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Still Not Born to Run?
Old 07-28-2010, 02:12 PM   #1
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Still Not Born to Run?

From Curt Harris’ PaNu Blog:-Report of a computed tomography angiographic study on runners and controls:
“My three hypotheses all remain viable:
Weak form: Chronic Steady state aerobic training* (CSSAT) does nothing to prevent or reverse atherosclerosis
Mild Form: Some effects of CSSAT may be beneficial or neutral, but they are overridden by the inflammation promoting effects of the diets favored by those who train this way.
Strong Form: CSSAT itself promotes the inflammatory state via cortisol, cytokines, inadequate recovery, etc.”

PaNu - P?Nu Blog - Still not born torun

So it is at least possible that if you don't enjoy distance running, there may be better (and less boring) ways to spend time.

Ha
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
From Curt Harris’ PaNu Blog:-Report of a computed tomography angiographic study on runners and controls:
“My three hypotheses all remain viable:
Weak form: Chronic Steady state aerobic training* (CSSAT) does nothing to prevent or reverse atherosclerosis
Mild Form: Some effects of CSSAT may be beneficial or neutral, but they are overridden by the inflammation promoting effects of the diets favored by those who train this way.
Strong Form: CSSAT itself promotes the inflammatory state via cortisol, cytokines, inadequate recovery, etc.”

PaNu - P?Nu Blog - Still not born torun

So it is at least possible that if you don't enjoy distance running, there may be better (and less boring) ways to spend time.

Ha
My knees tell me not to run.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:35 PM   #3
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I can run if I'm after something or something is after me. But it sure is tough in high heels...
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:36 PM   #4
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Running long distances is boring to me, but I found sprinting pretty fun myself. And talk about a great way to get the fat off fast...wowie!
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:44 PM   #5
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Interesting article. Funny thing though, I have a cardiologist friend who is also running a marathon this fall, so apparently these findings aren't totally accepted among cardiologists.

I know that I feel better when I'm running rather than when I'm going through a sedentary time. Maybe that's in my head, but I doubt it. No knee pain either. But maybe my heart really is being damaged despite feeling better.

I've taken off 11 pounds in the last 3 months by running 40-60 miles a week AND limiting food quantities and cutting out a lot of junk.

Ha, I'll bet you have interests that I'd find quite boring. I know that running isn't for everyone. I don't think I've ever encouraged anyone to run that didn't show an interest.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:35 PM   #6
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Ha, I'll bet you have interests that I'd find quite boring. I know that running isn't for everyone. I don't think I've ever encouraged anyone to run that didn't show an interest.
RunningB, I agree with this completely, and I probably shouldn't have used the word boring. Little is absolutely boring, and little is absolutely interesting. It all depends on who is the agent, and what are the circumstances.

Also I am not at all trying to talk anyone out of running. I just thought it was an intriguing counterpoint to consider for those who don't like running and who are perhaps forcing themselves to do it because of heart disease fears.

Also, it seems to me that the obverse of (distance running) is (not distance running), rather than being sedentary. And though this study did not address it, if this effect is real it likely also applies to many forms of grind-it-out aerobic activity.

BTW, my former FIL was a marathoner who would have fit the criteria for this study until about age 70, and he is going on 96 now, so it can't be too dangerous.

Ha
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:11 PM   #7
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It is an interesting counterpoint. I've tried to figure out a way to ask in the running community "how much is too much" but didn't know if I could word it in a way to not get stomped on. The closest I've seen is advice that the healthier way is to train for a marathon, but not run it. Most people are running a marathon faster than a jog, which is hard enough, and then many continue on even when they are having a bad day, putting themselves in more danger.
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:17 AM   #8
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I had not heard of these studies but it is alarming that over-training may increase risk. It makes sense if people are running (or whatever) to the point that inflammation is a problem. I liked running when I briefly engaged in it but I had serious problems with swelling in my ankles and inflammation in my hips and knees. About 5 years ago I took up cycling which is a good substitute and pain free for me. I ride a fair amount (about 100 miles a week in good weather) but I don't come close to over-training.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:16 AM   #9
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My doctor, who is in his 60s, runs 9 or 10 marathons a year. He's healthy as a horse (although perhaps a freak of nature, the lucky dog!)

