Sacramento Running News

Running news and gossip from in and around Sacramento

Running is Going to Kill You!

November 28, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Science

If you are an older runner (50+), recent studies suggest that running more than 20 miles per week, or faster than 7:30 minutes per mile, is going to wreck your health.

The Wall Street Journal published a story yesterday–with the not at all hyperbolic headline of One Running Shoe in the Grave–about the research, which indicates that runners who log more than 20 miles a week lose the health benefits of running.

Most critically, some research points to extreme training damaging the heart tissue. You should not be surprised to learn that not everyone is convinced.

Critics of the newer research say that the idea that running can harm the heart is based on research showing only an association—meaning that exercise may not be the cause of the problem. They note that in any large group of runners, high-mileage and high-speed athletes may be too few in number to be statistically significant.

Unfortunately for me, my entire wardrobe depends on my continued running. I’m also skeptical since I have so many older friend who seem a lot healthier than my non-running friends. And every runner I know runs more than 20 miles a week. Where is this cohort of under 20 mile a week runners?

I’m also more than a little concerned about telling folks to run less than 20 miles a week. It’s a slippery slope from 20 to zero, and we already have too many people running zero miles a week.

(H/T to Craig N. for the story.)


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