Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Crazy CrossFit #2 - Long Distance Running IS Deadly


I have said it for years: do not run long distances. From my perspective, the long distances were a horrible way to train; they tear up the knees, take massive amounts of time and, in general, turn a healthy-looking individual into a decrepit. It is horribly demanding on a person's body, and, as it turns out, it is very likely to be almost as unhealthy as no exercise at all!

No joke.

Did you know, Micah True, the person for whom the book "Born to Run" was written, died on a distance run in March? His heart was so thickened and enlarged, he died of a conditioned called Phiddipides Myopathy. Phiddipides being the name of the original Marathon runner who reported Romes victory over the Persions by running the 26 miles from the City of Marathon to Athens...he died immediately after giving the report.

As it turns out extensive, prolonged exercise (in excess of 60 minutes) literally starts to cook your heart muscles. Over the short-term, as this cardiologist explains, this is not a huge deal; the heart will heal. However, continuous exposure to this type of strain can be deadly. Over time, plaque and scar tissue builds up in the heart and arteries as the heart has to continually heal itself from the damage imposed by these long, extended periods of exercise.

If you are trying to hit a marathon target or actively running more than 20 miles per week, you are causing far more harm than good to your body. I'm not kidding - as you will see in the video, the mortality rate chart looks like a big "U" with extreme endurance work almost equal with those sedentary individuals in the study.

While he does go on to say "pace" too does make a difference, the preponderance of his study suggests short, heart-pumping exercise routines on a regular basis are the best way to go. Sound familiar? Maybe CrossFit IS on to something!

Check out the video.