ‘close call’ stories, or true horror stories, unfortunately. While I’m with you on the media stuff, at the same time women worry about these things because, chances are, we’ve actually experienced them.

        Why am I careful? Several reasons. I was stalked by a schizophrenic man who ended up murdering his mother and daughter (luckily, after I moved away to college)… he was a customer in the donut shop I worked at, who I’d always thought was very nice, just a bit quiet and shy. Grabbed and dragged down an alleyway by a stranger… in broad daylight… but I happened to get away and, luckily, police were nearby and took him in. And, about 2 years before they got caught, I had a run-in with Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka (I grew up not far from his ‘hunting grounds’) that luckily came to nothing, due to her being completely stupid and using an ineffective luring technique. Long story. Will never forget their faces.

        I’m not paranoid by any means, nor do I think all men are predators… but I’m bloody aware and careful of potential situations, because they happen.

        Tracy wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Right. I lived in Jamaica Plain, MA, in the early eighties. There was a beautiful big park there. An amazing number of women had been assaulted while jogging there. I met several of them within a few days of moving to the neighborhood. Shortly after I moved there, a woman got stabbed by a junkie in the park and only survived because a couple found her bleeding. This was on a tuesday morning. she had a dog with her.
          Later somebody followed me in that park.

          I’ve been assaulted twice, and fought him off both times. Next time I’m going to simply kill anybody who assaults me. So don’t sneak up on me, boys. YOu’ll be sorry.

          shannon wrote on July 15th, 2010
    • I bet you think domestic violence is only perpetrated by men, huh?

      Evan wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • Yes, because women are incapable of hitting or hurting people…

        Brandon wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • So, Joe, were close minded for being tired of being automatically labeled or thought of as predators for simply being male; or just having a differing opinion on the situation as you. SO what makes you so enlightened good sir? I love how the people who pride themselves on being so open minded automatically feel that they can label others as being close-minded just because they don’t agree with them on an issue. If you’re the example of open-mindedness, I’m glad you don’t want to associate yourself with me.

          And it’s safe to say whatever you want, just sit well with the knowledge that you’re wrong sir. So yeah, screw yourself please.

          Brandon wrote on July 15th, 2010
        • HAHA. The one accusing others of ignorance is using ad hominem arguments.

          Its okay Joe, my ability to get laid has everything to do with this discussion! Thanks for the laugh.

          Evan wrote on July 15th, 2010
  8. A great light-hearted idea with great potential.

    We all know how our minds can be the difference between an intense, rewarding workout, and a dissappointing, soul-sapping session. The idea of entertaining the mind in this primal scenario should work a treat! The HIIT training will come as a bonus. Beats intervals on the tredmill anyday.

    Luke M-Davies wrote on July 14th, 2010
  9. When I was about thirteen or so my friend Michele and I would hike barefoot up into a wild area in a park close to her house. The terrain was rough with lots of sharp rocks and pebbles. We had a favorite perch that was hidden from the path by low branches, but was visible to the rest of the park because it overlooked the whole play ground. We would pretend to be savages, looking for our prey. Then we would hear it, the sound of bells on the wind, and would jump up and run as fast as we could, jumping over bushes,cactus, and rocks, ducking under low hanging branches, hurtling fire ant mounds, running on tip toe sometimes to avoid the inevitable Texas sticker patch (“Ow Ow Ow Ow!”). Adrenaline pumped through our veins and we would worry that we wouldn’t make back to her house in time to gather the necessary tools (money, in this case)to bring down our foe. Then we would lie in wait on her front porch and soon we would see it…the ice cream truck, lumbering the street chiming its pied piper tune. We would burst off the porch run to the curb and bring down our prey, happily slurping the orange push up or biting into the helpless dreamscicle, exposing it’s vanilla innards.

    Later at the pool we were pearl divers or breaching whales or otters. None of this mindless swimming back and forth across the pool. Just a lot of swimming under water and holding our breath for as long as possible.

    Neither Michele and I were fat. We ran or swam off every calorie we ate I suspect. And those experiences were just plain FUN, unlike so much “exercise” today. Great post!

    mere wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • Aaagh! Stickers! They’re not just in Texas! I’ve seen them all over the South. They make going barefoot interesting, that’s for sure! >.<

      Dana wrote on July 14th, 2010
  10. Although I know the original intent of this was humorous, it is somewhat tasteless too. If I saw someone doing this to my wife or daughter (even though they of course would not be doing chronic cardio) I don’t care what the perpetrator’s intent was, I would put a stop to their actions.

