21 February 2011

Hooliganism Continues To Spread... and now includes endurance athletes

While I continue to plod through the next installment of the running blogs (which is fun because I'm trying to counter arguments before they're posted, but is intensely time consuming), I thought you fuckers might be interested by the following collegiate rower.  He managed to do what almost anybody on the internet would claim is completely impossible- he gained muscle, increased his maximal strength, improved his athletic performance, AND increased his aerobic activity, all at the same time.  When he first emailed me, I though the kid was completely batshit crazy.  As it turns out, he is.

Having had a shitload of people email me for detailed advice and then drop off the face of the Earth, I had him pegged for your average high schooler who intended to ask a shitload of questions, put none of what you told him into practice, and basically do his generation proud by sucking like none who had gone before him.  I was wrong.  I gave him some broad outlines for advice, rather than the detailed shit I had in the past, and answered periodic questions regarding diet and training as they popped up.  Will took the open-source concept to heart with that, and fashioned for himself a program that worked for him and helped him achieve his goals, tweaking it as he went to keep improving.

First things first, Will's not a strength athlete, powerlifter, or anything resembling a person who sits around waiting for his turn in the rack.  Instead, he's an 18 year old rower who spent a year busting his ass in the gym to get stronger while at the same time ROWING 2 hours a day.  Nor was he a neophyte to lifting.  That he'd at least lifted some prior to starting CnP is evident when you look at his before pics- the kid was skinny, but he was ripped to fucking shreds.

That's right- he gained 20 lbs of rip in one year, put 130 lbs on his deadlift, saw his BTN go up 55 lbs, gained a 70 lbs on his clean, and lost an inch on his waist.  Fucking crazy.  
145 lbs of nothing but abs when he started.

His year looked like this:
2 hour rowing practice 5 times per week, races every 3-4 weeks. Rowed lightweight, had to stay <155. Weighed in to Regionals at 154, took 2nd in single and 2V double. My 2,000 meter time in the single decreased by 30 seconds (8:51 to 8:21) from the beginning of April to the middle of May. Bench 235, Squat 230, Deadlift 345 as of May. Diet was Paleo with 2 cheats.

This was a shitty summer due to a leg injury in early that stopped me from lifting heavy until around mid-August. My lifts improved little, as I had to go light for that whole time.

September to December
Back to CNP basics during this time, starting at a weight of about 152. 5 days per week lifting going push/pull and squat splits. I also had lacrosse practice 3 days per week until December. Bench 245, Squat 270, Deadlift 375 as of December.  Diet during this time was carb-cycling (3 days high carb/low fat, 4 days Paleo, 1 cheat). 

January to Present
Lacrosse season has me doing a lot of running (3 days practice, 1 day conditioning) so I had to switch to a lifting schedule that would not result in debilitating leg cramps during practice. Since the beginning of January I’ve been following Defranco’s WS4SB with the occasional squat or deadlift fiesta thrown in to appease the heavy demons.  

How'd he do it?  Here's how:

During my CNP prime I'd go on a push+pull / squat split 5 days a week. Typically the 15x1, 12x2, 10x3 rep scheme with CNP-approved lifts. I'd throw in a 30-rep squat every month or so and I fucking loved that squat pyramid workout that you promoted. Now I'm doing Defranco's WS4SB program for in-season and I plan on doing a 6 week cycle of German Volume Training just to change things up once my season is over before I go back to CNP until my season starts again in the fall. 

I actually did Paleo with 2 cheats windows per week throughout rowing season, which makes my 10 gained pounds slightly more amazing. In hindsight, I should have gone with something more like carb-backloading (which is what I'm doing now) because the amount of cardio that I was doing/currently do makes fat gain nearly impossible. 
-- editor's note.  He and I discussed this as he was going, and I suggested that he add in some carbs.  I'd briefly skimmed Cordain's Paleo for Athletes book, which dealt solely with endurance athletes, and Cordain was big on adding carbs.

On my Paleo days I would hit around 3-4500 cals, up to 6-7000 on cheat days. Now I get about 4-5000 a day and eat the majority of my 4-6 meals out of my bachelor bowl. 

Sample Paleo Day
5:30--Pre-workout shake (25g whey isolate)
Lift or Erg
7:00--3-4 eggs, some sort of PWO starch
10:00--Tuna fish or more eggs
12:00--Beef, chicken (fucking wings, sometimes thighs), or sausage with kale or spinach
2:30--Pre-rowing shake (25g whey isolate)
5:30--Large meal, sometimes PWO starch, always about 1/2 pound of meat and leafy green vegetables
7:30--Leftovers from that meal
9:00--Apple and peanut butter snack
10:00--Shake: 25g egg protein, peanut butter, banana blended
The "bachelor bowl".