I've always enjoyed distance running, despite not being very good at it. I've done 4 marathons but probably no more, since my legs started giving out on me when I got to about 60. But I still average at least 10 miles a week, more in the cold weather.

For me, the benefits I feel from running far outweigh any negative aspects, so I'll keep doing it as long as I can.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:35 AM   #10
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I used to be a jogger, covering somewhere between 10-20 miles a week, so not exactly marathoner miles. I quit mostly due to laziness, and the unwillingness to adapt to the strange schedule given me by Megacorp...

When I was running regularly, I knew of several very "fit" runners who inexplicably keeled over dead from heart issues. Though this is definitely anecdotal, everyone familiar with these instances always wondered how someone so fit could have had heart problems. Maybe this is the answer. Of course, I'm not sure the mileage I was doing would fall into the "excess" category. Plus, since then, I've more or less rejected the low-fat, high-carb diet so popular with runners.
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:26 AM   #11
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I reread the article today, and the ones it referenced, and a few things jumped out at me.

They compared runners with no special risk to non-runners who came in because they had some symptoms. Very interesting, and disturbing to me, that the seemingly higher risk non-runners had less plaque. However, the numbers were awfully small, 25 in one group, 22 in the other. And, there hasn't been any follow up to show which members of those groups actually had real heart issues.

There's no actual connection to the running itself, and there's some suggestion that it could be due to a typical runner's high carb / low fat diet. I probably eat more bread than most but not so much pasta, and generally don't even carbo load that much before races.

The thing about marathon running is that you don't come that close to max heart rate. A 5K runner, or someone shovelling snow or lifting weights will hit a much higher heart rate. But maybe it's having an elevated heart rate for an extended time that's causing some damage rather than peaking, if this study proves out.

There are a few really idiotic remarks by doctors in the comments sections, like "Some runners call in pizzas and eat them while out on their run. Pizza = pork which is usually a poor choice of meat. Unmetabolized fats may be the culprit. CT the pig's hearts." There's one guy who wrote a book on his ultra running who says he has called in for a pizza on a 100+ mile run. I don't know of anyone else who's done this. And pizza=pork is news to me.

In any case, thanks for posting this. It makes me think, though at this point I don't plan on changing anything. Anecdotally, I don't know any runners who've had heart attacks, and I know people who have run a marathon a month for over a year, and others who have run dozens of 100 milers. But I will keep my eyes open for more evidence.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:15 AM   #12
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I reread the article today, and the ones it referenced, and a few things jumped out at me.

They compared runners with no special risk to non-runners who came in because they had some symptoms. Very interesting, and disturbing to me, that the seemingly higher risk non-runners had less plaque. However, the numbers were awfully small, 25 in one group, 22 in the other. And, there hasn't been any follow up to show which members of those groups actually had real heart issues.

There's no actual connection to the running itself, and there's some suggestion that it could be due to a typical runner's high carb / low fat diet. I probably eat more bread than most but not so much pasta, and generally don't even carbo load that much before races.

The thing about marathon running is that you don't come that close to max heart rate. A 5K runner, or someone shovelling snow or lifting weights will hit a much higher heart rate. But maybe it's having an elevated heart rate for an extended time that's causing some damage rather than peaking, if this study proves out.

There are a few really idiotic remarks by doctors in the comments sections, like "Some runners call in pizzas and eat them while out on their run. Pizza = pork which is usually a poor choice of meat. Unmetabolized fats may be the culprit. CT the pig's hearts." There's one guy who wrote a book on his ultra running who says he has called in for a pizza on a 100+ mile run. I don't know of anyone else who's done this. And pizza=pork is news to me.

In any case, thanks for posting this. It makes me think, though at this point I don't plan on changing anything. Anecdotally, I don't know any runners who've had heart attacks, and I know people who have run a marathon a month for over a year, and others who have run dozens of 100 milers. But I will keep my eyes open for more evidence.
I've been following some of these blogs for a while, as well as the Crossfit forum, and, as is often the case on the interwebs, this stuff is thought provoking, but should be taken with a grain of salt.