    Jeff wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • To be fair to Mark, I don’t think he ever said, “Hey men, go jogging, locate some women runners, and run them down.” Maybe he even attributed a bit of common sense to us that we would locate an appropriate person, whether a stranger or someone known or a man or a woman, and someone that could challenge us, i.e., a runner that wasn’t too fast or too slow for us, and have fun with it.

      Justin wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • the post refers to the chosen jogger as “him or her.” I can say as female jogger I would definitely use my pepper spray if someone actually hid behind a tree and then sprinted after me, not to mention be absolutely terrified. Any man who would even consider “stalking” a female jogger (pretend of otherwise) is seriously clueless.

        Jamie wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Like I said, I think we can assume people, no matter what they are doing during their day, need to exercise a bit of common sense. Yes, the post may refer to a chosen jogger as him or her. But I guess if you are imputing to Mark that he meant men go chase female joggers, you think he is writing only for a male audience. But I think enough has been said about how bad some people think this is. I also agree with the post below that I doubt most people would notice your behavior when this should be done where there are a lot of people and joggers around. Again, common sense would say don’t do this while trail running and there is only you and another jogger around. Maybe Mark had too much faith in people’s common sense though.

          Justin wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • I think another point was to do this in a way that you wouldn’t be noticed by the target. If you get noticed, you just lost your game, and you starve to death.

          Use common sense… don’t single out a lone runner in an empty park. Also pick a target that’s in their own world with headphones on, etc, and make sure they never see you. Find a “herd” of joggers, single out the weakest of the group, and hunt that one down. If they look back and also start sprinting, that’s not a good sign.

          Nick wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • SOMEONE GETS IT……the rest of this whole thread can die, it really wasnt needed.

        Shawn wrote on July 14th, 2010
  11. I really like the idea and can visualize it. I too would be concerned with hunting the “wrong” jogger. I guess if you hang back far enough, the prey would never be the wiser.

    The switch-off idea might be a better option, except to the casual on-looker…you will definitely look like a nut!

    Steve1907 wrote on July 14th, 2010
  12. I’m sorry, but this idea seems creepy and ill-advised. Male or female, I would NOT appreciate being chased like this. Why not chase a squirrel instead?

    Heather wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • I think you guys are missing the point. You’re not supposed to look like you’re actually chasing/hunting/stalking a person.

      kctex wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • I look over my shoulder a lot while walking in my not-so-safe neighborhood. If you were stalking me, I would know.

        shannon wrote on July 15th, 2010
  13. Whew! Looks like I rocked the boat here a bit. Ha!

    First, as Justin said, I would expect all MDA readers to use common sense when trying this. There is a right and wrong way to do it and I think most people will be able to judge where the line is.

    As many have pointed out, yes, a man choosing to chase a man instead of a woman might be the first good common sense decision.

    Another way to do this playful routine would be to take a jogger friend to the park and use them as “prey”. They can do the Chronic Cardio and you can make like Grok instead.

    Last, if you’re good they’ll never know you’re there. 😉

    Mark Sisson wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • So Mark, is this how you “caught” Carrie? 😉

      Aaron Blaisdell wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • Heaven forbid people use Primal Blueprint Law #10, huh Mark?

      Brandon wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • SPOT ON!

        Actually Primal Blueprint Laws 3, 5, 7, 9 and 10!!!

        3 and 5 were part of the exercise (move frequently at a slow pace and sprint once in a while).

        7 (play), 9 (avoid stupid mistakes) and 10 (use your brain) seem to be beyond all these people that have jumped onto the ISSUES that could occur!!!

        FFS people – yeah if you act creepy and stalk someone to make them uncomfortable then you deserve everything you get.

        Secondly if you are STUPID enough to read Mark’s post and just go out and do it without THINKING about how you do it, when would be appropriate etc then quite frankly you are a moron, and not applying law 10 as Brandon has just pointed out!

