Marathon Training Day 253: New Research Says Endurance Running May Damage Health

Marathon training is going well. Since rocking the Eugene Half Marathon I have been in somewhat of a holding pattern as I finished up the master’s paper. In addition, avoiding injury is really important to me. However, I did find the following article interesting: Really, Really Long Bouts of Exercise May Be Bad for You.

New Research Says Endurance Running May Damage HealthNew Research Says Endurance Running May Damage Health. Really? Have any of you been concerned about the strain that running more than 30-miles per week puts on your body? I have not been concerned about it… mainly because I was only running 30 or more miles for just a few weeks before I actually ran the Eugene Half Marathon. After the half marathon was done I backed my mileage down to 8 to 12 miles per week. But I was unaware of health issues potentially being associated with running more than 30-miles per week.

On a bright side, this research makes me feel better about how I train for marathons. Sometimes if I don’t feel good… I don’t run. Some days if I am having a great day… I don’t run. And when I am running, if something doesn’t feel right… I shorten my planned distance for that day. And I walk if I need to walk.

Some weeks I felt guilty for not being a dedicated runner, even though, at the end of the day the only person judging me is me. But this story makes me feel better about how I cater my running to how my body feels, instead of to a strict running program.

The Wall Street Journal, which is where the original story appeared, is titled: The Exercise Equivalent of a Cheeseburger. I was aware of knee and ankle problems, but I had never considered heart issues. What do you think? Were you aware of potential issues for running long distances such as the increased risk of heart disease?

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2 thoughts on “Marathon Training Day 253: New Research Says Endurance Running May Damage Health

  1. I wonder how much is damage caused by endurance activities versus how much is stressing organs that, while stronger than needed for laziness, are not super-hero strong. It seems if you have a cardiovascular system that’s in the 80th percentile (good!) and you stress it with 99th percentile activity, you’re going to have a chance to be hurt.

    To me, the key point is about sports medicine ignoring warning signs. I’m working on a project that reveals exactly that. Coaches and more medical staff (sports medicine staff, in this case) have diverging interests, the coaches win, and the athletes suffer.

  2. I feel like all these “this is good for you but maybe not” revelations (there’s an article in the NY Times debating about vitamins today) is just a realization that not everything is not good for everybody all the time. We are all different and I imagine our bodies react differently to different stressors and substances. So you listening to your body is probably the best thing you can do for yourself. If it feels bad then it’s probably not good for you. If you need rest, then rest. ( I read this back and realize that some yoga philosophy (or old age) is creeping into my reasoning! )

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