"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"...

For most folks, modest improvements in the SAD (standard American diet), along with ANY exercise, will be better than the status quo.
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:21 PM   #13
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Thanks for posting. I'll definitely keep this in mind for backup info when I decide to quit running. But for now I'll keep doing 4 miles - 5 times a week.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:21 AM   #14
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Here's another article that discusses the risks of distance racing: Temporary Heart Damage May Explain Marathon Deaths | Exercise & Cardiac Health | LiveScience

"We know that regular exercise reduces cardiovascular risk by a factor of two or three in the long run, but while we're doing vigorous exercise such as marathon running, our cardiac risk increases by seven"

"According to the researchers on that study, running a marathon is half as risky as driving the same route on a normal day."

"The good news is that the damage isn't permanent. By the time of their three-month checkups, the runners' hearts were back in tip-top shape. A second bit of good news is that better training and hydration can decrease the damage. A higher VO2max, indicating better fitness, was linked with less temporary damage."

This all reinforces what I've heard, that training for a race is very healthy, but race day itself has some risks. But not as much risk as it would seem, since marathon deaths make news much like shark attacks do.

I like this final quote a lot:

"People should not enter a marathon lightly, training needs to be well done... You can't cheat the marathon."

Bottom line is that I'm still not changing my running, except that if I come into a race under-trained, I will definitely be more conscious of not pushing it very hard.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:29 AM   #15
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RB, I previously posted this in the "recent books" thread, but in case you missed it you will really enjoy the book Born to Run. Offers some interesting theories on running injuries but also is a very good story.

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Old 10-25-2010, 09:35 AM   #16
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I used to run 100+ miles a week at times and have run about 10 marathons years ago. Overtrained because I am a nut and don't like taking days off and have P. Tendon problems now(although my joints are perfect). I still kind of like an old saying I read somewhere years ago.....If you are running more than 3 miles a day, you aren't doing it for your health.....you are doing it because you want to. I would still be running 10 miles a day if I could.....I LIKE it.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:47 AM   #17
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This paper talks about specific "risks". I'll hold my opinion (and worry) until there's a study that show runner "have" a higher incidence of heart attacks than sedentary people.

I'm not a marathoner, but have run about 5 times a week most of my adult life. I feel great and my annual physicals confirm it (touch wood!) so far.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:56 AM   #18
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I've got a surf trip coming up and I've started running again, but I really don't like it at all. I'm a big tall dude and I'm more of a plodder than a runner, so it definitely does not come natural to me.

I've started off only running a couple of miles per outing, and only twice a week, and I'll probably get up to 3 miles 3x per week before I'm done. Last time I did this I ended up hurting my knee and had to quit right before a trip, but it's the only thing I know of to get some good cardio. I also swim, but that doesn't seem to get the heart up like running does for me.

Should I be sprinting instead? I'm lookig for more stamina when out on the water for 2-3 hours.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:14 AM   #19
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TeeRuh, I read that book, it is very good.

cardude, have you tried jumping rope? That gets my heart going real well. I'm surprised that swimming doesn't, but maybe it works for me because I'm not a good swimmer and have to work hard when swimming. Using an elliptical is another way to get running-like benefits without the strain on your knees.

Another suggestion would be to do "fartleks". No joke, it comes from Sweden. It is bursts of speed mixed in with slower running. You run at a comfortable speed, and speed up for 50-100 yards or a minute or so as you get more fit, or up a hill. Run hard but not quite an all out sprint. Slow back down to recover, and repeat as often as you like. A lot of times you pick out a landmark up ahead and run hard to it. It seems to me it might help with surfing as you are building some overall endurance but also training the body to handle sudden, fairly short demands.
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:08 AM   #20
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... but it's the only thing I know of to get some good cardio. I also swim, but that doesn't seem to get the heart up like running does for me.
Bicycing? Great for cardio if you go fast or climb hills.
I wish I found swimming so easy. I can barely do a lap before needing a break, but I can run for miles.
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