30 Bananas a Day!

This may be a contraversial topic seeing as so many people here are into long distance endurance type exercises but I was pondering on which is a more natural form of exercise for humans - medium intensity exercise such as jogging or high intensity exercises such as sprinting.

I like to think things through logically and evolution wise I think we would all agree that our bodies are designed to eat sweet fruits. As far as excercise is concerned it would seem to me that there would be far more need for us to sprint than to jog. The only reason I could see for us needing to jog is to hunt down pray in a persistant hunting type way and for obvious reasons I don't believe we would evolve this way. However I would see the need for sprinting to avoid predators. If you compare us to other primates you will find that they never jog or move at a for long durations at medium intensity - what would be the point for them? It's either explosive movements or a more sedate walking pace. I realize that humans were more nomadic and we'd have walked great distances but I don't think we would have jogged when we would've been travelling with large families with children of various ages.

Physiologically sprinting has been shown to give us many benefits, the most notable being the production of growth hormone which helps to build muscle, burn fat, tighten skin, repair tissue and keep us young (human growth hormone levels slowly decrease when we hit 30). Jogging and low intensity excerises release very little growth hormone. Is there an evolutionary reason that our bodies would do this?

Are there any other animals that physically move at medium intensity for long periods? Jogging is not prolific in nature! I'm sure you guys could think of loads though! I'm not saying that jogging or medium intensity exercises aren't great but my time as an 80/10/10 follower make me try to find what is optimum for humans and what we are designed to do.

I would like to know anybodies opinions as I think it's an interesting topic. I am certainly no expert this is just a few thoughts I've had. And by the way I've read Born to Run so I'm aware there are opposing viewpoints!

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I think the reason for such a large number of endurance athletes among LFRVegans is that this lifestyle creates supreme overall health (instead of conditioning a particular muscle group as required for sprinting competitions).

Participating in endurance sports is the way to get the hard data (results) showing that our diet helps to achieve superb overall body (and tissues) fitness, which is essential for endurance competitions.

In sprinting events results depend highly on hardcore muscles and blood conditioning (with huge temptation to dope). Overall health is not necessarily required.
It just looks like many athletes who went LFRV are eventually "drifting" towards endurance form of the sports in which they were engaged before. Probably, because of gaining additional advantages due to:
- lost water and fat weight
- improved oxygen absorption due to less mucus
- fast and smooth recovery, etc.

My sprinting performance in cycling did not change much since I went lfrv. Long distance and climbing improved big time.
While I do great in the ultras (50 miles+) Im also great in the sprint, thanks to the idiot bullies in high school. I just suck at anything between 1/8 of a mile and 35 miles...
That's a good point Denis. Many sprinters are really unhealthy and eat like crap. They can get away with it for a long time because all you need are strong fast twitch muscles and no aerobic fitness. Distance running is more health promoting since you can't get away with eating junk. That's why the Africans dominate so much in my opinion, genetics only play a small role.
When I pace some of the ultra runners (Mountain safety pacer, I do mile 75 to 100 for those who have been running 24 hours already) I have to pick those at the end of the pack, and yet will finish, as the elite will outdistance me at their mile 75 against me alongside at my first mile...

And I never pick up a pacer before mile 60, as I have no friends that can keep up with me for 8-10 miles until I reach that point.

Anyone want to pace me in the Leadville or Wasatch 100's next year? My 30 year old spinal injuries are better now (decades of diet and non-medical therapies) to the point that I should be able to finish both next year at age 58. I will not need a pacer for the Squaw Peak 50 (promoted as the countries 3rd hardest 50 miler) the 1st saturday in June. The other races are mid-August and early September. Michael should be at Leadville, now that he knows the course, I expect him in the lead of the 800 runners, not placing 31st as he did this year (which is an unbelievable GREAT time)
He did the run as a LFRV.
Human beings are natural endurance athletes, we're actually very good at it as a species and few animals can match us over long distances. Yes running short and fast is more useful in certain situations but the fact remains we're lousy sprinters, sorry Usain Bolt but in the animal kingdom you'd be left in the dust.

I think this is an example of where we differ from animals and thinking of things in terms of just evolution is too simplistic. Humans crave adventure and like to push the limits of what's possible, not everything has to have an evolutionary purpose. You talk about 'Born to run', these guys run ultradistances over rough terrain just for fun with a smile on their faces. I think that says it all. Sprinting obviously has great benefits, by increasing your top speed you can become more efficient at slower paces. At the end of the day just do what feels right, it should be fun either way.
All of us 'endurance athletes' on this forum could still out sprint 99.9% of the relevant age group population over a 100metre dash.

Endurance bike racing is typically 45 second bursts of 100% effort sprints followed by a recovery and then another 45second 100% max effort sprint. A typical Div 1 road race will have around 30 of these over the average 70km distance.

Its the same with a marathon. Your close to max heart rate for the last few km if you ran it right. A 5km race my heart rate is around 93% of max for 18mins. So we are getting a full on hormone stimulation there too.

A bit of everything is best as nature indicates. Long, short, fast, slow, hard, easy.
Yes a mix of things is best I guess. Resistance training is supposed to have it's benefits too and I guess in pre-history we'd get this from climing over various things and lifting our body weight. Nothing comparable to benchpressing 200kg a few times every other day though.
You're right that running is addictive, that's the endorphins that are designed to get us moving which is a natural thing. I disagree that a marathon is 'over the top', having the fitness to run a marathon is a very healthy thing. Look at Michael Arnstein, he can run a 100 mile ultra-run and still be fresh the next day, just shows the incredible endurance capacity of the human body if you put the right fuel in the tank.
Which is more natural????

Like asking if given a choice, would we choose air OR water.

Thinking in a very small box.

We humans are uniquely suited for sprinting (leg muscles stimulate other muscles to expand lungs, and more). And running hundreds of miles in difficult terrain (persistence hunting) we can do because we are hairless and do not have to stop and pant to cool off every few minutes. Our neck muscles and many other features are designed for distance running (not sprints, like 25 miles). Ask Michael, he just did the Leadville 100, extreme climbs, moderate altitudes (all above 9,300 ft).

I have run a deer herd to exhaustion (24 years ago, in better shape now).

Got too much to say on the topic, no time now--maybe later.

There is too much research on the subject (both sprint and ultra-distance) to relay on opinion and hunches as fodder for this discussion. It would be like asking nuns and priests about the fine points of marital sex and day to day living in harmony in the real world.
"There is too much research on the subject (both sprint and ultra-distance) to relay on opinion and hunches as fodder for this discussion. It would be like asking nuns and priests about the fine points of marital sex and day to day living in harmony in the real world."

Slightly over the top as I was just trying to start an interesting discussion! : ) Anyway I think I get your opinion on the subject and I agree with you wholeheartedly.
Over-the-top gets the point across in less words when some may not read "subtle" very well.



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