Run Too Long And You May Live Too Short A Life

During the Greco-Persian War in 490 BCE, Phidippides, a 40-year-old herald messenger (professional running-courier) ran the 26 miles from a battlefield near Marathon, Greece, into Athens carrying momentous news of Greek victory. Upon arriving at the Acropolis, he proclaimed: ‘Joy, we have won!’ and then immediately collapsed and died.

Now if that doesn’t get your attention for today’s post, I don’t know what will. But before we get started with business let’s first start with…

Good morning! Happy Wednesday, I can’t believe how quickly this week is flying by. Tomorrow my in-laws will be coming in to town from Philidelphia. We’re very excited to see them! Though I am still racking my brain on what to make for our “holiday feast”… any suggestions are welcomed!

Even though they’ll be in town, I’ll still be sticking to my training schedule:

  • Thursday: Heavy lifting (with Amanda) and quick 3-4 mile speed run (with Jeanette)
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: Long treadmill run followed by 5K PJ run with friends

With all that running, it’s hard to believe that I am about to share a new report that says running is actually bad for you.

Now, before you get all antsy and try to defend the sport… remember, I love to run. As seen here, here and here.

That face just screams, I LOVE TO RUN 🙂 

But at the same time, I am not afraid to admit that I know it’s not the best thing for my body in the long run (no pun intended). I am very conscious about the time I spend with my Mizuno’s laced up and am much more likely to be seen doing speed work than long runs (which only happens 1x/week and is always less than 70 minutes).

Running: The Opposite Of Longevity

With the popularity of marathons and ultra-running growing exponentially it’s hard to believe that running can be anything but wonderful for you. Right? Most people start running because they want to live a healthier life. They start training for a marathon for the bragging rights, the physical challenge and the idea that running 26.2 miles is safe.

But researchers have discovered: 

“Vigorious exercise is good for health, but only if it’s limited to a maximum dose of between 30 and 50 minutes.”

This was the quote published in Heart.

US cardiologists explain that doing high intensity for longer can actually be damaging to the heart… and that running too far, too fast, and for too many years can speed up your life. Isn’t the reason we all want to workout to live longer and healthier?

I know what you’re wondering… great, but what does that mean? Well, according to the research, chronic extreme exercise can cause “wear and tear” to the heart, “inducing adverse structural and electrical remodeling”. In lamen terms, it means that long spots of running and at high intensities can offset the actual benefits of cardiovascular exercise and affect longevity of your life.

Source

Here are some other running facts that I came upon during my research: 

  1. There are around 30-40 million Americans partaking in running, making it the most common form of exercise.
  2. Approximately 35-45% of runners will experience a running related injury each year.
  3. Runners will experience an average of 4 injuries per 1,000 hours of training. That means if you run around 5 hours per week, you may end up with 1-2 injuries each year. That proved the case this past year for me when I experienced my knee sprang.
  4. Speaking of knees: the knee is the most commonly injured body part from running. Accounting for around 42% of all injuries. The second is the food and ankle.

With this information being published will I cut back on my running? I have long supported that running too far isn’t all to great for you. This is why I have no desire to run a marathon (1/2’s are just fine for me) and why you won’t see me spending my entire Saturday on the roads of Charleston. I like to get out, get on the roads and get back home to enjoy life. Running for 20+ miles isn’t something I care to brag about.

I also stay firm in my believe that there is no reason to run every day of the week. I run 3 days… that’s it. As it has always been, strength training is the center of my fitness program.

And as far as time spent each day exercising… short and sweet! Long life… I hope is in my future.

Questions Of The Day: 

  1. How often do you run? 
  2. Have you ever had a running related injury?

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