Posts Tagged “Marathon”

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My 2012 Los Angeles Marathon Bib and Finisher’s Medal

The answer is NO, despite the fact there have been some deaths during marathon races.

What the researchers found was that, even as participation in marathon racing almost doubled during the past decade, to more than 473,000 finishers in 2009 from about 299,000 in 2000, the death rate remained unchanged, and vanishingly small. A total of 28 people died during or in the 24 hours immediately after a marathon, most of them men, and primarily from heart problems. (A few of the deaths were due to hyponatremia, or low blood sodium, in those who drank excessive amounts of fluid.) Those numbers translate into less than one death per 100,000 racers.

“Our data shows, quite strongly, that marathon running is safe for the vast majority of runners,” Dr. Pham says, “and I suspect that, for many of the runners,” the activity saved them from suffering a heart attack that might otherwise have been brought on by a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle.

A similar epidemiological study, published in January in The New England Journal of Medicine, reached the same conclusion as Dr. Pham’s report, even as its authors looked more widely at data involving fatal and nonfatal cardiac arrests in half and full marathons over the past decade. The researchers found 59 cases of cardiac arrest during a half or full marathon, 51 of them in men, and 42 of them fatal. The average age of the affected racers was 42, and an overwhelming majority of them were approaching the finish line — within the last six miles for the marathon and the final three for the half — when they fell.

“The findings reinforce what we really already knew,” says Dr. Paul Thompson, the chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut, an author of the study and a longtime marathon runner, “which is that you are at slightly higher risk of suffering a heart attack during a marathon” than if you were merely sitting or walking sedately during those same hours. “But over all, running decreases the risk of heart disease” and therefore the likelihood of your suffering cardiac arrest at all.

But, Dr. Thompson continues, running does not absolutely inoculate anyone against heart disease. “Genetics, viruses, bad habits from the past, bad diet or plain bad luck” can contribute to the development of plaques within the arteries or of heart damage like cardiomyopathy, an unnatural enlargement of the heart muscle, which running simply cannot prevent.

So, have regular physical exams by your physician and if you have a family history of heart problems see a cardiologist before you run a marathon.

The activity of training and running a marathon can be greatly rewarding and beneficial for your heart.

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Here I am finishing less year’s (2011) rain drenched Los Angeles Marathon

This is very good to know as I train for another Los Angeles Marathon.

Romauld Lepers and Thomas Cattagni, researchers from Inserm Unit 1093 “Cognition, Action and Sensorimotor Plasticity” at the Université de Bourgogone, have analysed changes in participation and performance of runners aged 20 to 80 in the New York marathon over the last 30 years. The results are largely unexpected: the best male marathon runners over 65 and the best female marathon runners over 45 have consistently improved their performance over the last 30 years. At the same time, the researchers also observed a strong increase in athletes over 40 participating in the New York marathon: from 36% of the total masculine runners between 1980-1989, to 53% between 2000-2009; and from 24 to 40% during the same periods for female runners.

I know the past two years, I have really stepped up my weight loss, and running training. I am running faster and farther.

I have never been a fast runner, but have managed to finish eight marathons, walking and running. These have been all at the Los Angeles Marathon – different courses though. Also, I have run a number of half marathons and other races (mainly for charity).

The researchers have thus concluded that, over the last two decades, the performances of the best male marathon runners over 65 and the best female marathon runners over 45 have particularly improved, whereas their younger counterparts have remained stable.

“The improved performances can be explained by the increased number of participants in these age categories, as well as the increased interest this age population has in terms of the benefits of physical activity on health and well being” says Romuald Lepers, whose research into motor function plasticity during aging is part of the overall research of Inserm Unit 1093 “Cognition, Action and Sensorimotor Plasticity,” directed by Thierry Pozzo.

In recent years, the gap in performance between men and women has stabilized, in all age categories, suggesting that the decline in physiological functions with age is similar for both sexes. The mechanisms via which physical activity acts advantageously in terms of slowing down aging-related processes remain to be explored. For the researchers, this initial data on athletes over 40, combined with new physiology and sociology data, will lead to improved understanding of the role physical exercise has in “aging well.”

This year I am hoping to improve my time by at least thirty minutes and more so in the years to come.

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Amber Miller Gives Birth After Chicago Marathon

Truly amazing.
Amber Miller accomplished two monumental feats this weekend.

Days from her due date, the 27-year-old joined 45,000 other runners to participate in Sunday’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon and then gave birth to a baby girl named June hours later.

Miller, an avid runner, said she signed up for the 26.2-mile race before finding out she was pregnant. She said she never expected to finish the race.

“I was having a conversation with my parents and said, ‘You know what? I have no plans of actually finishing,’” she told reporters at Central DuPage Hospital this morning. “I was planning on running half, skipping to the end, then walking across the finish line.”

But Miller and her husband started running, and just kept going. They ran part of the race and walked the second half as her contractions started. It took the couple 6.5 hours to finish. She said she grabbed something to eat and the two headed to the hospital.

At 7 pounds, 13 ounces, baby June entered the world at 10:29 p.m. Sunday, just hours after her parents crossed the finish line.

Congratulations and I guess this answers the question as to whether YOU should train for a marathon!

Just do it!

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