Why would an average marathon runner such as Claire Squires take drugs to...

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30/01/2013 at 19:04

If you read the Grauniad, especially on-line, you will know how bad their journalistic standards have dropped. Rusbridger the editor has sacked everyone; it's all freelancers writing "sensational" stories just to get their internet profile up.

It's not quite the Daily Mail but it's getting close.

30/01/2013 at 19:07

I do think this would be a really good subject for Runners' World to look at.

What's available on-line and what you should avoid, most of the readers are newbies doing first longer runs. There must be some temptation to take "magic" potions.

In our running club it's Beetroot juice and some disgusting V8 type drink that are "flavour" of the month.


Edited: 30/01/2013 at 19:07
30/01/2013 at 19:20

I'm not "singed", Kate, I'm busy filing a piece. I'm afraid I felt that your immediate responses to my request for people's experiences were aggressive and prejudicial. I want to write a reasoned, balanced article - which means I don't want to talk to people who accuse me of being illiterate or who assume I report "like the Daily Crap."  I came to Runner's World because I took it to be a hub of rational, fair debate. To find myself 'trolled' after posting a simple request, has disabused me of that assumption. Goodnight all.

30/01/2013 at 19:21

legal running stimulants  - does these actually exist? Other than caffeine of course.

30/01/2013 at 19:22
And that told you KK
30/01/2013 at 19:24

To be honest it shouldn't really be a running story. It would need to be a science story, as to give any insight it would need to be substance plus exercise and the outcome of the combination of those over a balanced group to provide any real detail.

Given the deadline is tomorrow night I expect this is nothing more than a Dave from London said "SIS gels gave me the trots". Science journalism has always been poor, mostly as the time it takes to get the actual facts from the story tend not to be sensationalist and take an age to gather.

If you really want to see what substances do and report anything with meaning you'd need to look at academic and scientific journals.

Edited: 30/01/2013 at 20:00
30/01/2013 at 20:58
Oh the irony.
30/01/2013 at 21:02
With all the interest around Lance Armstrong, I can see how it's a topical story (not quite the same, I realise but a lot of people will just see it as another sport/drugs thing). Agree it's not really a running story. May just be the circles
I mix in but have never even heard or discussed this stimulant or anything like it. Would be interested to find out who recommended it to her. Was it someone at her gym? I think the story is more about buying health and medicines on the net. Realise what she bought was legal but it does seem as if high st stores are more scrupulous re what they sell.

Will be big shame if it's another of those 'here's another reason not to run' stories.
30/01/2013 at 21:32
I for one am willing to hold judgement.

Compare and contrast that to the OP
30/01/2013 at 21:32

Back on-topic: my mum has an irregular heartbeat. She was told that the risk wasn't actually heart attack it was stroke because it can lead to clotting. She's on warfarin as a result.

Back off-topic: whatever Amelia decides to write I'm sure the piece will be open for comment. We are all free to post on the Guardian website if we disagree with her  angle on the story. I suggest we withhold judgement for now and wait and see.

Edited: 30/01/2013 at 21:33
30/01/2013 at 21:40

Agreed re Amelia and her piece. Pity about KK's behaviour towards her.

30/01/2013 at 21:41
Amelia Hill wrote (see)

 I came to Runner's World because I took it to be a hub of rational, fair debate. 

I guess then; as a journalist, you could regard this as research.

Or crypto-zoology.

30/01/2013 at 21:45

Body building type stuff/supplements come under food laws, medicines come under the remit of the MHRA ( Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).  The pharmaceutical industry is said to be one of the two most highly regulated industries there are (alongside the airline industry).  This is quite right given the potential for harm from new medicines or poor quality medicines.

I think the story is the lack of proactivity with the MHRA in identifying products which should really come under their remit but which are 'got round' by claiming they are foods.  I remember at the time of the banning of Jac3d that there was a bit of an outcry about how long the MHRA had taken to do anything about it and that people had died because of this delay.  I don't know about the Claire Squires story but it would be tragic if her death could have been prevented with more forceful and proactive stance from the MHRA.  They need to be much more proactive about seeking out products that should be classed as medicines (and not foods or food supplements) and prosecuting people who are essentially getting round the regulations for medicinal products.

cougie    pirate
30/01/2013 at 21:53
I'll wait and see what the story is. I doubt it will be a "running is bad for you" story - as the evidence isn't there. 30000+ runners finished that day. Sadly one didn't and this supplement might be at least partly to blame.

