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  1. #1

    Default Is running still natural?

    With all these instructional videos/sites on running, such as this one, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnGM3UDeWaY I just can't help to wonder how it would look if we could see a prehistoric man run and compare to the elites.

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    it's just runnin'

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    How big's the bear?
    "You don't have to think fast if you move slow" Red Green

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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    With all these instructional videos/sites on running, such as this one, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnGM3UDeWaY I just can't help to wonder how it would look if we could see a prehistoric man run and compare to the elites.
    Barefoot ? On a natural course ?
    Prehistoric man would chew up and spit out the elites
    Remember : Prehistoric man ran because he had to and he did it very single day

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbear View Post
    Barefoot ? On a natural course ?
    Prehistoric man would chew up and spit out the elites
    Remember : Prehistoric man ran because he had to and he did it very single day
    I don't know about that. Running makes you look like fleeing pray, so might not be a good idea a lot of times. No doubt they sprinted now and again, but for the most part I'm sure they just walked like the rest of us. Our phyisologly hasn't changed much in the last 100,000 years since our species first showed up, but we have on average gotten taller. With our longer legs and stride, no doubt we would have the advantage.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Persistence hunting is a hunting technique in which hunters use a combination of running and tracking to pursue prey to the point of exhaustion. While humans can sweat to reduce body heat, their quadrupedal prey would need to slow from a gallop in order to pant.[1] Today, it is very rare and seen only in a few groups such as Kalahari bushmen and the Tarahumara or Raramuri people of Northern Mexico. Persistence hunting requires endurance running – running many miles for extended periods of time. Among primates, endurance running is only seen in humans, and persistence hunting is thought to have been one of the earliest forms of human hunting, having evolved 2 million years ago.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I don't know about that. Running makes you look like fleeing pray, so might not be a good idea a lot of times. No doubt they sprinted now and again, but for the most part I'm sure they just walked like the rest of us. Our phyisologly hasn't changed much in the last 100,000 years since our species first showed up, but we have on average gotten taller. With our longer legs and stride, no doubt we would have the advantage.
    I don't know, some think differently http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/health/27well.html


    Excerpt:

    "The scientific evidence supports the notion that humans evolved to be runners. In a 2007 paper in the journal Sports Medicine, Daniel E. Lieberman, a Harvard evolutionary biologist, and Dennis M. Bramble, a biologist at the University of Utah, wrote that several characteristics unique to humans suggested endurance running played an important role in our evolution.

    Most mammals can sprint faster than humans — having four legs gives them the advantage. But when it comes to long distances, humans can outrun almost any animal. Because we cool by sweating rather than panting, we can stay cool at speeds and distances that would overheat other animals. On a hot day, the two scientists wrote, a human could even outrun a horse in a 26.2-mile marathon.


    Why would evolution favor the distance runner? The prevailing theory is that endurance running allowed primitive humans to incorporate meat into their diet. They may have watched the sky for scavenging birds and then run long distances to reach a fresh kill and steal the meat from whatever animal was there first.


    Other research suggests that before the development of slingshots or bows, early hunters engaged in persistence hunting, chasing an animal for hours until it overheated, making it easy to kill at close range. A 2006 report in the journal Current Anthropology documents persistence hunting among modern hunter-gatherers, including the Bushmen in Africa.


    “Ancient humans exploited the fact that humans are good runners in the heat,” Dr. Bramble said. “We have such a great cooling system” — many sweat glands, little body hair.


    There is other evidence that evolution favored endurance running. A study in The Journal of Experimental Biology last February showed that the short toes of the human foot allowed for more efficient running, compared with longer-toed animals. Increasing toe length as little as 20 percent doubles the mechanical work of the foot. Even the fact that the big toe is straight, rather than to the side, suggests that our feet evolved for running.


    “The big toe is lined up with the rest, not divergent, the way you see with apes and our closest nonrunning relatives,” Dr. Bramble said. “It’s the main push-off in running: the last thing to leave the ground is that big toe.”


    Springlike ligaments and tendons in the feet and legs are crucial for running. (Our close relatives the chimpanzee and the ape don’t have them.) A narrow waist and a midsection that can turn allow us to swing our arms and prevent us from zigzagging on the trail. Humans also have a far more developed sense of balance, an advantage that keeps the head stable as we run. And most humans can store about 20 miles’ worth of glycogen in their muscles.


