True story, or at least that is what the media like to spin.
[LEFT]A routine of regular exercise is highly effective for prevention and treatment of many common chronic diseases and
improves cardiovascular (CV) health and longevity. However, long-term excessive endurance exercise may induce
pathologic structural remodeling of the heart and large arteries. Emerging data suggest that chronic training for and
competing in extreme endurance events such as marathons, ultramarathons, ironman distance triathlons, and very long
distance bicycle races, can cause transient acute volume overload of the atria and right ventricle, with transient
reductions in right ventricular ejection fraction and elevations of cardiac biomarkers, all of which return to normal
within 1 week. Over months to years of repetitive injury, this process, in some individuals, may lead to patchy
myocardial fibrosis, particularly in the atria, interventricular septum, and right ventricle, creating a substrate for atrial
and ventricular arrhythmias. Additionally, long-term excessive sustained exercise may be associated with coronary
artery calcification, diastolic dysfunction, and large-artery wall stiffening. However, this concept is still hypothetical
and there is some inconsistency in the reported findings. Furthermore, lifelong vigorous exercisers generally have low
mortality rates and excellent functional capacity. Notwithstanding, the hypothesis that long-term excessive endurance
exercise may induce adverse CV remodeling warrants further investigation to identify at-risk individuals and formulate[/LEFT]
physical fitness regimens for conferring optimal CV health and longevity.
So the real question is, if long distance endurance running (over 1 hour) is indeed “bad” for you, would you stop doing it?