The only thing I know about drugs is from sharing the sauna with some muscle bound men at the gym one Saturday. They were talking about a pal of theirs who had suddenly died at an early age. He owned a gym and the first thing they had to do was clean up all of the drugs at the gym in case they were seized.

Why would people risk their health in this way ?
30/01/2013 at 21:53
Eggyh73 wrote (see)

If you really want to see what substances do and report anything with meaning you'd need to look at academic and scientific journals.

Sadly I don't think this is true and makes my point.  Because these things are marketed as foods/supplements there is no requirement to carry out any R&D, safety reporting or similar.  Any studies they do fund will simply be to show how their product improves performance/aids weight loss or whatever* but no requirement to show any side effects or proper pharmacokinetics.  There is little/no money in doing those studies, so there is no substantive literature to refer to.

*And even then, the science is often ropey! 

31/01/2013 at 07:00

When I was at school there was some publication in the careers room that outlined the attributes best suited to a variety of professions. All quite dull until I came across 'Journalism'

Now I might now get every word spot on but here goes.

'Journalism', 'A form of professional based authorship; employment by particular publication, sometimes freelance. An environment where honesty and integrity are not considered to be assets.

31/01/2013 at 08:35
What happenes to this thread! You'd think someone had mentioned racing wearing iPods!

I think this news is going to inspire lots of running-is-bad-for-you stories in the tabloids, but I hope it also inspires some serious pieces about health benefits/risks of supplements. I'd be interested to see someone write about runners use of ibuprofen etc in long distance races & the side effects on kidneys, liver and heart. I ran with a girl eating them like Smarties at Brighton Marathon last year, just because she'd read online somewhere that they might be useful and she could buy them in Boots "so they can't be dangerous".

Here's a link to the Guardian piece if anyone is interested, focus is on the danger posed by the supplements, not running, so we can all relax.

31/01/2013 at 09:40

Just to muddy the waters/expand the discussion slightly are there any figures as to how many were hospitalised/sought treatment during the VLM in 2012 ?

I ask as from my viewpoint during the run there seemed to be greater numbers being loaded into ambulances/being attended to than in the previous years that I had run it.(I appreciate this is completely subjective but it is one of my standout memories of the day)

Could the weather conditions on the day have contributed ? It was a relatively warm day with a cold, biting wind when it blew.

31/01/2013 at 09:58

A very sad story & my thoughts are with the girls family and friends. A young life taken so early.

Quite a sensationalist story on MSN today, which doesn't do much for the reputation of running...nevermind the many thousands who turn their life around & see massive health and emotional improvements through running.

My own personal view (and experiences) are that eating a balanced diet, drinking sufficient water and making homemade sports drinks (1/2 water, 1/2 juice and a small pinch of salt) are better than taking supplements in most cases... (obviously some conditions or nutritional deficiencies would benefit from supplements in addition to a balances diet)

I've run a few marathons & only ran to my potential in the marathon where I drank plain water, a few sips of homemade sports drink and ate 5 jelly babies (not in 1 go). Previously I'd suffered terribly with stomach problems when training/racing with gels and flat lucozade, even after trialling them in training and as a result DNF'd a few races.

Partly it is a marketing ploy....and partly it is the placebo effect, taking  a supplement, believing it will help.

We are all different, so what works for one, won't neccessarily work for another. I've seen people gobble down snacks and biscuits 10 minutes before running a race..and running well!  That would cripple my guts & I'd be unable to run for at least another 2 hours. I think that is the key factor - our bodies are all wired differently & we react to substances in different ways.

Sorry if I've gone off on a tangent here....haven't read the whole thread

31/01/2013 at 10:23
David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

here you go Dicky M

"St John Ambulance said it treated 4,850 people at the Marathon today while 30 people taken to hospital."

Personally I find that number crazy ..... and actually kind of proves my moanings in another thread. You have morons who clearly have no business being in a marathon, getting slightly uncomfortable then calling for a medic to be treated.

Another reason to make the ballot a fairer process to weed out the once-a-year warriors.

How do you know what problems those people that were treated were suffering from though? Mostly things that can happen to any runner at any time I'll bet - chafing, blisters and pulled muscles.

30 hospitalised out of 35,000 is not that many  - less than 1%

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