Sample day of eating now
7:00 Meal 1: 4-5 eggs, sausage, coffee
9:00 Snack 1: Mixed nuts
11:30 Meal 2: Dining hall food, generally sandwiches and large salad, etc.
1:45 Pre-workout shake of 25g whey concentrate
2:00 Lift
3:00 Post-workout shake of 25g whey concentrate, 60g waxy maize
5:00 Meal 3: 1/2 pound of pasta with beef or chicken or 2 cups brown rice with beef or chicken
6:30 Practice
9:00 Post-practice shake of 25g whey concentrate, 30g waxy maize
10:00 Meal 4: More pasta/rice and beef/chicken, mixed berries
11:00 Snack 2: Apple and peanut butter or 30g Myofusion shake

On non-practice days I go higher on vegetables (kale, broccoli) during the day simply because I have more time to prepare them. My practice days also happen to be the days when I'm at school from 8-2 and then lifting until 3 so that leaves little time to start sautéing. 

Clearly should have been eating more, but my school schedule made it difficult and I didn't have the same attitude toward stuffing food down that I do now. Also, fuck waking up that early to train. My energy and weights increased substantially once I pushed that back to either 8am or (now) 2pm. My summer job required me to walk all day but I actually ended up eating more because I could snack on nuts and stuff constantly before and after lunch break, which would generally be copious amounts of wings and beef with kale (reheated in the microwave, much to my co-workers' delight).

I think one of the mistakes that I made during rowing was not doing enough sets. I went for weight over sets and did 6x3x85-90% when 10x3x80-85% or 15x1x90% instead of 8-10x1x95% probably would have led to greater size gains. That being said, I weighed into Regionals at an otter-like 153.5, so I didn't have much room to gain anyway. 

One of the greatest benefits that I got from CNP is confidence. Do 15-20 singles with a compound exercise like squat or dead week after week and nothing will phase you physically. I took Kyokoshin karate for a few years, and they have a saying that I paraphrased and adapted to lifting. When I'm on the field, or when I was sitting at the start line of a race, I had unmatchable confidence compared to my opponents because I walk, row, run, and carry myself with the confidence of over 1000 squats and several hundred deadlifts. You can't say the same about cable flies and drop sets.
Kyokushin is the shit.

Q:  That's fucking badass, man.  The total volume of work you were doing is insane, and it's not often that endurance athletes see a rise in ME strength with a concordant rise in bodyweight while losing fat.  Crazy.
What got you interested in training like this, anyway?  

A:  I was pissed. For some reason I had bought into Pete Fucking Sisco's "Static Contraction" program and wasted a month of training doing low-volume partials. Toward the end of January I was looking down the barrel of my last rowing season and a high-school project and somehow came across your blog online. I decided that it was the furthest thing possible from Static Contraction and therefore must be good. That was about when I emailed you about my senior project, which was to make myself a guinea pig for CNP on a 5 month scale and meticulously record progress, etc, and then present it to a board of teachers. While they may have been less than enthusiastic about the fact that one of my sources included a Rwandan genocide picture, I passed that project (ad-libbed presentation) with flying colors.  
You mean like this?  Genocide is always good for a laugh.

Q:  I found Cisco and Little's info to be good for anecdotal information and for tweaking a workout, but like you said, it's nothing around which one should structure a program.  Did you see an improvement in your overall sport performance?

A:  I spent my rowing season in the single-shell (2 oars, one person) and the double (2 oars each, two people). I wish I had gotten a better stat on this, but just from the beginning of April to the end of May, my time in the single improved from an 8:51 2k to an 8:21 2k, which put me in 2nd place at Junior Regionals. I have just started playing defense in lacrosse and in my short time on the field I have found that I have no problem putting guys who are bigger than me on the ground. 

Q:  What the fuck do you have against training calves?  You do realize bigger calves will likely make you faster, right?  They won't increase drag or overall wind resistance, if that's what you thought.  

A:  Not everyone began doing calf-raises and bench the second they got in a weight room.  I've been starting to get on the calves, though. 