        Luke in Oz wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • Mark, I don’t think you’re creepy.
      Weird, but not creepy. :)

      Vince wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • I actually had no issue with you. I had issue with the random commenters who were saying the equivalent of, “OH QUIT GROUSING ABOUT RAPE YOU WHINYBABIES.” I really, really, really get angry when I read variations on that. It makes me wish I were about seven feet tall and musclebound so I could go hunt *them.*

      Dana wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • First of all there was only one commentor. Second, he didn’t say anything remotely offensive. He said he was upset at how the mindset nowadays is that men are all viewed as potential rapists, just because all rapists tend to be men. It doesn’t go both ways. And he is right.. No one said being aware of your safety made you a whiner.
        People are offended all too easily, even by a singular post in an online forum by someone they don’t know that isn’t even directed at them and is only vaguely offensive at best.

        Vince wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Well said.

          Evan wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Women who have been raped or assaulted do get offended when a game is suggested that involves hunting people like prey. Not too surprising.

          We know that all men aren’t rapists. It’s just that if I don’t know you personally, and I see you stalking me, I have to assume you might be a predator. YOu are acting like one. If I didn’t assume that and ended up dead, you’d think I was a silly person who deserved what she got.

          shannon wrote on July 15th, 2010
        • The problem here, that all you dismissive types are missing, is that when women DON’T view all men as potential rapists, people are so very quick to jump all over her because “what did she expect” and “why would she trust him” and “why did she (exist while female) do that?”

          THAT is the problem—that when we DO take precautions, you are quick to whine about how unfair it is to the poor widdle menz, and when we DON’T take precautions, you are equally quick to blame us for somebody else’s criminal actions.

          Pick one or the other. You can’t have it both ways. If more men would blame rapist men for rapists’ actions, and not blame women, then oh-so-cute little stunts like this proposal wouldn’t trigger these reactions. But you’re not. You’re all hyped up to play stalker, then all hyped up when women *gasp* don’t like being stalked, and yet still all hyped up to blame a woman whom a man has raped for being stalked!

          You people sicken me. You and you inconsistency are the problems here.

          The Problem wrote on August 2nd, 2010
      • Dont you understand context? His comment was made in the context of a primal “game”.

        His comment wasnt offensive in the context of the post.

        He didnt walk into a mall wearing a bill board that said, “Quit whining about rape you wussies”.

        Context. Realize you way overreacted.

        Shawn wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • but if a woman chooses to chase me, it’s okay too.

      Eric wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • Mark – as I said awesome post – pity about the reaction.

      What I have just noticed, so many people have reacted along one of two lines:

      1) Mark how could you? Someone will take this literally and scare/terrorise someone

      2) Lighten up and use your common sense

      Essentially it proves EVERYONE is smart enough to realise that you wouldn’t do this WITHOUT thinking about it and you wouldn’t necessarily do this as a man, chasing a women (which seems to be the largest and justified concern).

      What is interesting is EVERYONE assumes they have enough common sense, but no one else does!?!?!

      Surely people reading these posts should realise that ALL people are smart enough to read your post and know that it should be done with some thought and consideration for the environment and the “prey”.

      For all those people saying this post is irresponsible because someone may misunderstand it – surely you aren’t arrogant enough to think you are the ONLY people to have enough common sense to see this?! Not ONE post has said – gee I never thought of that… people aren’t that stupid (AND YOU ARE NOT THAT SMART – get over yourselves!)

      Surely no-one thinks that some person has suddenly got a great idea from this post to become creepy? Creepy people with bad intention probably don’t tend to like to draw attention to themselves by crawling on their stomach and doing weird things

      If anything this post and ALL the comments prove that people are not as stupid as other people give them credit for! :-)

      Luke in Oz wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • That sounds like a grown-up game of “tag”.

      Doug wrote on July 15th, 2010
  14. Interesting idea, but yes, trying this where I live would get you shot or arrested, or both.

    Tim wrote on July 14th, 2010
  15. Before you try this, please consider that many states issue concealed handgun carry permits, and the jogger you choose to “hunt” may be legally carrying a concealed handgun. If you engage in such “hunting/stalking” behavior, and then come thundering up on an armed jogger, you may well find yourself the prey rather than the predator.

    I would strongly suggest that this type of play be done with a willing partner, and not with an unaware stranger.

    Sam wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • Or rabbits, which can run like crazy and need very careful stalking. Squirrels just head for the nearest tree, so that would be a pretty short run!

