1

votes

is running a bad idea?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 29, 2013 at 2:21 PM

I was in my local park yesterday, and saw a group of women running laps of the park; none of these women were in shape, if not overweight they were skinny fat, and from the sound of them they were pushing themselves a bit more than i thought necessary. I got the impression that these women were running in order to achieve a better body composition as i know one to be a notorious yo-yo dieter..Anyway, i was wondering is running a good way to go? surely a fast paced walk, dancing, interval training and some weight training would suffice?

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on September 01, 2013
at 09:39 PM

Fine, if a person wants to be an endurance *athlete* who competes--that's a different story, BUT for the majority of people who are looking to adopt an exercise regimen that leads to optimal health, I am not convinced that endurance running is the way. I think a great deal of people on this site would back me up. I would never advocate running 5-7miles per day to a friend or family member, who wanted to lose weight and feel great.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 01, 2013
at 06:29 PM

Agenda? Yes because I believe endurance is important part of total fitness I have an agenda... And again, you are confusing the issue. In is almost the definition of an elite athlete is one who pushes their body beyond the realm of optimal health to achieve optimal performance. This is why elite athletes, in all sports, get injuries. That being said, only once did I have an athlete suffer an injury that kept her our of a race.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on August 31, 2013
at 11:02 PM

I knew you had an agenda. I am not bodybuilder, nor am I advocating my powerlifting approach. I'm advocating HEALTH. I still think distance running (if you do it for years) will cause adrenal fatigue and the likelihood of injury increases.I ask you how many injuries did you HS athletes get?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 31, 2013
at 06:54 PM

I was a runner. I have coached elite HS age distance runners. I still run, I also lift, bike, swim, etc... What I am reacting to is dogmatic BS. If you want to look like a body builder than fine. But when I exercise, my goal is to be adaptable. I want to jump out on to the soccer pitch. Run along side my daughter while she rides her bike. Chase after my kids on the playground. Jump into a father-daughter relay at the pool. I am achieving my result. I just hate when people see everything though only one lens.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on August 30, 2013
at 06:23 PM

Mark Sisson is an extreme example but what happened to him, happens to many everyday runners. Have you talked to any regular joggers? Some of my best friends are those joggers--they are always complaining about injuries due to their habit. They run in belief that it's going to get them shredded. I agree with the comments below--it's inefficient, if getting shredded is your goal. Are you a runner, CD, and is that why you are defensive? Or do you just like to pick fights.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 30, 2013
at 05:48 PM

you are mistaking Mark Sisson, who was an elite marathon runner, with people who are jogging around a park. That's not an appropriate comparison. That's like saying you shouldn't drink water because some kid died of hyponatraemia.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on August 30, 2013
at 03:56 PM

I don't think you got my comment--if you like it do it, but I don't think all running is bad, but I do think that regular and sutained distance running will eventually cause health problems. If you are a regular distance runner, tell me how you feel in 10 years time. I think of Mark Sisson, who was a committed "mileage king": http://www.marksdailyapple.com/case-against-cardio/#axzz2dT6ZSiqO

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 30, 2013
at 02:01 PM

My point is, Judge not... There are a lot of benefits to running. Eschewing distance running may not be optimal either.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on August 30, 2013
at 01:35 PM

and see my comment above--"so true--if you like it, why not do it in moderation."

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on August 30, 2013
at 01:33 PM

CD--I am perfectly happy with my results, but the unfortunate fact is that many people out there are looking for fat loss and they think running is going to help them with that. I bet Nick Symmonds is also fueling his body correctly AND doing other training beside just running around a track. I would almost bet money that he's doing some strength training.

59b1fb3c808957039f9ddf6fb341c05c

on August 30, 2013
at 09:21 AM

Lol! At least the fat people were running and not sitting on their fat asses moaning about it...

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 30, 2013
at 03:26 AM

I saw skinny people eating and brewing lazy, so maybe that's the way to be skinny.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 30, 2013
at 03:24 AM

As a trainer, I never tell people to run. But if they enjoy it I say go for it, just try not to overdo it, and make sure to do other activities as well. I tell people the same about cycling.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 30, 2013
at 03:23 AM

I do a long run every week or two just for shits and giggles.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 29, 2013
at 04:45 PM

yeah. he looks a skinny anorexic prick -- http://api.ning.com/files/FoLUdkczFpuSwcESrOV1WdwYQEjkJYsXM0jtMPxp8*oFSyQZRTjFBADSjW6sefPgc9qgyk*kOJbEx-obaaGaqvhFLXIYYQg9/lance.jpeg

9f52f85c3964445d7b16c94a890f6136

on August 29, 2013
at 04:45 PM

And on top of that you have the fact that sprinters are picked because of their genetics, mesomorphs are always chosen to be sprinters because genetics is the main reason for how you look, training and diet are second. There are people who are so much more gifted genetically than me that I could take copious amounts of drugs and train my ass off and they will always be stronger and more athletic than me. That is just reality and if you don't think marathon runners have a genetic propensity to be skinny, think again.