Q:  It was weighted dips, fucker.  Get it right.  Anyway, your pulls went way the fuck up, which is interesting given the fact that you were rowing 2 hours a day.  Do you think that helped or hindered your pulling progress?

A:  I'd say that the rowing can't have hindered my pull, but it probably didn't help it much either. Your range of back motion is pretty low compared to a dead and the load is relatively light. So it may have had a small effect, but I'd attribute the progress more to heavy singles, heavy shrugging, and squats than anything else. The bulk of my progress on deadlift also came after my rowing season had ended (345-405). 

Q: Any other random shit to add?
A:  Yeah. My brother is a wrestler and has been doing CNP for the last few months and texted me yesterday to inform me that he (at weight 112), pulled 300 and shit his pants in the progress. If he hadn't been pulling almost 2.7xbw I would have given him shit for that (pun intended), but there's another testament to heavy singles and triples for deadlifts.
112 lbers I want to wrestle.

On another note related to your running blog, I absolutely abhor any running other than sprints, which are now a large part of my life. Even then, anytime someone suggests that we run a 400 or something in lacrosse, my response is typically "If I ever have to run the ball 400 yards to the goal, just fucking sub me out."

So, there you have it.  In spite of the fact that every slack-jawed bitch on the internet will continuously and vehemently assert that you cannot get lean and strong at the same time, or train for cardio and strength simultaneously, it appears that you can, provided you bust your fucking ass inside out, lift heavy, and diet hard.

Surprised?  I'm not.

15 February 2011

Run and You'll Only Die Tired, The Evidence Part 1

Before I begin this installment, allow me to reiterate the point of this series- it's to point out the futility and stupidity of high-intensity distance running- marathon training, etc.  This is not a series of blogs about the evils of endurance training, a diatribe against running in general, or a suggestion that superheroes lack physical endurance... all of which were somehow posited in the comments of the first entry in this series.  With that behind us (forlorn hope, but it springs eternal), let us move on to the science behind my supposition.

Let's look at it from an evolutionary perspective, shall we?
Physical specimens if I ever saw some.

In the narrative of Born To Run, author Christopher McDougall discovered what anyone who's seen the television show Last Man Standing already knew- the Tarahumara Indians drink a lot of corn liquor and run a lot.  His book was apparently life-altering to many Americans eager to latch onto the newest, latest exercise fad, and people snatched up the Tarahumara "barefoot running" shoes just as fast as some poor Guatemalan slave in a sweatshop could turn them out.  His book, however, only presented one side of a debate so hotly contested in archaeology that it's starting to resemble the type of battle raps that got Biggie and 2Pac whacked out.  Their vitriol is of course far more restrained, what with the fact that they're pasty-faced academics and the pro-running side consists of impressively biased distance athletes, but it's there nevertheless.
McDougall based his work primarily on the contentions of Dennis Bramble and Daniel Lieberman, who co-authored the article "Endurance running and the evolution of Homo" in 2004.  (Nature) Bear in mind, while considering the following, that Lieberman is described as "a short 41 year old with a receding hairline, a slight paunch, and disarming dimples" who "doesn't look athletic" but "he has been a jogger since his teens."(Discover)  Clearly, their argument is off to a shaky start if their physiques are any indication- much like the training advice given by a pasty-faced computer nerd should be considered dubious at best.  As the champions of this side of the debate, they rely heavily on anecdotal evidence and a bit of biology to support their theory, which is plainly stated as "man is a natural endurance runner rather than walker".  Their initial support for this theory is pretty amusing, as they compare sprint performance between humans and two animals wildly unlike them- horses and greyhounds.  Amusingly, both of these species bear similar foot structure, in that their weight is borne on their toes, making them ill-suited to walking quickly, but well-suited to running.  Additionally, both are quadrupedal, which makes a racing comparison between humans and those animals akin to a comparison of the sexual practices of Annabel Chong and a dead lemur.  They go on to discuss at great length the ability of the human body to rotate, our ability to shed heat, our bone density, muscular asses, and the shape of our thoraxes as support for their theory, which is that humans were practically designed intelligently to be good at ER.
Certainly not built to run all over the fucking place at a moderate pace.