      Tim wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • I was just about to suggest that very thing. Rabbits are excellent for chasing. They stop after several yards, I suppose to assess their pursuer and figure out what they need to do. This gives you the chance to run them down. Just don’t hurt the little fellas.

        Deano wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • a handgum while running at the park? Hmmm? That would be annoying.

      Carrie wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • Awareness of one’s surroundings, and exercising common sense are always one’s best self defense. That being said, carrying a concealed handgun (including running with one) is not nearly as annoying as you might think.

        Anonymous wrote on July 28th, 2010
    • Or, be sure to bring your atlatl in case there’s a firefight.

      Keith wrote on July 15th, 2010
  16. Read the article with a bit of shock at this kind of behaviour, but then read the comments. What a laugh, as they say in facebook lol. Hope no one actually tries this.

    Helen Zimmerman wrote on July 14th, 2010
  17. I did this once in Orlando, FL, although it wasn’t in a park and nowhere near any people (to you guys who took so much offense to Mark’s idea of it). In fact, I was dead-smack in the middle of the woods with nature made trails, going on for miles. So nature-y to the point that fallen trees of all sizes with craw holes gaps under and places to climb to jump/vault over. as I was walking, observing my surroundings, I began to sprint. Leaping, climbing, jumping over streams! until i came across deer tracks (this is the persistance part) that were still fresh. I keep following very silently with my VFFs on until I hear crashes next to me in the palmettos and out came three deer, scaring the hell out of me. they dash off and I started laughing with my pounding heart. then I realized I was lost… but thats another story
    No women or men chasing for me!

    Oneil wrote on July 14th, 2010
  18. People really need to lighten up. God forbid if we assume others to have common sense.
    Keep up the great ideas Mark. Some of us love them!!

    John wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • A-groking-men

      Jared wrote on July 14th, 2010
  19. I do this with my 9 year old ALL THE TIME but on a smaller scale. The place is this HUGE outdoor play castle in my town called the Imagination Station. We play a very disorganized game and hide and seek/tag. We chase each other, hide, run, jump, and climb (the FiveFingers are AMAZING for this!). I’ll bust out a set of pullups on the monkey bars for good measure every so often, too. It’s as close as I’ll ever get to feeling 9 again. If you have little Grokitos or Grokitas, this is a fantastic way to spend a summer afternoon!

    Great post, Mark.

    Jared wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • But I especially wouldn’t do this with someone else’s kid, BTW.

      unless you’re really itching to try out Mark’s “prison workout!” LOL

      Jared wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • Now THAT is funny!!!

        Clint White wrote on July 14th, 2010
  20. I get the whole ‘uproar’ of comments on this post, I personally interpreted maybe not hunting a single cardio jogger, but a pack of them. The idea behind this is to return the idea of the ‘hunt’ to our bodies not just our minds. While I am sure there will be some who do get maced arrested and the like doing this to which well proves that they didn’t keep the sense a hunter does going after prey. Does Grok go after the bear cub with Mama near by, Grok isn’t stupid. But this isn’t actual hunting either, maybe find something more satisfying chase a rabbit down, you won’t catch them before they scamper into a hole usually, but if you do… call him stew.

    Jaye Sunsurn wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • I think the ‘uproar’ of comments is because some people just cannot appreciate good satire. Russel’s misogynistic threadjack didn’t help, either. Oh, well.

      Jared wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • I didn’t catch the ‘satire’ part of the post. BOOM! You just got comment uproared!

        Ben wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • I didn’t catch the satire either. It must be very subtle, and very funny. Maybe I’ll pretend to steal my neighbor’s car later.

          Jamie wrote on July 14th, 2010
      • He is misogynistic because he is upset that all men are considered suspected rapists in this country?
        Someone needs 1000 chillograms of chill pill STAT.

        Vince wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • I’m not sure I’d use misogynistic, but definitely an uncaring, unsympathetic post to a very real and – to some who have been assaulted – debilitating fear.

          Grokette wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Sorry, Russel. I didn’t mean to call you a misogynist, per se. However, someone who truly believes that women treat all men like rapists has some sort of axe to grind, don’t you think? Knowing women who have been victimized, I will never criticize anyone for being too cautious.

          I wasn’t trying to offend the guy, but I can see why women would have a problem with that post is all.

