I would be interested in examples of sprinting in hunter-gatherer life, as I can't seem to think of many. I may be out of touch with the putative reality of so-called Grok's daily life, but the only example of sprinting I can think of would be running away from predators (whether they were other animals or hostile people). However, I think the frequency of those instances would have been pretty darn low (though the outcome vitally important)? What about some other examples of actual sprinting?
Most of it would have occurred during the hunting process. I think many of us overlook just how difficult it is to consistently take down megafauna with (relatively) crude lithic technology. Simply hitting the animal with a single spear isn't always going to cut it. There are plenty of glancing blows and so forth that cause the animal to bolt. Best bet might be to hit it again. The Hadza use bows and arrows and 3 types of poison but still end up having to chase down animals or run back to camp to get help for tracking a wounded animal. Keep in mind that we've always had predatory competitors who will take our dinner if we don't properly secure it ASAP.
What about chasing after something, like a rabbit or other small animal?
Also I doubt that humans magically got along better ... so I would think we did a fair amount of running after and away from each other.
Also - games and play. Kids sprint around naturally, that's probably not new.
Of course it is/was.
running after slower prey (small mammals, ground birds, injured or young prey). running after wounded fast prey (ungulates). running towards an animal that is struggling to break free of a trap you've laid. running away from angry mastodons and tigers.
I have startled bears in the woods and my modern knowledge told me to stand my ground. but i bet many a paleolithic man or woman turned tail and ran. and you better believe that you can haul ass with 600 pounds of angry bear chasing you.
did you ever see the opening scene in Last of the Mohicans? Hawkeye is chasing after a moose (i haven't seen it in ages, it may have been an elk or large deer) that he has shot. just imagine he'd shot it with a bow and arrow or stabbed it with a spear or hit it with a rock or...
an animal or enemy grabs your baby. you are going to speed walk in pursuit? running after a fleeing enemy. running away from a stronger enemy.
It's called fight or FLIGHT for a reason. It wasn't done every day or even every week. but when you needed to do it you were able to do it.
How about during play? You need to learn how to sprint for when it really matters, i.e. survival. Not everything falls into the category of pursuing food, although that might be the most important.
I've had to sprint from my older brother plenty of times.. likely saved me a few broken bones.
I'm pretty sure that paleolithic humans captured animals not by sprinting but by running for hours until they (the prey) collapsed.
Saw this on Discovery channel so be gentle with your barbs, could well be nonsense.
I sprint all the time just to get places in the wilderness. If there's a big gap with a 2-3 foot deep stream running through it, the fastest way to the other side is to gun it and leap across. This is a fairly common example too. Sprinting is often useful for getting the power necessary to leap across something wide.
Also, I think people tend to WAY underestimate our speed and agility. If you're a trained athlete (parkour etc), of course you couldn't sprint down a deer in an open field, but it's a much different story when you're dealing with dense forest, wide streams, big rocks, etc. Sprinting through a setting like that equipped with all the parkour techniques and stuff... I see no reason why you couldn't catch a deer, especially if you already wounded it by hitting it with a big rock or spear. I'm just guessing though. I've never tried it.
I think hunter gathers used brains more then bronze in most everything they did/do. When I read things like sprinting or lifting really heavy stuff is part of a primal life style I am kind of skeptical. Not that I think those things are bad. Sure they live very physical lives. But they are not idiots. If you learn about primitive skills you will be amazed at the technologies hunter gathers had and the proficiency they had at using them. Lifting something really heavy is dangerous. Why not use people and technology? I am with you. I can't think of a reason people would do much sprinting. Sure maybe a little like if they stepped on a bees nest, or came across an unfriendly tribe. But those I believe would be rare events. Maybe rarely in a hunting situation but most of the time they would out smart pray not out run it. Persistence hunting (long distance running) I can see in desert ecosystems but not in any other.