I have lately been walking A LOT. I also run a good bit, but I am no marathoner... I prefer sports with lots of sprinting/cutting/jumping involved. Nonetheless, I often feel that when I am walking around that I would rather be running. The only thing that actually keeps me from breaking into a jog all the time is the fact that I am carrying something and/or don't feel like being (more) sweaty upon arrival to my destination.
It got me wondering about when Mr. Grok Paleoson would run vs walk. I don't think he minded too much about sweat and probably didn't carry around much that he couldn't jog with... especially if he's going to be ready to chase down dinner.
I guess it would depend on a lot of variables. If he's hunting... somewhere like open gameland (savannah, great plains, etc) he could probably run until he spotted something from a distance and then stalk from that point. However, in heavy brush (forest, jungle, swampland), he would probably spook a lot of wildlife and even though he could track after that point, it would probably be easier to just figure out where the animals lay (its easy with lots of ground cover) and wait for them to come back.
Besides hunting and moving "camp" what would he be doing afoot? He didn't go to work or run errands... so I don't suppose he had a destination per se most of the time. Maybe for that reason he could just take his time and walk... whereas I want to be at my destination already
Are there any other runners out there that spend a lot of time walking when they feel like running instead? Have you wondered, when walking, if "Grok" would be doing the same?
My reason for asking is mostly curiousity, but also, I hear so often in the paleo community that we should avoid chronic cardio, but it seems to me to be a very efficient way to get around... especially if you stay away from the lactate threshold and are burning mostly fat and not really fatiguing yourself in any appreciable way.
P.S. I guess if our theoretical paleo guy was an avid fisherman he could run to his fishing hole. Also, there are a lot of birds, squirrels, etc.. that he could run up on and then wait for them to come out of hiding and throw a rock at them... also homes of burrowing animals could be spotted during a run.
To answer your question: He would run when necessary, but certainly not because of boredom or for change of pace. Walking is truly the 'grandmother' of all physical activity/exercise..and if any form of physical movement deserves a place at the base of the 'Paleo Exercise Pyramid', it is walking. It is a truly genetically-congruent form of movement is perhaps the closest thing to a "cure-all" form of movement, IMHO. It is known that multiple factors inform where a clan/tribe would 'set camp' and proximity to water and fire fuel are just two of many variables (albeit very important ones). So, there was the daily mandatory walk known as the "water walk". So, The Grokster had to walk for water (very labor intensive carrying water in an animal bladder) perhaps miles per day, Grok also had to walk for daily fire fuel...again, perhaps miles per day. I have not even mentioned hunting or gathering ;-).
I kind of doubt they ran a whole lot, since they had to conserve energy, and had to do a lot just to obtain things like water and food. I would think that, while hunting prey, they spend a good deal stalking, carefully and slowly walking, and waiting... leading up to a large burst of energy & running at the time of the kill. They probably saved running for those times, and also for emergencies, and spent the rest of the time walking. But, I'm new to paleo, so I might be wrong. :)
running vs. walking 7 Answers