9f52f85c3964445d7b16c94a890f6136

on August 29, 2013
at 04:40 PM

yes they do genius, but they don't train to look like most people think guys on gear look like, thats why people who say sprint if you want to look like a sprinter and run if you want to look like a runner need to understand the difference between correlation and causality. Lance admitted to taking hgh, test, hpo, hcg and looks like a skinny anorexic dude and lifted weights. He however did not lift lift a sprinter, eat like a sprinter, rest like a sprinter. Also kai green and dorian yates did lots and lots of steady cardio and were huge. The point is running does not make you skinny or injure

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on August 29, 2013
at 04:37 PM

so true--if you like it, why not do it in moderation.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 29, 2013
at 04:36 PM

What results are they not achieving? Your results? What if that's not their goal. Either way, Nick Symmonds runs 70+ miles per week, and he seems to be doing OK with his body composition.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 29, 2013
at 04:32 PM

Yeah, distance athletes never take any performance enhancing drugs. good point. Oh, wait -- http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zfQqTOVJmJI/US-Mom6bo2I/AAAAAAAAAQ4/vaQRU8cwaQY/s1600/lancearmstrong.jpg

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14 Answers

7
0f44d81f247518d6fc2de0403ff9a68a

on August 29, 2013
at 04:03 PM

When it comes to exercise, there are countless ways you might achieve better body composition. You two goals, though, when it comes to exercise should be: improved health.

When choosing the exercise, there is one thing which is more important than anything else:

  • fun

I am serious. It doesn't matter if you walk, run, skate, hike, swim, jump or throw, if you don't like the sport, you're not going to exercise for long or you will always have to push yourself to do it. And both is bad.

Running has gotten a very bad rep in the recent years and while it is certainly true that too much running is unhealthy, so is doing too much of ANY type of exercise. Running is a natural form of movement, but that doesn't mean its healthy in any amount. And modern shoes certainly don't make running healthier.

The fact that so many overweight people are running does not imply that running can't help with body composition (although I do think there are better, healthier ways). Running is one of the easiest things to do and it is always advertized as the exercise for health and weight loss, which is why so many people are doing it. That skinny people who are running have - for the most part - always been skinny, but they now pretend that they are skinny because they are running so much. As if being skinny was synonymous with being healthy.

To get back to your final question: Of course walking, dancing and interval training would suffice. I would even go so far and say high intensity interval training is one of the best ways to go for body composition changes. But you can run, if you want. Just don't go crazy about it.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on August 29, 2013
at 04:37 PM

so true--if you like it, why not do it in moderation.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 30, 2013
at 03:23 AM

I do a long run every week or two just for shits and giggles.

4
01adafcb4dd4147c6af543f61eee60a8

on August 29, 2013
at 04:26 PM

Love running and always will. A natural anti depressant

3
B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

on August 29, 2013
at 02:37 PM

Distance running is a bad idea--I'm always amazed when those runners continue to do the same thing when they aren't achieving any results. Lifting heavy weights 2-3X a week, sprinting 1-2X a week, walking a lot everyday + eating sufficient calories, in my opinion, is the way to go. I live near a park, and I see this everyday, and it annoys me and saddens me.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 31, 2013
at 06:54 PM

I was a runner. I have coached elite HS age distance runners. I still run, I also lift, bike, swim, etc... What I am reacting to is dogmatic BS. If you want to look like a body builder than fine. But when I exercise, my goal is to be adaptable. I want to jump out on to the soccer pitch. Run along side my daughter while she rides her bike. Chase after my kids on the playground. Jump into a father-daughter relay at the pool. I am achieving my result. I just hate when people see everything though only one lens.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on August 30, 2013
at 03:56 PM

I don't think you got my comment--if you like it do it, but I don't think all running is bad, but I do think that regular and sutained distance running will eventually cause health problems. If you are a regular distance runner, tell me how you feel in 10 years time. I think of Mark Sisson, who was a committed "mileage king": http://www.marksdailyapple.com/case-against-cardio/#axzz2dT6ZSiqO

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 29, 2013
at 04:36 PM

What results are they not achieving? Your results? What if that's not their goal. Either way, Nick Symmonds runs 70+ miles per week, and he seems to be doing OK with his body composition.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on August 30, 2013
at 01:33 PM

CD--I am perfectly happy with my results, but the unfortunate fact is that many people out there are looking for fat loss and they think running is going to help them with that. I bet Nick Symmonds is also fueling his body correctly AND doing other training beside just running around a track. I would almost bet money that he's doing some strength training.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on August 30, 2013
at 01:35 PM

and see my comment above--"so true--if you like it, why not do it in moderation."

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 30, 2013
at 02:01 PM

My point is, Judge not... There are a lot of benefits to running. Eschewing distance running may not be optimal either.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on August 31, 2013
at 11:02 PM

I knew you had an agenda. I am not bodybuilder, nor am I advocating my powerlifting approach. I'm advocating HEALTH. I still think distance running (if you do it for years) will cause adrenal fatigue and the likelihood of injury increases.I ask you how many injuries did you HS athletes get?