          Jared wrote on July 14th, 2010
        • Not all men, all *unknown* men, and not suspected, but *potential*. Big difference, particularly if their actions and behavior seems suspect. Remember, the “prey” are chronic cardio people who in all likelihood have no clue what being Primal means. They wouldn’t see it as a game but a potential threat.

          Dave wrote on July 14th, 2010
  21. Wow, that’s the first thing I thought “stalking 101”.

    Maybe I’ll try this with my wife. I’ll just give her a head start… then the hunt is on!

    Dave, RN wrote on July 14th, 2010
  22. Clearly not all of the readers here have common sense- see Russell’s characterization of concern about being hunted down while jogging as “crap” and “pathetic.” But I agree the majority probably do, and fortunately the commenters have clarified what should have been part of the post- don’t “play stalk” a stranger who could be physically intimidated by you (regardless of whether you or the “prey” are male or female). It’s mean and you could end up getting hurt. Of course the post has good intentions, but given how suggestible people can be I don’t think something like that should be left to assumptions.

    Jamie wrote on July 14th, 2010
  23. Haha this sounds fun! I have been going out sprinting a bit at lunch time but all my coworkers jog. Now I can at least participate with them. Not sure yet if I’ll warn them first… probably no need since I’m smaller than everyone and no one here owns a gun.

    Kat wrote on July 14th, 2010
  24. I will be trying this in my own unique way. I was very into reading this article. I haven’t been this engaged in a while. Sure, I am not going to literally hunt down a stranger. I may choose a squirrel or rabbit instead or something.

    But doing something LIKE THIS adds A LOT of fun to a workout!!

    Primal Toad wrote on July 14th, 2010
  25. Wow, some people who follow this blog really didn’t “get” this post. Do you all know what persistence hunting is, or understand its relevance to the Primal lifestyle? If not, look it up, it’s fascinating stuff, really!

    If you’re lacking in mental facility to the point where you thought Mark was suggesting we go out and hunt down people, run down women, or any thing of the sort, then there’s really nothing anyone can do to clarify your misunderstanding. But, I would assume that most people who follow this blog are intelligent and like to think outside the box. Take it easy and don’t assume that everyone carries mace, or that you’re automatically going to get shot. Most people on this planet these days are horrendously oblivious to their surroundings as it is and are highly unlikely to notice they’re being “tracked.” I think it’s a great idea and will definitely give it a try.

    Just my opinion though.

    Josh the Monkey wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • Do you watch the News. A high school girl went out for a jog and was raped and murdered. He was cought and had done the same thing the year before. Ladies feel free to mases any one that makes you uncomfortable. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Even though this was not the point of marks post let’s use rule #10.

      Joshkie wrote on July 17th, 2010
    • “Take it easy and don’t assume that everyone carries mace, or that you’re automatically going to get shot. Most people on this planet these days are horrendously oblivious to their surroundings as it is and are highly unlikely to notice they’re being “tracked.” ”

      It’s safer to acknowledge that strangers have the potential to be dangerous; and one should assume they are until proven otherwise. Woe be to you if you mistakenly pick one of the people who do happen to pay attention to their surroundings, and do carry some sort of personal protection. You’re right, Josh, the odds of that are very low. However, I’d rather not gamble my own safety.

      This game sounds like an interesting challenge, but if I try, it will be with friends.

      Anonymous wrote on July 29th, 2010
  26. This sounds so fun! Obviously the people you’re “stalking” shouldn’t have a clue as to what you’re doing unless you’re acting like a fool. It’s not like they can read your mind. I loved this Mark! Thanks

    Katie wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • EXACTLY!! That seems to be the thing most are not getting!! The other person is not supposed to KNOW you’re doing some sprinting behind them.

      thank you.

      Clint White wrote on July 14th, 2010
  27. Hate to say it, but even as a fairly big and rather laid back guy, you launch yourself from behind a tree at me while I’m running in the park…

    As Jeff Martone is fond of saying ‘nothing good can come of that’.

    Excellent idea, but I’d suggest you switch ‘partners’ often, stay a solid hundred yards back, and watch your butt. Prey shoots back sometimes.

    Craig Brown wrote on July 14th, 2010
  28. Cool post!

    It’s all about the mindset.

