Dr Devany has been warning of this risk of death for a long time.
Sadly, we have a triathlon death to report from the Greely Tribune. And, just this morning I met my Marine buddy who has been doing triathlons for the past 5 years. I was simply shocked at the way he looked, there is no other way to describe it.
The start of a triathlon is among the most dangerous parts of the race. Plunging into cold water in the morning with a hundred or more other competitors thrashing in the water is confusing and panic inducing. It is likely, this young doctor had a heart condition; which, being a doctor there is no excuse for. An existing condition is not so difficult to spot and for a doctor to risk his life and his family's welfare without checking is hard for me to understand. Alas, we all think we are invulnerable.
My Marine friend is described in my book; when I met him he was leather-tough looking, trim, tall, and tan. Just the way a Marine ought to be, though he is a retired one. He began triathlons a short while after I moved into my community. Within a year he was limping most of the time and had lost his tan---he had gone over to indoor training on the treadmills and stationary bikes.
A few years later, he had a heart attack on a training ride. He was pretty far from home and lucky someone stopped and got an ambulance out.
Dr DeVany has been warning of this for years.
Now, he had a massive fall in his last triathlon and severely damaged his right shoulder. He had extensive surgery done and a titanium rod put in. Today, he is a stooped over, greyed, emasciated old man. He looks at least 20 years older and still has that limp.
His smile, and once-firm handshake are gone.
And it is not running that is the problem...it is the endurance events and training that are the problem. The Quilt says up to 400 meters only....or a 5k run but no more.
Despite what the Quilt says, I enjoy running and doing biathlons and triathlons. I have learned not to over train and really just do them for the experience.
Running and swimming and biking may not be the very best way to be active for longevity, but they make me happy, which is good for longevity. And ALL OF IT is better than when I was obese, sitting on my ass at home, stuffing my face full of SAD food.
We get it, you think long distance running is bad! Not that I run, at all actually, but I will support rational discussion about exercise to my last breath. It's worth saying for the umpteenth time that correlation does not equal causation. And the presence of a biological mechanism doesn't indicate the one and only absolute truth for everyone.
(p.s. no hard feeling dexter, just that some more balanced conversation might be in order)
Yes, I think they are ok. I don't care to do them. But I also wonder if the bad effects have not been exaggerated. I have a cousin who is 54 and runs marathons. He looks fine and, as far as I know, suffers from no particular health problems. When he was young he had a bad broken leg and, as a result, was never able to be good at other sports due to that. So, this is a sport at which he does pretty well. He enjoys it. Got news for everybody here. You're going to die, so you might as well do something that you love. Are you going to be on your death bed and congratulate yourself for your "healthy lifestyle", all the while regretting the things you didn't do, because they were not so-called "healthy"? Screw that. If you love running long distance or doing triathlons, keep in mind the possible negatives, and enjoy yourself doing what you love.
I don't blame the event, I blame the training. I have kicked around the idea of triathlon but only because it is a challenge. Chronic over-training(stress) paired with a "healthy" diet(grains and seed oils) are most likely more of a culprit than the events themselves.
My biggest issues have always been entry fees and equipment costs.
Compare a top sprinter to a top marathoner. the sprinter has muscle. The marathoner not so much...
At the 45 minute mark or so of exercise cortisol kicks in and starts eroding muscle mass.
I have switched my workouts to be 8 sprints 3 times a week with rest inbetween and one leasurely run.
To add more fuel to this fire, endurance sports may not be healthy but they are paleo...
I should also add that the day this question was posted, I found out that a member of my cycling club (45 yr old man, rode a LOT of miles) died of a heart attack.
I walked one half marathon. I'm glad I did but probably wouldn't do it again.
The club I trained with (Sacfit in Sacramento, CA) brought in Mark Sisson to speak. That's where I heard of paleo/primal. The club has a very primal friendly approach to training. Increasingly long runs/walks just once a week, with two sprint sessions in between. The turn out lots of excellent competitors. Only a few of the elite runners look like skeletons. If running is your passion, you can do it without too much damage to yourself.
I've never done a marathon or even a really long run but yesterday I completed the Spartan Race in tuxedo park NY. Only 3.5 miles but it took me 1 hour 18 minutes:) I'm pretty fit, too. Wasn't easy but not too hard either. Good time. I'd say as far as fitness that is popular within paleo circles, it'd make many of you happy. Very Crossfit like things, some movnat vibe too.