Too many marathons can kill, warn doctors...

Thoughts anyone?

21 to 40 of 45 messages
02/12/2012 at 11:19
It proves that like any trade or profession there are good and bad in all. If you have a large plumbing job, you'll likely look for three quotes, and you try to assess the quality of service, we don't always get the chance with Doctors.
Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
02/12/2012 at 13:49

Well I've been a runner for over 50 years and completed 45 marathons and umpteen triathlons so I guess I'm doomed eh?

An EKG in June of this year showed my heart is completely healthy.   

03/12/2012 at 07:56
The authors of one such article replied in letters in the Lancet that they saw no cut-off of the advantage of training beyond the 50 mins per day reported in their study. Their data supported the advantage of up to 120 mins per day of strenuous exercise on mortality rate, ie the more you do the better it gets, though the curve starts to flatten out. (They didn't have the data to say further than that.)

This does not contradict the possibility that a few rare cases of death around intense exercise will occur, possibly due to a prior enlarged heart, for instance. The same authors thought it a bad policy to put the general population off exercising because of a few such cases. The risks of not exercising are much bigger.

People need to get the idea that what is good for the general population may be bad for a couple of rare people but that should not be seen as giving people a get-out. If adopted by everyone, swimming regularly would be good for our general risks of death, even if a few we couldn't identify in advance sank because they were born with a brick in their head. Naturally, it would be good if we could put more work into identiying those few people at risk! Meanwhile, the obesity epidemic is costing us in health services about the same as smoking and each such individual is losing several years of life.
Edited: 03/12/2012 at 07:58
04/12/2012 at 11:55

Ive just been sent a copy of that recent artical asking me if I am really going to attempt another marathon. My answer was of course, it might put a little strain on your muscles for a short period of time but there are so many benefits from it aswell. All that healthy eating and  training involved for at least 4 months has huge rewards. So much so than sitting on a sofa, watching TV and playing computer games, which im sure is far worse than running a marathon!

04/12/2012 at 18:52
TRex: I think the point is tha,t like any muscle, the harder you push it the bigger it grows and the more likely you are to injure it. Although a strained calf is not as life threatening as a strained heart

They're also saying that it does recover but can be scarred.

But as above, we should give up running and do something far better for us, like swimming. Not as many swimmers drown compared to runners dying from heart problems. Do they
05/12/2012 at 21:33

Drowning is almost three times as likely a cause of accidental death in the USA as firearms.

05/12/2012 at 21:52

Ever since the author of the book Running by James Fixx died of a heart attack while out for a 10 mile run nearly 30 years ago the arguement has continued whether too much distance can cause irreperable damage but there is food for thought in the arguement. I've personally run 18 marathons over the years & have often wondered whether it is actually healthy or am i doing damage to myself, after all there is nothing natural in running a distance where you exhaust your glycogen levels, i've stepped down to half marathons now & to be honest i now enjoy it more than putting my body through months of hard training.

07/12/2012 at 08:02
I think halfs are much more healthy for you but their not as much of a challenge and don't require 4 months worth of dedication like marathons. I would like to do Paris (as I'm in the asics 26.2 challenge, busy life style) and the big 5 (or is it 6 now with Tokyo) and then stick to halfs!
07/12/2012 at 08:04
http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/competitions/target-262-2013-busy-lifestyle/495.html

Just incase anyone wants to vote!
07/12/2012 at 09:10

"those running typically over 8???miles an hour, appeared to get no mortality benefit compared with the non-runners, whereas those who fared best usually ran about 6–7???miles per hour—a comfortable jog for most people"

 

Seems very vague advice.  Surely the heart rate is the only important factor here if there is any credibility to it?  8 for some runners can be exhauting and at the top end of their heart rate scale.  For others, it can be a reasonably gentle "jog"

07/12/2012 at 09:13

Exactly - with the massive range of abilities on this one forum alone, how could anyone make such a generalised comment about marathon running in general??

ps Strangely Brown - is that a Blackadder reference by any chance?

07/12/2012 at 09:36

I quote from the end of a couple of letters in the Lancet discussing a paper about this

"The adverse effects of strenuous exercise for incremental efforts for more than an hour a day did not seem to outweigh the benefits. We were not able to identify an upper limit of physical activity, either moderate or vigorous, above which more harm than good will occur in terms of long-term life expectancy benefits—an observation similarly made by the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. We hope, however, that concerns about too much vigorous activity are more academic than practical, with adverse effects more short-term than long-term. Most of the general population is sedentary and our major challenge is how to make the inactive start exercising, and not to give them reasons to avoid exercise." [my bold text]

It's handy that the Lancet doesn't restrict what you can get at - Lancet letter

07/12/2012 at 12:31

apparently Too Much Love Can Kill You also, according to Queen. Cue the next Daily Mail scare-mongering article.

07/12/2012 at 13:12
Steve loves bacon wrote (see)

Exactly - with the massive range of abilities on this one forum alone, how could anyone make such a generalised comment about marathon running in general??

ps Strangely Brown - is that a Blackadder reference by any chance?

Oh yes.  The greatest comedy ever penned.

Do you, by any small chance, really enjoy cooked cured pig's belly?

07/12/2012 at 13:31

Good man

It has been known for me to partake in said cooked cured pig's belly, yes... Running for me is mainly about earning bacon sarnies

07/12/2012 at 13:40

A man after my own heart.  My reward on a fortnightly basis after my Sunday LSR is giant bacon butty.  I actually begin thinking about it and start salivating with 5-6 miles still left and can almost smell it as I turn into my road.  Talk about motivational pull!

07/12/2012 at 13:52
Grilled, not fried in lard. I hope.
07/12/2012 at 14:46
Looking at the benefits of different speeds of running I think there could be a bit of confusion. Obviously somone who has never exercised will have a massive benefit from doing a little bit of excercise and running however slowly. Whereas the benefits of a committed runner increasing speed from 8 to 9 miles an hour will be much less. Its the law of diminishing returns.
07/12/2012 at 14:56
Your heart rate is a function of its size. The larger your heart, the slower it has to beat. A lower resting heart rate is not an indication of your fitness. Some people have big hearts that beat slowly, some small ones that beat fast. A runner who has a big heart will be able to supply more oxygen to their muscles and be able to run faster for less heart rate effort.

I suspect that runners who habitually run at 8+ mph are runners who have larger hearts. Whether they have larger hearts because they have put them under strain to grow or whether they just have naturally bigger hearts is probably the million dollar question in this case.
07/12/2012 at 16:05

The main reason people drop down dead whilst exercsing is not due to the amount of training etc and subsequent 'damage caused 'to their hearts, but as a result of an abnormal rhythm.

So, go for a nice long run with a bacon sarnie at the end and forget about it!

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