    Jean-Patrick wrote on July 14th, 2010
  29. You’re quite right Mark, “Stalking in the Park” does sound a bit sketchy for a title to this blog post. LOL

    David Csonka wrote on July 14th, 2010
  30. I love the spirit of this post. Use common sense, people. Keep a big distance between you and your goal. Or sneak up on a tree, for goodness sakes!

    Debra wrote on July 14th, 2010
  31. Just wanted to say that as a female that will not wear headphones when running for security reasons that I was not offended by this posting.I believe that Mark is not intending for anyone to do anything stupid like frighten people. If you are doing it right then you will go unnoticed. If the person you are following glances your way for any reason at all you are spotted and must choose another. Mark never suggests that you jump out from behind a tree towards anyone.
    Do be careful I you choose to run past someone though. I always call out to them to tell them what side of them I will be passing on before actually passing. Some people are so oblivious to the world that they are startled even then but one can only do so much.

    TexasPrimalSurfWahine wrote on July 14th, 2010
  32. Last paragraph should say “…if you choose to…” Sorry.

    TexasPrimalSurfWahine wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • Thank you for that refreshing bit of non reactionary level headedness.

      Hanuman wrote on July 14th, 2010
  33. This post was well-intentioned but not well thought-out in execution. Looking weird would be the least of your worries. You could get the same training effect and have even more fun by getting your “prey” in on the act. If you work as a team with one (or more) predators and one prey, then both parties get a great workout. Prey that is aware of it’s pursuer creates a much bigger challenge and is more realistic. Prey can sprint, evade, etc. Switch roles to mix it up. This is something Frank Forencich of Exuberant Animal has had in his playbook for years.

    Brad Gantt wrote on July 14th, 2010
  34. How about you pretend you are searching for prey if you are worried?
    You could also whip out the ol’ “sandbag with a friend” hunting game.
    And to anyone who is still somehow “offended” by the posts, I think we can all agree it was no one’s intention to make this out to be a “stalking game.” The idea is that they have no idea you are there! Then again, everyone else might be suspicious…

    Vince wrote on July 14th, 2010
  35. A few years ago, a large groups of my friends starting playing capture the flag in the park every saturday evening.

    It was a BLAST! So fun. One time, I crawled on my belly army style around the whole perimter of the park to approach the other teams flag from behind. It probably took 30 minutes of crawling. I managed to grab the flag, and then sprinted like hell to my teams side of the park. Of course, my team won that round! Took them all a little while to realize what had happened, as I had seemed to come out of no where.

    I didn’t realize it at the time, but man, that was so primal! We even all wore black, from head to toe because we were playing at night.

    After the game, we’d all head back to my friends house and everyone brought a different kind of fruit to snack on.

    I sugguest trying something like this! Or another organized game of manhunt.

    Caitlin wrote on July 14th, 2010
  36. Or you could just ride a bike. Mountain biking is all about fits and starts – short bursts of high intensity followed by low intensity. It’s full-body too as you shift your body weight around hopping over obstacles, climbing over roots, and decending. (ah, let’s not forget about descending – the adrenaline filled part!)

    Chris wrote on July 14th, 2010
    • I second mountain biking! Had a great ride today.

      I would feel weird chasing strangers – I’d probably use my kids as prey instead.

      Sarah wrote on July 14th, 2010
  37. Astonished by how serious people are taking this hilarious idea. Has it come to this point in society? Running and exercise must be done according to guidelines and rules. This could be a lot of fun if done the way Mark implies. Do you tell your children to carry pepper spray when they play hide and seek and tag in the sandbox? Seems like there are a lot of Korgs and not enough Groks on today’s board. The thing I love about MDA is it brings out your inner child quite often. Its sad that we don’t acknowledge our inner child more often. Grok on Mark!

    Christos wrote on July 14th, 2010
  38. From what I’ve seen of most runners here they wouldn’t notice if a herd of bison crossed their path, too busy plugged into ipod land and too maxed out in the land of CC.

    Great fun Mark, as you say its all about mindset, my brother has developed the most intricate routes around London taking in themed landmarks to make his Grokathons motivating.

    Kelda wrote on July 14th, 2010
  39. Easy solution to the “stalking” problem: play with buddies! Make it a group event. Split the groups into predators and marked prey. Set the prey to jogging, and sneak up on them. (My kid’s outdoor primitive adventure camp (Wolfcamp) plays variation on this every day)

    Mary wrote on July 14th, 2010

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