    And the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the human body, is primarily engaged only during running. “Your butt is a running muscle; you barely use it when you walk,” Dr. Lieberman said. “There are so many features in our bodies from our heads to our toes that make us good at running.”

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    it's just runnin'
    I think I just gotta go with that mindset. I've looked at a lot of videos and such, but not really trying to incorporate the techniques and I think I'm doing fine. The more I run the more natural and effortless it feels. I did 10 miles today, (five on the beach, barefoot) and it felt awesome. But my feet are a little hot now -- but that's just weakness leaving the body

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    Registered User brian039's Avatar
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    Best advice anyone ever gave me on running is that you don't mess with your natural stride, it might not be pretty or the most efficient way to run but it works for you and deviating from that is bound to cause injury. If you aren't born an elite runner you're never going to be one anyways.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian039 View Post
    Best advice anyone ever gave me on running is that you don't mess with your natural stride, it might not be pretty or the most efficient way to run but it works for you and deviating from that is bound to cause injury. If you aren't born an elite runner you're never going to be one anyways.
    Yeah, that's basically how I need to look at it, it's how I look at my cycling and I'm a damn good cyclist. I'm not a pro and really don't have any aspirations of even performing anything like a pro; I just do this crap because it's suppose to be good for you and it does feel good, damn good.

    Having said that I'd be kind of interested in seeing how they do things at the Smoky Mountain Running Camp http://www.ussportscamps.com/running...-running-camp/

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    Registered User FarmerChef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian039 View Post
    Best advice anyone ever gave me on running is that you don't mess with your natural stride, it might not be pretty or the most efficient way to run but it works for you and deviating from that is bound to cause injury. If you aren't born an elite runner you're never going to be one anyways.
    The key word there is "natural." With the advent of the sneaker, we programmed our bodies to unconsciously change our stride from a natural mid-foot strike to an unnatural heel strike. Just try taking your shoes off and running on any surface with your heels hitting the ground first. Ouch!

    I've recently taken up running after a lifetime of thinking I couldn't do it and, after switching to minimalist sneaks, experiencing the most comfortable and effortless running I've ever done. And I secretly enjoy that moment a mile from camp when I realized I left the bear bag hanging because I get to take off my pack and tear down the trail in my trail runners. Nothing but wind in my hair and bugs in my teeth
    2,000 miler. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    Yeah, that's basically how I need to look at it, it's how I look at my cycling and I'm a damn good cyclist. I'm not a pro and really don't have any aspirations of even performing anything like a pro; I just do this crap because it's suppose to be good for you and it does feel good, damn good.

    Having said that I'd be kind of interested in seeing how they do things at the Smoky Mountain Running Camp http://www.ussportscamps.com/running...-running-camp/
    John, for a few years, I went to one of those running camps in NC. Not that specific one by coach Benson, but one put on by former USF Cross Country Coach Bob Braman (about 16 or more years ago). These camps may not be what you think. We generally did gentle long distance trail running on well groomed (often different) trails once or twice a day for a couple of hours for each run. The 2nd run of the day was optional and you could make it a speed hike if you did not have enough endurance capability. It was very enjoyable with some classroom time, some trips to mountain streams to soak the legs, some hiking, swimming, and exploring, evening optional sports massage a few nights, optional evening free time where a few of us sat at an outside bar and drank a few beers and socialized, discussion on running shoes/insoles, treatment of injuries, do's and don'ts when training, competitive techniques, running for health, etc. ... you name it and it was generally covered. I would highly recommend you or anyone interested in running, investigate further. I always came back in the best shape of my life... not fast, but very fit. I also was able to clear my mind of all the daily stressful routines that drives your day (or drives you batty).

    The particular camp I went to was tailored for the adult runner; either competitive or non-competitive.

    Just John
    Seminole, FL

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    I think there was alot of variation among primitive man. We may have largely evolved as persistent runners, but we also evolved in alot of other ways, and then as now we are highly adaptable and highly variable from one individual and culture and environment to another. Depends also on what you mean by primitive, and how far back you go. I would venture a guess that many of the elites among the primitives would be very comparable to the elites of today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    I think there was alot of variation among primitive man. We may have largely evolved as persistent runners, but we also evolved in alot of other ways, and then as now we are highly adaptable and highly variable from one individual and culture and environment to another. Depends also on what you mean by primitive, and how far back you go. I would venture a guess that many of the elites among the primitives would be very comparable to the elites of today.
    I'm sure you're right JAK, I guess it depends on where primitive man found himself. I imagine some groups probably didn't run much at all, but others did...so much we just don't know, but for whatever reason we all seem to have a body type that is near perfect for long-distance running, not so much for sprinting. And if you look at my article I linked in post #7 all the information only supports a "notion"; it's scary how little we know.


