Too many marathons can kill, warn doctors...

http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/too-many-marathons-can-kill--warn-doctors-101925466.html

"Fitness fanatics should do “just one or a few” marathons or full-distance triathlons, say the cardiologists, because over-exerting the heart for years can lead to long-term damage.

There is now convincing evidence that repeatedly asking the heart to pump “massive” volumes of blood, for hours at a time, can lead to an array of problems, they say.

These include overstretching of the organ’s chambers, thickening of its walls and changes to electrical signalling. These could trigger potentially dangerous heart rhythm problems."

 

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Comments

  • bugger, i've done 20 in total (11 this year) - guess i must be dead image

     

  • Anything to excess is going to be bad for you. 

    We all have to pop our clogs sometime. You may as well enjoy what you do whilst you can ? 

  • This is devastating news.  Someone should start a thread about it.

  • In my book doing lots of marathons is bloody stupid. But each to their own image

  • This was the key bit for me:

    "No amount light to moderate exercise is harmful, they note.
    “A routine of moderate physical activity will add life to your years, as well as years to your life. “In contrast, running too fast, too far, and for too many years may speed one’s progress towards the ???nish line of life.”"

    Wonder how they are defining intensity???

     

  • Just tried to get access to the full article but it costs £24!!!!! Off to the library I go!

    You can find it here if anyone wants it...

    Run for your life article

  • Another flawed use of data and statistics. The data was normalised to ignore factors such as obesity, smoking, drinking, and anything else you're commonly likely to die of.

    http://www.runnersworld.com/health/too-much-running-myth-rises-again

     

  • i suppose anything can kill you if you are at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  •  Well I wouldn't trust any article that uses data as singular!!image

    TimR wrote (see)

    Another flawed use of data and statistics. The data was normalised to ignore factors  

  • This subject came up a few months ago after a BBC story.  I think all runners know it does something to your heart, we all sit down in the evening with RHRs of 40 something while everyone else is pumping along at +60 or 70.  When you read all the research on this it will probably summarise as some running is extremely good for you, extreme running carries risk, it's not news.

  • Rafiki wrote (see)

     Well I wouldn't trust any article that uses data as singular!!image

    TimR wrote (see)

    Another flawed use of data and statistics. The data was normalised to ignore factors  

     

    That would depend on whether it was reffering to information or mass data and depending whether the operation was applied to the whole set of data or individual datums. I think using data as a singular noun is genearlly not seen as bad practice. Most people understand what you mean.

  • TimR wrote (see)

    Another flawed use of data and statistics. The data was normalised to ignore factors such as obesity, smoking, drinking, and anything else you're commonly likely to die of.

    http://www.runnersworld.com/health/too-much-running-myth-rises-again

     

    Tim... that's an interesting blog link you've posted there, thanks.  I've no idea if the blogger is giving a balanced picture... but it seems to have merit.

    I'd have summarised it slightly differently.

    It seems that they have normalised the data to exclude smoking and drinking... but the critical thing is that they normalised it for blood pressure, cholsterol,and weight.

    But can they do that? Because running influences those factors enormously.  To quote the blogger...  he says the reseachers have shown that... "If we ignore the known health benefits of greater amounts of aerobic exercise, then greater amounts of aerobic exercise don't have any health benefits."

    The blogger offers further evidence that the authors of the report are ignoring data in other reports... and implies that they do have vested interests.

    I don't know enough to know who's right. But I think I'm fairly convinced that this 'new' study quoted in the Telegraph today, is flawed.

  • Sleepy Bear wrote (see)

    This was the key bit for me:

    "No amount light to moderate exercise is harmful, they note.
    “A routine of moderate physical activity will add life to your years, as well as years to your life. “In contrast, running too fast, too far, and for too many years may speed one’s progress towards the ???nish line of life.”"

    Wonder how they are defining intensity???

     

    Well it's a review so the different papers they reference use different definitions of intensity. But basically it's "light (eg, walking), moderate (eg, brisk walking), medium-vigorous (eg, jogging), or high-vigorous (eg, running)".

    So what's the difference between a jogger and a runner? imageimage

    Some papers do pin it down to a pace;

    "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"

    Distance;

    "those who ran over 20 or 25???miles per week seemed to lose their survival advantage over the non-runners"

    frequency;

    "the individuals who ran 6 or 7???days per week appeared to lose the mortality benefits, whereas the survival advantages accrued best for those who ran 2–5???days per week"

    Duration;

    "those who did best were the people who jogged at a slow to average pace, for one to 2.5???h per week total, accumulated during two or three sessions"

    So no breaking into a run, and no extreme training programs people, let's be safe image

  • LOL - I was hoping for a 70-75% MHR cut off for light - 80-85% for moderate ???

    Mo, Paula et al are pretty much doomed based on distance amd frequency! Aim high folks - school sports day anyone LOLOLOLOL

    Not that I'll be changing anything I do - since as usual there'll be the opposite advice next week...image

     

     

  • One study doesn't make a consensus. Let's wait a few years and see.

    But please, no-one forward this article to my wife! image

     

  • Look's like your standard get a jorno to make a story out of one part of the report to me and ignore the rest of the information. See how the Leverson report is being commented on for details. image 

    I'm not worried and I'm not going to stop doing marathons given the example they gave was of someone who ran a marathon every single day and then there heart collapsed.

  • From what I can gather Claire already knew she had problems and possibly ran against the advice of doctors.

    We're all warned that we should get the advice of a doctor before starting exercise, especially if we're middle aged and starting up again. As the Nurse says and everyone on this forum should know; start slowly and build up.

    A quick google for people who have died while actually running marathons brings up the, not suprisingly, point that it's mainly overweight men in the 40-60 age group running for charity that keel over. Golf is another activity that lots of people die doing, as well as Whist Drives and Bingo but that will be due to the age of the participants.

    What the study is saying is that the heart is a muscle and builds the same way as any muscle, by forcing it to work above its normal rate and make it build itself stronger. For a small percentage of people this is taken to extremes and after many years it is fatal.

    The thing to take away from this is get an anual ultra sound and EKG if you regularly run marathons at a hard effort. Maybe like boxing and drug testing, it will become the norm for elites to have it done.

  • i hate running anyway

    especially marathons - image

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    What did the article say about ultras?  Are they OK?

     

    The heart is essentially a muscle and you would expect it to be worked hard, suffer a bit, and then recover.

  • 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.
  • 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.    image

  • 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.
  • 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!

  • 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 image



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

  • 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.

  • 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!
  • "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"

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