Runningart2004
Marathon Running not good for Heart Health 3/17/2010 11:04AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Not saying I agree, but I had these forwarded to me today. Discuss:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19332846?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=1

"Ostensibly healthy marathon runners have an unexpectedly high rate of myocardial LGE, and this may have diagnostic and prognostic relevance."




http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/29/15/1903.full.pdf+html?sid=94339460-bf4f-4845-bdf5-911807fb4651

"Conventional cardiovascular risk stratification underestimates the CAC burden in presumably healthy marathon runners. As CAC burden and frequent marathon running seem to correlate with subclinical myocardial damage, an increased awareness of a potentially higher than anticipated coronary risk is warranted."
Lindgren Runner
RE: Marathon Running not good for Heart Health 3/17/2010 12:57PM - in reply to Runningart2004 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Ryan Shay (rest his soul) is probably one example of this study. The marathon is a demanding sport, I'm surprised there is no discussion that marathons lower life expectancy rates.
Chris Wasnetsky
RE: Marathon Running not good for Heart Health 3/17/2010 1:11PM - in reply to Lindgren Runner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I thought Ryan Shay had an abnormally large heart? Was this due to running or did he always have it?
Ebenezer
RE: Marathon Running not good for Heart Health 3/17/2010 1:22PM - in reply to Runningart2004 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Having read, but not understood the articles (what's late gadolinium enhancement, anyway?) my first impulse is that the training hours for subjects was not monitored. (It stated the subjects' MET, but you earn MET sleeping and watching tv.)

Many more people are completing marathons nowadays, but some programs have people doing long runs that are 40-50% of their total mileage and training time. If you're doing a long run that taxing and two speed workouts every week, your body is full of cortisol all week long.

Is there anything wrong with saying your race time shouldn't be longer than 1/3 your weekly training time? If you're not going to train more than 9 hours a week, stick with the half-marathon. There's a big difference between finishing a marathon and finishing a race of marathon length.
OrvilleAtkins
RE: Marathon Running not good for Heart Health 3/17/2010 2:03PM - in reply to Ebenezer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I feel that there is a very big difference between comleting a marathon, running a marathon and racing a marathon.
The heart was discussed on BHRR1's 50+ Weekly Training Thread dated 3/14/2010 this weekend.
I have a list of over 18 runners who I know who have had Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter. They have all raced marathons and have done very hard training for long distance racing for 35+ years.
Many of us have had cardioversions and some have pacemakers. Most are still running if not prevented from doing so by other injuries. They are now in their mid 60s or older. We raced in the 1960s and 70s and want to continue.
I like to say that very very hard training for long distance racing for many years can strengthen your heart muscle but it appears that it can also make your heart jumpy.
Incidentally, there has been a study that concluded that one in four adults over 40 is at risk for developing a heart rhythm abnormality known as Atrial Fibrillation.
I know little else about this subject and am not medically trained. I am solely a marathon runner.
Squid
RE: Marathon Running not good for Heart Health 3/17/2010 2:44PM - in reply to OrvilleAtkins Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Add me to your list Orville. I had a cardiac ablation myself for AFib and now am back to running. My cardiologist said that easily 25% of his male patients under 50 have been serious endurance athletes. His evidence of a link is anecodotal, but he is convinced a study linking serious endurance athletics and afib will be made.
Precious Roy
RE: Marathon Running not good for Heart Health 3/17/2010 3:05PM - in reply to Squid Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
First, the study looked at people over the age of 50 who ran 5 or more marathons over a period of three years.

Second, studies on "marathoners" that do not distinguish between fitness levels are completely useless. You just cannot compare a well trained, well conditioned marathoner who can handle the distance with the "experience" marathoner who just trains enough to get across the finish line and is in pretty bad shape by the end of a race.

Third, Duhhhh, multiple marathoning over the age of 50 is going to present some health risks. But, the study only identifies one possible risk, without looking comparing running to all of the benefits.

And, finally, fourth, no one ever said that people do distance running because it is the perfect fountain of youth. I run marathons because I like it. A side effect is that when in racing shape, I weigh about what I did when I graduated from college, 18 years ago. If doing this means that I will have a slightly higher risk of some cardiovascular disease later in life, that is fine with me. My non-running friends who weigh about 80-100 lbs more than they did after college would kill to have that problem in stead of the diabetes, bad knees and back, high blood pressure and all the other problems they have accumulated due to their non-marathoning habit.
OrvilleAtkins
RE: Marathon Running not good for Heart Health 3/17/2010 3:25PM - in reply to Precious Roy Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Good post Precious Roy, Thank you.
I love to run long distances and will do so when my body allows me to. My body is my problem. Too many hard miles, I guess.
I forgot to mention above that it is also alleged that 15% of strokes are attributed to Atrial Fib.
My suggestion is that as we age we have EKGs during our regular annual checkups. That is how I found out that I needed a correction.
Squid
RE: Marathon Running not good for Heart Health 3/17/2010 4:33PM - in reply to Precious Roy Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Roy, I don't disagree with you at all. However, I will say that despite being "well-trained" (sub 2:20) I was also in "pretty bad shape" at the end of my marathons. But, I would not make any of those health trade-offs either. Like you, I continue to run, despite being treated for a heart issue, for the simple reason that I like it.

Orville has it nailed. If you have been a long-term serious endurance athlete, an EKG with your annual physical after 40 is probably a good idea. When I quoted the 15% strokes attributable to afib to my doc, he said "yeah right, that's what the study says. Try 25% - at least." This is a very common issue and runners are not immune. In fact, may be more suseptible than they think.

But it's not a reason to not run.