In wildly contradictory fashion, they admit at the end of the article that enough evidence exists in regards to humans' innate ability to walk long distances that "it is reasonable to hypothesize that Homo evolved to travel long distances both by walking and by running" and that the utilization of ER for persistence hunting "might have been too energetically expensive and low-yield for the benefits to have outweighed the costs."(351)  Their academic detractors are two guys by the name of Pickering and Bunn, who engendered a great deal of enmity in their jogging counterparts by nitpicking the everloving shit out of the "ER and Homos" article cited above.  As I'm unwilling to pay $20 for the dubious privilege of reading that article and can glean the bulk of their argument from Liberman and Bramble's counter-rebuttal.  Pickering and Dunn, it seem, have their heads just about as far up their asses as Bramble and buddies, as they decided to directly attack every point in the Homo article rather than producing actual sound evidence that would contradict the hypotheses and logical stretches taken by the joggers.  As such, this duty would seem to fall to me.
I actually own this book, and it's not half bad.

I've read a wide array of books ranging from the patently absurd to the utterly useless and back again, and never once, outside of born to run, did I hear of a method of hunting that involved three people chasing a single small animal for 18 miles until it dies of exhaustion.  The only methods resembling persistence hunting of which I read were used to hunt big game during the Ice Age, and it consisted of an ambush, in which the animal is injured via projectile or by a series of dashes at the beast with spears, attempting to make serious but not mortal wounds and then retreating, and then following it at a walk until the beast collapses of blood loss and died.  This is apparently the way mammoths were hunted by Ice Age hunters, and involved an entire tribe moving nomadically across the plain to follow their food source. Evidence exists from the Pleistocene period that even Homo Habilis, Erectus, and Heidelbergensis used this sort of method, and one site in Germany provides solid evidence of this- wooden throwing spears were found in situ with the remains of ten butchered horses.  (Thieme)

Early humans (the Cro-Magnons) relied heavily on big game hunting as a subsistence strategy, and are credited in large part with the megafauna die offs in the Upper Paleolithic.  (O'Niel)  For those of you still clinging to Born to Run like it's some sort of cock-sucking machine slash Bible slash security blanket, you're fucked- no three fucktards looking like they've got cancer of the AIDS were running down mammoths and stabbing them to death in droves.  If they were, their diets wouldn't suck to the degree they do now. Additionally, no person with the ability to run 400 miles in 5 days would have the muscular strength necessary to kill megafauna with a glorified sharp stick- they're too fucking skinny to do so.

 !Kung bushmen.  Never in history have a group of armed black men looked less threatening.

Persistance hunting, by if you're curious, consists of a couple of guys chasing a single animal through the desert until it collapses from overheating and exhaustion.  The !Kung hunters, for instance, typically run 30 km in teams of three on each antelope hunt, returning with an amount of meat so paltry when shared out amongst the group that any financial advisor would mock them for having a return on investment lower than current cd rates.  The pre-Homo Sapiens sapiens anscestors of the !Kung, not being fucking idiots, abandoned this method of food gathering along with everyone else- at the advent of the spear (i.e. at least 400,000 years ago).(Thieme) Although the !Kung are among the couple of groups still credited as utilizing this method, the !Kung Bushmen and the Tarahumara indians of Mexico, but it's really a misrepresentation.  Neither of these groups really eats any meat (the Tarahumera get most of their calories from corn, and subsist on a diet consisting of only 10% protein, 10% fat, and 80% carbs), and that which they do is farmed.  Consequently, the Tarahumera have abandoned the practice except to display their running skills for Westerners,and the Bushmen rarely eat the meat they kill by running it to death.  Lest you still doubt anyone who would dare defy the mighty writings of the Born to Run jackass, even his beloved Lieberman and Bramble freely admitted in their rebuttal to Pickering and Bunn that "ER is no longer common among living foragers" and admit that their theory is thus "a puzzle", even to themselves. (Liberman, et al.)

An Ache tribesman shows that sprinting and meat-eating does a body good.

