Too much running bad for your health?

Avatar for cmkarla
Administrator
Registered: 01-03-2001
Too much running bad for your health?
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Thu, 04-03-2014 - 11:39am

Once again the subject of too much running has hit the news. A new study just out suggest too much running can shorten your lifespan. "Running regularly has long been linked to a host of health benefits, including weight control, stress reduction, better blood pressure and cholesterol.However, recent research suggests there may a point of diminishing returns with running.A number of studies have suggested that a "moderate" running regimen -- a total of two to three hours per week, according to one expert -- appears best for longevity, refuting the typical "more is better" mantra for physical activity." READ MORE

I find this all very interesting as I personally just logged another 100+ mile month running. I have to wonder if I am helping or hurting myself in the long run (hehe-pardon the pun). Your thoughts on this new study?

Karla
Community ModeratoriVillage.com

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Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Thu, 04-03-2014 - 12:20pm

I didn't see anywhere in the article where it mentioned how much shorter the life was of the distance runners, or the causes of death. Did I miss it or was it omitted? I'm not a runner but my dh is an ultra marathoner, and many of his running buddies are in their 60s and 70s, and there are some who are even older. The older ones are typically people who used to run marathons and switched to ultra's because of the slower pace and the softer footing (they are usually run on dirt trails instead of pavement). People who have been logging many miles and hours for years and still seem to be in very good health. There's a 50K this weekend, I'll tell him to ask some of his friends for their opinions of this latest study.

Avatar for cmkarla
Administrator
Registered: 01-03-2001
Thu, 04-03-2014 - 12:37pm

I didn't see the cause of deaths mentioned either but it did say no heart related conditions or medications were involved. The average age of people in my running group is 50 so I am curious to what they think of this article too.

Karla
Community ModeratoriVillage.com

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Thu, 04-03-2014 - 2:59pm

Interesting.  Completely w/out solid information, but knowing quite a few long distance runners, my hypothesis would be that they are more Type A and have more stress in their lives. When I used to run longer distances, it was easy to get caught up in going faster, harder, etc.  It was all about speed work and getting in long runs.  Too much stress. I wonder if they'd find the same if they studied Crossfitters vs people who work out more moderately. I would guess that it's not the long distance but the type of people it draws so if you're easy going and don't care about time (try mentioning that on a running site and you'll be hammered), the distance won't hurt you.






Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Thu, 04-03-2014 - 3:01pm

Interesting.  Completely w/out solid information, but knowing quite a few long distance runners, my hypothesis would be that they are more Type A and have more stress in their lives. When I used to run longer distances, it was easy to get caught up in going faster, harder, etc.  It was all about speed work and getting in long runs.  Too much stress. I wonder if they'd find the same if they studied Crossfitters vs people who work out more moderately. I would guess that it's not the long distance but the type of people it draws so if you're easy going and don't care about time (try mentioning that on a running site and you'll be hammered), the distance won't hurt you.






Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Thu, 04-03-2014 - 3:08pm

I remember that back around 2004, my dad sent me an article that was published in the WSJ that marathon running reduces your number of years of life by XX per marathon (I vaguely recall 1.6 years, but my memory is bad.)  He sent it to me because he knew I was dating a marathon runner.  I think the hypothesis was that running that many miles is just too much stress on the body.  Too much of anything is a bad thing.  I think life is about moderation.  On the other side of this, there are some animal studies that show that by practically starving (rats?  mice?) with way too few calories, you can prolong life much longer that animals that have a sustaining/regular caloric intake.  I haven't read the details of that study, nor have I read the recent study showing the contrary.  I think we each just have to do what feels "healthy."  :O

Avatar for cmkarla
Administrator
Registered: 01-03-2001
Thu, 04-03-2014 - 3:34pm

I've been talking about this with a few of my long distance running friends and we all have the same general thought about Type A personalities being the root cause. And I am willing to be you are right and if they studied cross-fitters they'd find the same results.

While I like a good cross-fit class and do enjoy my running, I am not a die hard never miss a class/ run type person. I enjoy the challenge but don't particularly care for competition. I have never considered myself Type A personality but just for fun I took a A/B personality test and scored as an A (6 out of 10). LOL Maybe I have more in common with my hard core exercise friends than I thought.

Karla
Community ModeratoriVillage.com

Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Thu, 04-03-2014 - 4:14pm

Hah.  That says I am a B.  I don't think so, although I know that I AM changing.  :D  Interesting hypothesis...it would be interesting to see what the data says about Type A vs. Type B.

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Thu, 04-03-2014 - 5:56pm

I do the hard workouts sometimes but I'm happy to take it easy. And, while I have run long distances, I've never been concerned about time. I think it's one reason I did them.  I could go as slowly as I wanted and finishing was the task.  I tried taking that test but I could't answer the questions! It depends on what I'm doing and the mood I'm in. I don't think I've ever been type a but probably have some traits.  I love speed as long as I don't have to be the one to do the work (I love roller coasters but have no need to run fast).  






Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Thu, 04-03-2014 - 5:57pm

There are calorie restricting people who live on about 500-600 calories in hopes that they will live longer. GR, didn't you say your SO was one? The last I read, it wasn't true for people.  I live to eat too much to even consider that.






Avatar for cmkarla
Administrator
Registered: 01-03-2001
Fri, 04-04-2014 - 10:51am

I don't know how someone can survive on so few calories much less live longer.

Karla
Community ModeratoriVillage.com

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