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EVOLUTIONARY-FITNESS  December 2003

EVOLUTIONARY-FITNESS December 2003

Subject:

Re: Bias against running

From:

Chuck Burns <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Evolutionary Fitness Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 9 Dec 2003 23:27:35 -0800

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From: "John Cogburn" <[log in to unmask]>
>
> From Keith's comments the other day, I still sense a bias against
jogging
> in this forum that I'm not sure is totally accurate.

John,
Part of the probelm may be semantics. I have no probelm with RUNNING.
But jogging -  that is slogging a long a slow pace that barely equals
a fast walk for an interminable time seems silly. When I walk I often
pass people who are "jogging".

> This weekend I went to a Christmas party and talked with a runner.
He is
> 69 years old, runs multiple times each week, looks to be in great
shape,
> and can run 5k in the low 20s.  I started thinking, "if running is
so
> terrible for you, why does this guy look so good for his age?"

Maybe it's because most other people his age look so bad and obese. On
the other hand I know few runniers, other than sprinters, who I'd like
to look like. The body adapts to the stresses placed on it and the
adaption made to running is to become as light as possible so as to
reduce the pounding on the joints. This means muscle and other lean
body mass loss. In the real world I'd rather be strong than be a
jogger. There are many times strength can come in handy; but jogging?

Actual running is another matter. I can see uses for that. If you're
walking down the street and a punk snatches your wifes purse your 5k
time doesn't mean squat. But your 40 yard dash time does. I think time
spent running (not jogging) should be spent developing a strong start
and an ability to run a fast 1/4 mile and mile. I can't envision
anything that would require running over a quarter mile. And this
would duplicate the running needs of our ancestors who had to run fast
to eat - or keep from being eaten.

> I think part of the problem lies in building up an aerobic base.  If
you
> add walking or slow jogging to a fitness program, it may not do much
to
> immediately change your body composition.  But if you want to become
a
> runner(faster than a jogger), those are the steps you have to go
through.
> Once you get in shape and your body gets used to running, then r
> unning
> becomes a viable means to change your body composition and achieve
other
> health benefits.

I think jogging for aerobics fitness is highly over-rated. I'd much
rather do an aggressive circuit of weightlifting than jog. For
instance I use kettlebells extensively. I guarantee that doing sets of
the ballistic lifts like the swing, the snatch and the clean and jerk
will get you breathing like you won't believe. And if you want to
change body composition the only change you're going to see from
running, other than weight loss, is loss of muscle. And as we get
older I don't want to give up any of what I have; it's too hard to get
back.

I really doubt the health benefits of jogging and running (over 12-15
miles a week) for those of us who are getting older (I'm 53). I see
the injuries my daughter and her friends who are on the track team in
HS and I say no way. The pounding your joints take is all out of
proportion to the supposed benefits recieved.

> Is there any real evidence that jogging or running is bad for you?
Of
> course, running can be taken to the extreme with marathons or ultra-
> marathons.  But I would like to say to those running skeptics, go
out an
> look at the people getting good times in 5k races.  They look to be
in good
> shape to me.

The two companies of young men who were in the medical rehab platton
with him when he was in Marine Basic training tells me volumes. A lot
of stress fractures, knee and hip problems. One correpsondent recently
told me that they are wising up and going to reduce the running - too
many injuries. This would make sense as the real need is not to slog
along endlessly but to be able to spint quickly from one firing
position to another (starting from prone) and to carry 80 pounds on
your back for long distances. Jogging confers the ability to do
neither. And to your last point above about the folks running good
times in 5k races - only if you like skinny and weak.

> Certainly, our ancestors engaged in both short-term high-intensity
exercise
> and long-term endurance exercise.  I fail to see how running wasn't
a part
> of this.  Running should not be the only form of exercise one does,
but I
> don't see why it shouldn't be part of a well-rounded fi
> tness program.

I would agree with this only if you are actually talking about running
and not jogging and that the total mileage per week were kept under
12-15 miles. And if most of those miles were spent sprinting or
running intervals. And if a well rounded resistance training program
were in place. Said program should involve body weight exercises,
ground based free weight exercises or kettlebells and avoid the use of
furniture (otherwise known as exercise machines).

Sorry for sounding like a cantankerous old curmudgeon. 90% of the
people I see jogging would be better of eating less and walking.

Chuck

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