Extant stone age societies like the Ache of Paraguay (who actually eat meat) move through the forest continuously, hunting peccary.  They walk briskly or jog lightly and then sprint to close on their prey.(Devany 49)  They are so fast, in fact, that even the 50+ year olds amongst them could outrun collegiate sprinters who studied them.  (Hill)  This falls in line with the evidence offered by Peter McAllister, who cited the fact that tracks have been found in Australian that appear to show a group of humans running at high speeds, one of whom was moving at 37 KPH (22.2 MPH) through a muddy lakeshore... and his lengthing strides indicate that he was accelerating.  (McAllister 25-26)  Similarly, most of the paleo authors seem to agree with Art Devany, who contends that we're better suited to walking and sprinting than running long distances (Devany 98), in part due to the fact that that long bouts of intense aerobic exercise cause harmful oxidation (Devany 100)  In stark contradiction to the assertions of Liberman et al, Robb Wolff even uses the example of the Bushmen in the Paleo Solution, though he mentions them as walking, rather than running, 15-19 miles a day- a statistic that falls in line with the suggestions by various writers that the !Kungs' occasional persistence hunting is almost entirely ceremonial.(Wolff 149)
In spite of these compelling facts, Bramble and his little buddy persist in their total lack of faith in the badassedness of humanity and stick to their guns.  Having apparently never seen the pants-shittingly sweet flick The Edge, in which a geriatric Anthony Hopkins offs a bear with a sharp stick, or having conducted a simple google search on ancient hunting methods, Bramble and Lieberman insist that "spears are used to dispatch prey that have been immobilized or incapacitated by traps, hunting dogs, or other such means."(Liberman et al 435)  An attempt to kill an animal with a large stick is just too scary and dangerous, insist Bramble and his pals, as "one well aimed kick or impact with an animal's horns  could cause serious, potentially fatal injury." (Ibid.)  Of course, they'll admit that it has been done on the same page, but the fact that it has occurred is meaningless, due to the fact that their arch-nemeses failed to describe how such a thing could have occurred without endurance running or projectile weapons.  Compound this with the alleged fact that "early Homo  was neither strong nor powerful" (Liberman 436), they couldn't have simply competed with more powerful predators.  I'm not certain where they derived this fact, as it's fairly well documented that every other primate species is more powerful than modern Homo sapiens sapiens due to their muscle fiber composition.
Cleanse.  All of that talk of running was making me break out in hives.

Oh, don't think I'm done, fuckers.  Not by a loooooong shot.  In fact, I've not even finished cutting up this baby and burying it underneath its dumbassed evolutionary bed.  Still to come, another post about the evolutionary evidence against ER, one about the sports science against it, and then a practical application of sensible training techniques to increase endurance without being a fucking jogger.


Bramble DM, Lieberman, DE.  "Endurance running and the evolution of Homo" Nature 18: 234 345-352
Chen, Ingfei.  Born to Run.  Discover Magazine.  5/28/10.
Devaney, Art.  The New Evolution Diet.  2010.
Hill, Kim.  Hunting and Evolution. (1982) J Hum Evol 11: 521-544.
Lieberman, DE, Bramble DM, Raichlen DA, Shea, JJ.  The evolution of endurance running and the tyranny of ethnography: A reply to Pickering and Bunn. J Hum Evol 53 (200&) 434-437.
McAllister,Peter.  Manthropology.  2010.
McDougall, Christopher.  Born to Run.  2009.
O'Neil, Dennis.  Early Modern Human Culture.  http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo2/mod_homo_5.htm
Thieme, Hartmut.  Lower Palaeolithic hunting spears from Germany.  Nature 385, 807 - 810 (27 February 1997)
Wolff, Robb.  Paleo Solution. 2010.

09 February 2011

Run And You'll Only Die Tired, The Logic

When a person thinks about superheros, certain paradigms come to mind- Superman, the goody-two shoes superstrong alien who can fly and see chicks under their clothes, yet never bangs Lois Lane (could it be she's hiding a cock under that skirt?); Spider-Man, superstrong nerd who got bitten by a radioactive spider and swings around the city banging models and fucking up everyone from aliens to dudes made of nothing but sand; and the Hulk, a nuclear behemoth with the world's worst roid rage, capable of feats of strength that would make Paul Bunyan weep and switch his wardrobe to polka dots.  You might think this is all irrelevant fantasyland juvenile bullshit, but it's actually not.  One very simple method of determining what people consider to be a laudable physical attribute is looking at what powers superheroes possess.  Clearly, there's not a manjack or broad amongst you who doesn't wish you had Wolverine's superhuman healing powers and adamantium claws and skeleton, or the Hulk's insane strength.  With either, you're damn near indestructible, able to tear apart your mother-in-law with your pinkies the second she starts berating you for any of the thousand failings she imagines you possess, and you can pretty much own anybody's face at any time.  I'd imagine some of you (perhaps those amongst you who are "light of heel" would appreciate the ability to fly.  Flying can be kind of cool, since pterodactyls did it, and pterodactyls were a gigantic bag of "holy fuck that's a giant scary bird/bat/fuck I'm dead" awesome.
Some of you, perhaps might even enjoy those other, lesser superpowers associated with travel, like portal creation, teleportation (Nightcrawler was the lamest X-Man ever, but maybe you're a gymnast and you can identify with being a carnie freak) or even superhuman speed.  Further down the ladder of cool, right next to the characters in Family Circus and the Go-Bots, were "the runners".  The runners of the comic book world generally sucked.  Quicksilver was such a lame villain that he became an Avenger, making him more or less a member of the comic worlds' Village People; the Flash, a character who's sucked in four different incarnations over the last century, gave rise to one of the worst television shows of all time, and purveyor of the world's worst fucking catchprase, "My name is Wally West. I'm the fastest man alive."; Speedball, a character so lame that as a child I actually tore comics apart out of frustration that featured him; and a whole host of eminently forgettable, bullshit filler characters spanning every comic company's universe.
Hi! I'm Speedball! How are you?  I'm FABULOUS!

