Friday, December 08, 2006

Anti-Runners and Fear Mongering

Somebody posted this article to our local group running site, recently:
Is Marathoning Too Much of a Good Thing for Your Heart? By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

The gist of the article is that six persons died while running marathons in the USA, last year.

Note: The person that posted the article is a bicycle rider/advocate, and doesn't choose to run (anymore).

Somebody else responded that at least 25 persons (in Kansas City alone), had a heart attack before rolling out of bed this morning. So six heart attacks during the hundreds of marathons last year was an insignificant statistic.

This was my response to the person's post:

I hear the same schlock about ultrarunning from time to time. "If you do blood-work on an ultrarunner that has just finished a 100-mile run, they will have the same chemical analysis of a person that has just had a massive coronary."

But do 100-mile participants drop dead after every race??? Heck no, it's extremely rare; (even though the average age of a participant of a 100-mile event is almost 10 years older than the average marathon participant). This just shows how little "Medical Science" knows about the human condition during endurance events.

What does information like this convey? Fear. Fear to get their lazy butts off of the couch and do something...anything.

"See, that's why I'll never do a marathon; I'd have a huge chance of dropping dead." "Remember that Jim Fixx guy? I don't want to die young, like him." "Pass the sausage gravy, please."

You have a much higher chance of dying (while running) by being hit by a car, if you run on city streets. If you're riding a bicycle, that chance quadruples. This time of year especially, BE VISIBLE AND BE SAFE.
Or, run on trails, (like I do).


Barb said...

If it's my time to "go", I'd rather be remembered for running a marathon than shoving another potato chip in my face! JFR

running42k said...

Your post script took care of my cycling advocate argument (I cycle commute so I am not knocking cyclists).

I have heard all the arguments against running, that we destroy our knees and hips. That we jiggle our insides too much (this from my grandmother) Us runners know better. We are fit, lean and healthy. We are the dads, moms, grandparents that can play physical activities with their kids.

Keep running.

Alex said...

Even though there is the factual data available in this study, the conclusions are flawed. I believe that there is a high-level of inflammation in the body that exists after a long and physically demanding running event. However, this level of inflammation is temporary and is down drastically over the period of a couple of days after that.

Just like increased high-blood pressure and rapid heart rate associated with the exercise, the inflammation is not good for you. However, because of the superb conditioning that running provides, all this stuff is temporary compared to only the medium but constant amount of inflammation, high-blood pressure, and rapid heart rate for people who do not run/exercise. In other words, it is better to increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and inflammation for 1-3 hours a day, so that in the remaining 21-23 hours, it is low/normal again than have those constantly elevated for the entire 24 hours every day because of lack of conditioning.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that f'ing article pissed me off. If didn't run I'd be in an institution and not for poor health.

D said...

Bravo on this post BADBEN!!!

Ben, aka BadBen said...

You know what this means, don't you...Couch Potatoes are the "ultimate ultra-athletes" because they have constant inflammatory stress.
And then they drop dead.

E-Speed said...

I don't know what their motivation is in posting stuff like that. My friend had a coworker lay an article about marathoners being more prone to skin cancer on his desk. Hmm who would have thought more time in the sun was likely to cause skin cancer. It frsutrates me when people think they are doing you a favor by trying to convince you that what you love is bad for you. You had a good reply!

Ryan said...

Great response, it sounds like another classic excuse to me too! Maybe it is safer to sit on the couch and watch TV but I'll take my chances out there!

Anonymous said...

I get this from all my relatives. I mean, that I'll die from heart failure, or for sure will be handicapped the rest of my life, my knees not moving and legs fell off...By now I just don't tell them I still run. "yep, quit. yep, you were right, very bad. yep, sit home and knit a sweater".
I don't think anythign will break general public's opinion, everybody likes to think what they like to think. Period. If we ever make a difference, it will be one person at a time. What, according to rising numbers of runners and ultrarunners, seems we are doing just fine. Slow, but without deviation. Once you try it - you won't regret:)

olga said...

And why was I posted as an annonymous? It's Olga:)