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[The Running Barefoot] Re: Zola Budd-Pieterse on the limits of Barefoot Running

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  • twc151home
    Gordon, your views as expressed here, have massive amounts of evidence to support them. By way of explanation, I tend to be evidence-based as much as I can.
    Message 1 of 63 , May 3, 2012
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      Gordon, your views as expressed here, have massive amounts of evidence to support them.

      By way of explanation, I tend to be evidence-based as much as I can. In matters of nutrition, we are all quite emotional. Food provokes a very complicated set of responses--some conscious, some not. I think it is best to try to follow the evidence. Some of it is contradictory, to be sure. As with everything having to do with natural systems, the interplay and complexity of these systems is mind boggling. It is devilishly difficult to separate out independent and dependent variables and decipher reliable causal connections. We all have anecdotal experiences to draw from, and these are critical to us precisely because they are ours. But anecdotal evidence where n=1 can be deeply flawed--not always, but enough so I am suspicious of it. You must pay attention to both the anecdotal evidence and to the evidence produced by those who study these matters as rigorously as possible.

      My belief is that, if you reject evolution, then you are rejecting the evidence. That is certainly your absolute right and privilege. As for me, I think humans, as a separate species, have been around for 200,000 to 250,000 years. We have had agriculture for about 10,000 years. This alone should give one pause before talking about what nutritional elements are "optimal" for us as a species.

      Barefoot running is not a religion. Nutrition is not a religion. But nutrition has a lot to do with one's ability to run--barefoot or shod, so it is a fitting topic for the group here. It was in this context I learned about the overwhelming evidence concerning the role of cholesterol, fatty acid balances, industrial seed oils, grains, carbohydrates, intermittent fasting and other nutritional topics.

      Oh, and by the way, all you fellow barefoot runners, in this vein, I also learned other interesting tidbits of counterintuitive evidence. For example, I think evidence shows that many runners have a problem with what could be termed as their "chronic cardio" habit. Chronic cardio is the almost addictive habit of frequent long runs. Much to my chagrin, I learned this after surveying the evidence related to the whole evolution-nutrition debate. I think the evidence shows that interval training actually does a lot more to maintain and improve cardiovascular health than does a chronic cardio practice. I love chronic cardio myself. It is soothing, meditative, and hypnogogic, generating all sorts of wonderful byproducts such as the endorphins that make me feel so good. Interval training is short, brutish, modestly painful--and most likely much healthier to do 2-3 times a week than a daily run of 5-7 miles. Yikes!! And I have been running since 1974! I now consider non-interval running to be my dessert, not the main course of my fitness practice. Intervals, whether intermittent sprint-rest cycles, or working those sprint-rest cycles on a spin bike with a heart monitor, have resulted in a meaningful and measurable improvement in my cardio fitness.

      In the final analysis, I try my best to adapt my behaviors to the evidence and not the other way around. It's a constant struggle where there are many twists and turns. When compelling new evidence or compelling new interpretations of older evidence contradict my opinions, I try to sort things out the best I can and go with what appears to be the most convincing case--even if it means reversing my views on thing I may have believed in for many years. This is one of the most important features of our species--the ability to learn and adapt. Or at least to make the effort to do so.

      Tim


      --- In RunningBarefoot@yahoogroups.com, "Gordon" <gajslk@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In RunningBarefoot@yahoogroups.com, Adam Hicks <climbhoser@> wrote:
      > > I'm probably 75% fruit based.
      >
      > I've eaten high carb, moderate carb, and very low carb, meat heavy to near vegetarian. My particular body is happiest with about two thirds of it's calories in the form of saturated fats, modest amounts of meats and starches, lots of vegetables and a little fruit. YMMV
      >
      > Gordon
      >
    • rdwhitaker2012
      I just saw a new word - Flexitarian - that I kind of like. Flexitarians are people who are vegetarian most of the time, but once in a while will consume an
      Message 63 of 63 , May 3, 2012
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        I just saw a new word - "Flexitarian" - that I kind of like. Flexitarians are people who are vegetarian most of the time, but once in a while will consume an animal protein. Kind of like rabbits.

        Ryan

        --- In RunningBarefoot@yahoogroups.com, "twc151home" <twc151home@...> wrote:
        >
        > Right you are, Gordon, and as I mentioned in the post that created an interesting series of responses, these things related to complex systems with multiple feedback loops, so there are rarely simple answers.
        >
        > I am not a big believer in a lot of what the medical community has to say about a lot of things, but the American College of Sports Medicine's position on interval training makes sense to me, especially considering the time constraints I often face in taking long runs. Lots of people in the shod and barefoot running communities have a focus on speed (which I have never had), and competitive running (which I have never had), making my comments perhaps even a bit more relevant for them, particularly if they regularly push for speed over long runs.
        >
        > What I can say is that if you are pressed for time, and want to be as fit as you can within time constraints, then interval training, combined with strength training (weights) and flexibility training (such as yoga, for example) seems to be the most effective combination.
        >
        > I love long, slow runs. But using a heart monitor, I have discovered that my cardiovascular metrics have improved with intervals and plateau without them. My max heart rates are higher and my recovery times are measurably shorter when I do intervals, as compared to long slow runs. I am almost 60. I have been running since 1974. I have had to push the settings on my heart rate monitor from the "age 45" setting down to the "age 35" setting, and do intervals from 65% of max to 90% of max, with a high rate of 171 during a typical workout. This has shown a huge improvement since I started intervals a couple of years ago. Plus, it only takes me about 19 minutes to do an interval workout--a 2.5 minutes less than it used to. If I wanted to take a nice run, I'm barely getting going 10 minutes out and think nothing of running a couple of hours at a nice, slow pace.
        >
        > As they say, it's only a sample of one, but that sample of one (me) was informed by others who have done way more rigorous investigation into this stuff.
        >
        > As to the "logical positivist" label...well, it is certainly one part of my world view. That which can be measured yields a lot of interesting knowledge about the empirical side of reality, and the effects of such empirically-focused assessments have real implications at our scale and as seen through our biological lens.
        >
        > However, the non-empirical, which, by definition cannot be measured, also seems to have profound implications for humans. I do not mean to diminish either the possibility or the potentially real impact on humans of such non-empirical phenomena--it's just that these are things that do not yield to measurement by definition. And, of course, at the quantum and the hyper-macro scales, all bets are off when it comes to empirical measurement. At those scales, who the hell knows if it's a wave or a particle?
        >
        > Tim
        >
        > --- In RunningBarefoot@yahoogroups.com, "Gordon" <gajslk@> wrote:
        > >
        > > --- In RunningBarefoot@yahoogroups.com, "twc151home" <twc151home@> wrote:
        > > > I think the evidence shows that interval training actually does a lot more to maintain and improve cardiovascular health than does a chronic cardio practice.
        > >
        > > You might want to revisit the evidence. As long as your long runs are slow enough, you're good. You're right that many do their longer runs too fast for optimum adaptation. Those same people tend to do their speedwork too slowly too. You really want to stay out of the no man's land between easy pace and full on sprint. There's a ton of good stuff on Steve's blog. He hasn't been real active since getting a job(coaching Salazar), but the archives are chock full of solid science based posts.
        > >
        > > http://www.scienceofrunning.com/
        > >
        > > Gordon
        > >
        >
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