    As far as primitive, I was loosely thinking anything past 12,000 years ago, since that seems to be when we settled down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Our phyisologly hasn't changed much in the last 100,000 years since our species first showed up, but we have on average gotten taller. With our longer legs and stride, no doubt we would have the advantage.
    Actually we've seemed to have gotten shorter after we settled down, just one of the negative effects of civilization, along with a host of others. And longer legs don't really help much in long-distance running.

    You should read the book, kind of interesting: http://www.amazon.com/Pandoras-Seed-.../dp/1400062152
    Pandora's Seed
    THE UNFORESEEN COST OF CIVILIZATION

    By
    Spencer Wells

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    One thing I noticed in watching the video was the short stride emphasis. I've found this to be true while hiking too.

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    Should have said--"found this to be helpful while hiking.."

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    I've also noticed the short stride in this barefoot running video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n21gAbXpXGA

    I don't know, but it just doesn't look natural, it almost looks like he's being very careful not to hurt his feet. Nonetheless, I'm sure the dude has got some very tough feet, but I'm just not really liking the idea of taking such a short stride, unless of course that's natural, but I believe my natrual stide is more than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    I've also noticed the short stride in this barefoot running video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n21gAbXpXGA

    I don't know, but it just doesn't look natural, it almost looks like he's being very careful not to hurt his feet. Nonetheless, I'm sure the dude has got some very tough feet, but I'm just not really liking the idea of taking such a short stride, unless of course that's natural, but I believe my natrual stide is more than that.
    Run with your natural stride. It will automatically shorten as you get older and slower .... or tired and slower. If you force a stride that is not natural, you are not running a your peak efficiency. You shouldn't even have to think about it. The sub-concious takes over unless you intentionally focus on a different stride length. Grade makes a difference. Uphill will naturally be shorter and downhill longer. The only time you should force a stride change is on technical trails where you have to focus on foot placement to prevent a twist or turn.

    You will also notice that when you have over trained and get sore calf muscles, your brain causes your natural stride to shorten. We are pretty much pre-programmed for efficiency and it only changes from outside influences... like a coach giving the wrong advice or a video that tells you to do something different. Obviously injuries or imbalances that affect your form can cause a change in stride.

    Have you ever kicked in the last 100 yards in a race, forcing yourself into significant oxygen deprivation? When you do that, you usually really increase your stride length, but generally can't hold it long because you tire so fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbwood5 View Post
    Run with your natural stride. It will automatically shorten as you get older and slower .... or tired and slower. If you force a stride that is not natural, you are not running a your peak efficiency. You shouldn't even have to think about it. The sub-concious takes over unless you intentionally focus on a different stride length. Grade makes a difference. Uphill will naturally be shorter and downhill longer. The only time you should force a stride change is on technical trails where you have to focus on foot placement to prevent a twist or turn.

    You will also notice that when you have over trained and get sore calf muscles, your brain causes your natural stride to shorten. We are pretty much pre-programmed for efficiency and it only changes from outside influences... like a coach giving the wrong advice or a video that tells you to do something different. Obviously injuries or imbalances that affect your form can cause a change in stride.

    Have you ever kicked in the last 100 yards in a race, forcing yourself into significant oxygen deprivation? When you do that, you usually really increase your stride length, but generally can't hold it long because you tire so fast.
    I do keep it natural, I don't force my stride. And I'm not saying that the trail runner in the video is using a shorter stride, rather it's just my perception, but I could be wrong, but it kind of makes me curious of how I'd look on video, if I were to run that same route or simply on the road.

    I actually just got back from a run, despite my better judgement (I'd plan to take today off, because I think I'm feeling the slight effects of overtraining). But I just did a slow 5 mile run and concentrated on my foot placement and stride, but not forcing anything, just keeping it sharp.

    I also concentrated on staying straight, much like what use to happen to me when cycling, I've noticed that when I'm not concentrating and getting a little tired that I begin to weave and bob, which seems to me to be a waste of energy and on a bike it can be dangerous. So all in all I just concentrated on good form and despite my weakness it was an enjoyable little run.

    I generally go anaerobic -- an all out sprint -- almost always at the end of my runs (about 0.08 mile), so yes I'm very familar with the increase in stride and it just comes naturally.

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