Jenn - I have read much of Mark Sisson's material and somewhere in there he is more specific about what constitutes chronic cardio - at least in his terms. I don't remember where I read it, so can't quote document or page number, but I think he considers it chronic if you do aerobic for more than an hour at greater than 75% of max heart rate, and more than 3 times a week.
This is actually in line with what is advocated by many non-Paleo trainers/experts/pundits.
I know I had a paradigm that the only way to burn fat was lots of cardio. Turns out strength training, along with a primal diet works.
And there's some newer research on sprint interval training - a high intensity type of training that can take as little as 20 minutes, including warm up and cool down, every third day and the results for both anaerobic and aerobic comparable to distance running.
Excerpt from Wiki post - a total of "2.5 hours of High Intensity Interval Training produced the same results as 10.5 hours of endurance training"
Here's a link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_inter val_training
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I know that paleo folks like the Primal Blueprint talk about running as chronic cardio, but I just read Born to Run, and it argues, pretty effectively (and I'm a biologist), that hunter-gatherer man actually did run long distances at medium speeds, and that the primal diet works just fine with that style of training. I'm low carb, though haven't been all paleo before, most of the time, and I just ran a half-marathon, and I intend to train for my next one while eating paleo, so I can tell you how it goes.
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I am a runner and refuse to give it up. WHat MDA says about chronic cardio is that it is a sustained excercise over a certain heart rate %. I find that unless i am out of shape, as I am now, I am within the range. Look on his website and do a search for his explanation. You have to understand, he was an OLYMPIC athlete! He is not thinking in the terms most people do. He is thinking a LOT higher intensity, and also he does say that it makes a difference if you truly enjoy it or not. There is also a Paleo Diet for Athletes book, which is all about endurance training. It is by Loren Cordain.
Most of the low carb plans I've researched don't recommend high impact or stressful exercise. The idea is to have normal activity. Take walks. Park farther from the store. Lift and carry things.
I don't remember which book I read it in (I've got so many of them now!), but one author cited some conversations he'd had with other medical professionals who were nonplussed about how their exercise regime wasn't having much effect on their weight loss, and that their weight had pretty much remained the same (within minimal range changes) for a great portion of their recent years. The author pointed this out and concluded that exercise, other than its "feelgood" qualities, has little if anything to do with weight loss. I can attest to that myself: I've lost over 150 pounds on the low carb diet I'm following, and I have other health issues that prevent my being able to do much exercise of ANY kind. If exercise was a vital part of the plan, I wouldn't have lost as I have.
This isn't to say that exercise isn't healthy. If I was able, I would certainly incorporate moderate exercise; but I'm not stressing over it because the evidence seems to show that it's what we eat moreso than how much we exercise, that's key.
You're right, you shouldn't feel a heavy "burn" after exercise. You can help yourself a lot just by modifying some of your normal activities. Walk upstairs rather than ride an elevator. Park farther from doors. Take your lunch outside and maybe have it during a walk in the park. Take your dog on longer walks, play frisbee with him - if you don't have a dog, I'll bet you have a neighbor who would let you "borrow" one! I think you can still tone up for a marathon even with less strenuous exercise.
I come from a horse-oriented background, many of whom were racers or endurance competitors. In general, they don't train hard every day. Real racers actually only go out for "works" at speed a couple times a week, at most. The best endurance workouts for the cross-country ones are no more than long walks and jogs over unlevel terrain. Go up and down little hills. Walk fast through some water. The best training speed for most of these animals is usually trotting interspersed with short gallops and long relaxing walks aftewards.
The plan you're adapting to now is different from what you've experienced before, and it's bound to feel different. Don't let it worry you.
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Fitness Minutes: (69,698) Posts: 1,381 3/1/12 3:28 P
I have only read The Primal Blueprint so I don't know the answer to this question.
Do all of the Paleo/Primal authors/books suggest minimal cardio workouts or only basic survival function strengthening? I did the strength workout ability test in Primal Blueprint today and felt like I got a tough workout (while I was doing it) but I don't feel that "after a heavy workout muscle weakness" I'm so accustomed to. Wondering if the other books illustrate the same type of activites: push-ups, pull-ups, squats, planks or if there was more. Also wonder about cardio - 2x a week for 10-15 minutes doesn't seem like much when you have a sedentary life (desk jockey at work). I understand you're supposed to move around a lot more and I would assume that the constant movement would make up for the limited cardio. I just worry that it's not enough.
Also, how do I train for a half marathon with this lifestyle? Primal says that I can count long distance running as "play" but how long is too long to count as play and instead becomes Chronic Cardio?
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