Thursday, February 25, 2010

Good Running, Bad Running

I'm sort of with Sisson on the whole idea of running in general. I love it in short, extreme bursts as part of HIIT or evo-/natural style of exercise regimes.

But if you want to really understand both that and why running shoes do more harm than good (and running barefoot/faux-barefoot a la Vibram Fivefingers), here's an excellent article that was pointed out to me by one of my readers.

In my opinion, it's not just running that necessitates our evolutionarily afforded posture and joint alignment. I do all my lifting, box-jumps, plyometrics, etc... in my Vibrams (who do not pay me for my endorsement, but I'm willing to negotiate!). I wear them to the grocery store and the mall and anywhere else I can, weather-permitting, and I'd wear them to work if they were permitted (Whoever designs the first steel-toe barefooting-type shoe will get my business for sure).

On a related fitness issue, I've been trying to swim longer distances without changing strokes, while avoiding what Mark Sisson calls "Chronic Cardio." I was able to go 1/4 mile of freestyle easily just by pushing through the minor fatigue that I feel after 3-5 laps. I felt at the time that I could have done more, but I was late for an appointment.

I will probably not do much more distance without turning it into a high-intensity interval or hypoxic workout, where I only breathe every 10 or 12 strokes for increasing lung capacity by training the diaphragm muscle, but I don't think an occasional long cardio session is bad, so maybe I'll get in the pool one day and really push myself to the limit, train for a while doing no long swims, and then do it again to see how much progress I make. My hypothesis (which will have to remain untested) is that the distance I'm able to cover will increase more by me doing short, intense training sessions than it would increase were I to simply practice longer steady-paced swims.

That's it for now.


  1. I'm pretty sure I do chronic cardio all the time then when I'm swimming that much... or running for that matter!

  2. I'll look for some articles, but I have been seeing research that suggests you're doing more harm than good to your cardiovascular system that way. It seems to me that you might be much better off doing shorter bursts of higher intensity running and swimming...