Check out an article I ran across on my day long couch potato excursion. Guess being sidelined right now is a good thing for me and my arteries.
This proves going hard all the time, is bad in just another way. Remember light workouts work just as good as our hard ones. And recovering is also very important.
and could be killing the environment too if you read that link as:
"...greater risk o fartery problems"
Funny thing is...i've been monitoring my BP for 3 years now (high BP runs in my family and it's my destiny to be on meds before long) and I have a daily log spanning 3 years and I can see a slight downward trend in my diastolic number as a result of adding triathlon to my life but surprisingly no impact to the systolic number.
Let's put this in a time capsule and I'll report back in 20 years after a few more iron distance races and marathons if I'm not laying on the side of the road with my heart exploded into a million pieces.
I'll concur w/ Bryan's comment. :-)
Makes sense. Exercise leads to muscles increasing in size, and the heart is a muscle, so the more you use it, the larger it (and the artery walls) get. That's why training is over rated; do the minimum possible and only push on race day.
we all can agree that basically doing marathons and IM distance triathlons is not "healthy" we may like it and its fun, but its over the line of "healthy".
of course an active lifestyle and healthy amount of exercise is good for a person compared to a sedetary lifestyle on the couch that makes sense.
but any of us really say with a straight face that running 26.2 miles without rest at a clip is healthy and good for a person's body? or cycling 112 miles at a time for 5-7 hours? or swimming for hours on end? all it one day?
interesting article though.
While recognizing the tremendous accomplishment of completing an Ironman or a PR Marathon, too much glory has been heaped on these events as "must dos".
Why not take some glory in doing a really fast and / or fun Oly distance tri or reaching for a 1/2 T, a 10 miler or 1/2 m? These distances are not as tough on the body, one recovers faster and can get to the starting line of the next race that much quicker - hopefully without injury.
Race on my friends!
While the study is worth evaluating further and there may be merits to the findings, let's not jump into too much conclusions based on ONE study with less than 100 subjects. There are many variables in this studies that need to be addressed before one should reach any kind of conclusion. It would be interesting to read the peer review critiques of this study. Any doctors/researchers in the DCTri house?
For example, the study cites 49 healthy men but what is their definition of healthy? What if some of these healthy men work in really stressful professions? What if the study consider healthy as someone who just runs marathons and do not look at these runners' diets ? What about their genetics, family history, and family life (i.e., going through a divorce or just had a baby)? Was the trial period based on a one day blood pressure check and questionnaire ? Was the trial period over the course of 3 months or were these subjects followed through many years ? Did they check the blood pressures of the healthy men before they started their training and then recheck afterward? How do they know that running didn't improve their blood pressures? Having a bp of 200/160 is high but what if before the "athlete" started running his blood pressure was 220/180?
If the definition of health is based solely on exercise then there are lots of holes that need to be looked at. How do we know that some of these healthy men aren't couch potatoes or former chain smokers who just started in their marathon quests ? ... hense their bp may be higher than the normal population. In a test case of 49 "healthy" men, it doesn't make much to spike numbers.
Just like anything else in life, moderation is good but moderation is also a relative term. Some may say that a marathon is extreme while others may say that 10 milers are extremes. Before I got into running, I used to think that people who run 3 miles a day were nuts. I'm sure guys who do ultra marathons or ultra tris think that marathons and Ironman distance races are just warm up exercises.
I would also suggest that those who are competitive in the shorter distances (not necessarily pros but average men and women who look to do well within their brackets), train at a lot higher intensities and volumes than the soccer moms and dads who are just out there to train to finish and enjoy themselves. I personally know of some DCTri folks who concentrate solely on sprint and oly distance races who put in more volume and intensities than what I put into my Ironman training. I also guys who trains for 10 milers and below who put in more weekly mileage and intensities in their workouts than my marathon training.
If the study finds that a 26.2 mile race is not healthy to the heart then what is their definition of healthy ? A marathon can take between 2-8 hours for some folks. A 70.3 race can take between 4-8.5 hours for some folks. A 10 miler can take 1-3 hours for some folks. Simply saying that a marathon is bad for your heart is misleading since it doesn't take into considerations the length (time), volume, and intensity that goes into training and racing a marathon. For all we know, running for more than an hour can be bad for you :)
I'm not saying that this is a baseless or worthless study ... just saying that we need more info/data and peer reviews in order to reach any meaningful conclusions.
ok ... as you were :)
You're reading a news article about the study as interpreted by someone who writes for Yahoo news. I'm sure all (well, probably most) of your questions about the study design and variables (people's backgrounds, etc to control for the base line) are described in the actual study, which would then support the conclusions the authors drew about the population sampling used in the study.
Yes, the study also seems to have limited itself to marathoners and they didn't examine triathletes or 10-milers or sprinters. Is that a flaw in the study? No, it's just beyond the scope of the study they were doing. And if the study has been published, then it has undergone peer-review assessment.
I'm just saying that the article is written in VERY simple terms (the author even has to explain which number is systolic), so I wouldn't take it as an all encompassing analysis of what the researchers did, but as a very general summary of the results.