Their powers, to a person, consisted by and large of the ability to run really, really fast.  They were all a French general's wet dream, capable of retreat at anything from the speed of sound to the speed of light, and occasionally able to do such awe-inspiring things as make a small whirlwind.  Eminently useful when fighting supervillians who weight dozens of tons or who can rip worlds in half...  right?  Nowhere, however, will you find a superhero who can just run a really, really long way at a reasonable pace without getting tired.  Know why?  Because if you're in a fight and you run at a moderate pace, a really long way, you're retreating.  Slowly.  Which is about as useful as having your cock suddenly grow to 12 inches just as you become the last human on Earth- it's irony at best.
Superstrength gets you Uma Thurman.  Fuck an a right.

Let's look at distance running another way- of all of the creatures on the planet, which ones are generally suited to running long distances very slowly- predators, or prey?  Given the fact that lions sleep for up to 20 hours a day, most people should be inclined to go with prey, and they'd be right.  Predators, by and large, are heavily muscled, aggressive, meat-eating creatures with binocular vision... much like the readers of this fine blog.  Amusingly, even the Roman gods echoed this distinction- Mercury, the messenger god, was also the god associated with grain, and was built like a pre-teen boy.  That is, of course, except for the fact that he was occasionally depicted as having three dicks, but you assholes should stop fucking nitpicking- the point is, he was a little-respected and generally bullshit god.  Hercules, on the other hand, was as heavily venerated as he was muscled by the Greeks, Romans, Etruscans, and even the Germans, who sang of him first in all of their battle hymns.  Rome's enemies certainly weren't singing about their twink jogging god as they waded into the fray against the Centurions... unless it was to mock them.
A jogger in the 19th C wouldn't be caught dead in public without his Penny Farthing!

So why, then, would anyone thing that jogging was a good idea?  I've no fucking idea.  It's certainly one of the new forms of exercise, arising in the mid-seventeenth century in England... hardly a period of history known for athleticism or really any kind of awesome.  Jogging spread slowly (literally) throughout the British Empire until kiwi Arthur Lydiard really popularized it by getting eventual Nike cofounder Bill Bowerman into it.  While getting Nike off the ground, Bowerman became the head of the uber-successful University of Oregon's track program, and used that as a springboard to sell books on jogging and Nikes

"But the marathon", you say, "it's ancient!"  Sorry, fuckface- no it's fucking not.  It didn't get included in the Olympics until the modern era, and only did then because jogging was popular in Britain, and four of the13 founding members of the IOC were British, British colonists, or American.  The "original" marathon was done by a herald (read "messenger" of the Greek army who ran 150 miles in two days, followed by another 26 miles thereafter.  Given that he did so running to and from battlegrounds, it's likely that he did so in his armor, which weighed up to 50 or 60 lbs. (Hoplite)  Thus, he did a three day weighted run of 176 miles, or nearly 60 miles a day.  And then died.  The longest race in the ancient Olympics was 2.86 miles (24 stades), because the ancient Greeks knew long distance running was fucking stupid.  Other pre-industrial people seemed to share that sentiment, as ingenious running events like the Kraho/Xavante log run and Sherpa mountain runs involve running up and down mountains while carrying weights, over distances of a few miles at most.
They run up a mountain with a basket full of rocks strapped to their fucking head.

Why, you ask, wouldn't they run further?  Because as we've already examined, the ability to run a long distance slowly is not a laudable goal, anywhere outside of the Schindler's List lookalike conventions that are distance running events.  Humans aren't designed for that sort of behavior, and the runners' physiques are a reflection of that fact.
Next time- the science behind my ridiculously compelling argument.