Is high intensity running harmful?

For someone hoping to become a better, faster runner and potentially get engaged in high intensity activities (e.g. marathon) no additional health benefits should be anticipated, but rather a slightly increased risk for heart problems, as well as for running-related injuries and disabilities.

This should not be a reason to discourage high intensity activities, for those who really enjoy it either for leisure or as an anti-stress activity. The overall benefits of running far outweigh the risks for most individuals.

Is high intensity running harmful?

Many would otherwise endorse the following moto: "I don't run to add days to my life I run to add life to my Days".

 

These are some recommendations endorsed by the International Marathon Medical Director's Association to reduce health risks for high intensity runners:

1. Participants should not only be sufficiently trained, but equally important, they should have a goal and corresponding race plan that is appropriate for that level of training and fitness. If not, do not attempt the distance.

2. Have a yearly physical examination and be sure to discuss your exercise plans, goals and intensity at that visit.

3. Take one baby aspirin (81mg) on the morning of a long race if there is no medical contraindication and you are >40 years old.

4. Consume less than 200mg caffeine before and during a 10K race or more.

5. Only drink a sports drink or its equivalent during a workout of 10k or more.

6. Drink for thirst. Do not drink to the max.

7. Do not consume a NSAID just before or during a race. You can use it at the end of the race as needed.

8. Consume salt (if no medical contraindication) during a 10k or more.

9. During the last mile, maintain your pace or slow down; do not sprint the last part of the race unless you have practiced this in your training. Run as you train.

 

vascular health

Vascular Surgeon

Dr. Efthymios (Makis) Avgerinos is a Vascular Surgeon, Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in USA.

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Efthymios D. Avgerinos, MD, PhD, FEBVS
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh
Medical Center Pennsylvania, USA

E-mail: info@vascularhealth.gr