Heart Damage from Marathon Running?

This report was one of the first stories I caught in the news yesterday morning. For those who have not yet heard of the report it is published in the June issue of a publication published by the Mayo Clinic. For those who have not read it the study suggests permanent heart damage as a result of endurance training.

This story caught my attention due to the link to marathon running. Although interesting and maybe something to keep an eye on if there are follow-up studies published for now I don’t think this report will change my approach.

First of all, it is easy to find other studies that contradict this report as well. In fact, if you read the story I linked to above the reporters also interviewed a doctor whose own research on the hearts of marathoners has not found evidence of permanent heart damage.

For myself, I take training for a marathon seriously and I think I am aware of my limits. I have employed a full 16 week training program for each of the marathons I have done. I also don’t push myself on days where I am not feeling well or when my run feels tougher than usual. If I have a tougher run scheduled for one of those days I shift it to another day instead. My doctor is also aware of the fact that I run marathons.

Where does this leave runners? I think most marathon runners already the importance of listening to their body when training and most are aware of the saying “respect the distance” when it comes to marathons.

For more on this issue you can also check out this post on the Runner’s World website¬†and also check out this post over at A whole lot of soles since it touches on the same report I mention.

How do you react to reports like this? Do they change your approach to training?

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