Friday, June 15, 2012

Are Marathons Bad for Me?

I read a couple of things recently that worry me a bit.  One is an article from Runner's Wotld that shows that runners are generally healthier than non-runners, who run too many miles (more than 20 miles per week), too often (more than 2-5 days per week), or too fast (faster than 8:35) per mile had a higher rate of death than those who ran less.

Exercise: Is It Bad for Some? Is There an Upper Limit for Your Health? What’s Going On?

The other is about intestinal permeability and high intensity running.  It basically says that runners who run at 80% of their VO2 Max had levels of intestinal permeability similar to those with celiac disease or Crohn's Disease.

Effect of running intensity on intestinal permeability

These scare me a bit.  Since I've had problems with my heart and with my digestion during heavy training, I wonder if this is all part of my overtraining problems.

The people studied in the article on intestinal permeability were all healthy, active people around 30 years old.

I already knew, even before reading this article, that my body was telling me I need to take my training a little easier.  These articles make me worry a bit about pushing harder even once a week or so, or even just for the occasional race.  I wonder if it is just running that could potentially be dangerous if overdone, or if swimming or cycling could also be a problem, too.

I'm not getting a lot of comments on my blog, but I imagine at least that I have a few readers still.  Feel free to give me your opinion.  I'd love it if someone would convince me that I shouldn't worry about this stuff so much.


Jocelyn Wong said...

I'm still here!!! Don't worry too much. You're overthinking. "Paralysis through over-analysis" as they say.

P.S. great work on the splash and dash! I must get over my current fear of racing. see you in 2 weeks sometime!!

Nori said...

Thanks, Jocelyn! That is really helpful. Thinking about this too hard was starting to make me depressed again. I just need to learn to trust my body more and take it a little easier. I don't need a bunch of statistics and studies to figure that out.