Lately, I’ve been transitioning over to a paleo/primal diet. Lean meats, piles of veggies, no starches, no processed food. The middle-aged middle wasn’t budging, in spite of the running and the pretty reasonable eating plan. I can feel the muscle I’ve developed under the padding, but no one can see it. I’m proud of the changes I’ve made and I want to show them off. If you’re curious about the eating plan check out Nerd Fitness and Mark’s Daily Apple for more details.
One of the things the paleo/primal community discusses is what type of workouts would mirror the hunter/gatherer lifestyle. I saw a video of a clever young man who used a sledgehammer and his 3 younger siblings (no siblings were harmed in the course of the workout) to duplicate sprinting after prey, killing it, then running back to the cave with the carcass. Since I don’t own a sledgehammer at the moment and my siblings don't live close by, I had to come up with my own version, which I'm calling Stalker. It hurt so good that I must share it with you.
I was on my own for my run on Friday and it was not a pretty day, so I mostly had the local trail to myself. Fortunate, because I'm sure I looked completely demented for the middle part of my run. I jogged the first mile (to get my muscles thoroughly warmed up) to the “hunting grounds” then walked until I spotted my prey (caught my breath). I froze, then slowly lowered to a crouch (ever watch a cat stalk a mouse? Like that, but without the tail lashing). I took off as fast as I could and ran at top speed until I could feel myself slowing down and starting to gasp for breath. Then I walked until I spotted my prey, and did it all over. I “hunted” for a little over a mile, then tried to jog back. The long muscles at the back of my thighs were so tired that there was a lot more walking than jogging on the return trip. It was a great workout, and much more fun than “run 400 meters at zone 4, jog 3.5 minutes at zone 2” type interval workouts.
On my cooldown walk to the car, I got the chance to stalk some prey for real. Two little rabbits were investigating the tree litter on the trail, so I carefully stepped toward them as gracefully and silently as I could, following them down the trail and trying to get as close as possible. I got within 10 feet or so before the closest one got alarmed and dashed for cover. Next time I play Stalker I’ll have to add the sneaky stepping into the workout.
I’m thinking that Friday might not be the best day for this, though. DOMS (that’s Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness for you non-fitness-nerds out there) had set in by Sunday morning, so my long run had to be a run/walk. I still managed 10 miles, but it hurt. A lot. Plus I really hope my running group (SOFA Striders: Faster than everyone sitting on the couch—wo0t!) will “hunt” along with me. Maybe we could even get a couple of other friends out there with us. It would be a lot more fun to hunt in a pack, plus it would be nice not to look demented all alone. I’m pretty sure the other person on the trail that evening couldn’t see the antelope that I was tracking.