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on September 01, 2013
at 09:39 PM

Fine, if a person wants to be an endurance *athlete* who competes--that's a different story, BUT for the majority of people who are looking to adopt an exercise regimen that leads to optimal health, I am not convinced that endurance running is the way. I think a great deal of people on this site would back me up. I would never advocate running 5-7miles per day to a friend or family member, who wanted to lose weight and feel great.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 30, 2013
at 03:24 AM

As a trainer, I never tell people to run. But if they enjoy it I say go for it, just try not to overdo it, and make sure to do other activities as well. I tell people the same about cycling.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2

(414)

on August 30, 2013
at 06:23 PM

Mark Sisson is an extreme example but what happened to him, happens to many everyday runners. Have you talked to any regular joggers? Some of my best friends are those joggers--they are always complaining about injuries due to their habit. They run in belief that it's going to get them shredded. I agree with the comments below--it's inefficient, if getting shredded is your goal. Are you a runner, CD, and is that why you are defensive? Or do you just like to pick fights.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 30, 2013
at 05:48 PM

you are mistaking Mark Sisson, who was an elite marathon runner, with people who are jogging around a park. That's not an appropriate comparison. That's like saying you shouldn't drink water because some kid died of hyponatraemia.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 01, 2013
at 06:29 PM

Agenda? Yes because I believe endurance is important part of total fitness I have an agenda... And again, you are confusing the issue. In is almost the definition of an elite athlete is one who pushes their body beyond the realm of optimal health to achieve optimal performance. This is why elite athletes, in all sports, get injuries. That being said, only once did I have an athlete suffer an injury that kept her our of a race.

2
2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on August 29, 2013
at 08:56 PM

I love running and run a few 5 mile runs per week. WHen I have time, I increase that and run as much as I can (sometimes up to 6 days a week). I notice a huge improvement in my body composition when I run regularly. Not trying to be completely cocky here... but I get told that I have a fabulous body all the time. I weigh in the high 120s at 5'8 and am very toned.

I think you are judging it unfairly. I think one of the big problems in running is that runners think that they can pig out on pizza and beer after hard runs. If you put one of those runners on a healthy diet then their body will be just as amazing as the crossfitters and dancers on here.

2
9f52f85c3964445d7b16c94a890f6136

on August 29, 2013
at 07:46 PM

so you saw fat people running and thought, wow, running does not burn fat.

Alot of fat guys start lifting weights andn stretching too dude. Guess what?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 30, 2013
at 03:26 AM

I saw skinny people eating and brewing lazy, so maybe that's the way to be skinny.

59b1fb3c808957039f9ddf6fb341c05c

on August 30, 2013
at 09:21 AM

Lol! At least the fat people were running and not sitting on their fat asses moaning about it...

2
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on August 29, 2013
at 06:59 PM

I have not seen any evidence that running a few miles a few times per week has any negative effect on health. The evidence of negative health effects (which is pretty conclusive) is in studies of marathoners/triatheletes. These guys and gals are seriously punishing their bodies and doing vascular damage.

If you like to run, go for it. Certainly, in the paleo mode, you can do nicely by lifting, sprinting, walking/hiking. But again, what you like may be more important in the long run as it tends to keep you going. And don't overtrain - overtraining may be worse than not training. If you train hard, take a week or two off now and then.

2
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 29, 2013
at 03:18 PM

It's not that running is a bad thing. Slow paced running is extremely inefficient regardless of what your health/fitness goals are.

Professional marathoners do not go out and run slow paced distance runs every day. In fact they probably only do one slow-paced run per week (They also likely do several recovery runs which are slow-paced, but have a completely different design). Virtually every professional marathon runner will have 2 track workouts (1 at threshold pace, one all out sprints); 2 tempo/interval runs; and a long run each week. They also do some sort of resistance training. Take professional runners at the 5k and 10k level and the amount of sprinting and intervals goes up. Sure they are still amassing 100+ miles per week, but it's not monotonous like the women you observed at the park.

edit: Some people find running "in the zone" to be peacful. I know I personally do. So as a stress-releasing portion of your life running can be beneficial. Although I rarely get above 5 miles, and I run above my threshold pace so I still get my heart up into Zone 4 and finish in Zone 5.

1
9f52f85c3964445d7b16c94a890f6136

on August 30, 2013
at 04:13 PM

at the time of European colonization of north America, the native Americans had not invented the wheel or tamed horses for travel and hunting purposes.

They ran their prey to death, over miles and miles until it collapsed from exhaustion.

The native Americans were all strong, lean and could go swimming in near frozen water and not be affected, they were the pinnacle of health and astounded the genocidal Columbus and his crew.

This whole idea that running is bad for you is complete and utter nonsense.

Don't heel strike! Don't wear "running shoes"! Don't get back and eat nothing which will leave you in a catabolic state!

I mean really people. Is it so hard?

0
A2e8d31afecec9931738667a27b6cdf3

on September 16, 2013
at 04:19 PM

Humans are built to run marathons. It's one of the most appropriate forms of physical exertion you can engage in~

I'm not sure about the effect on weight, but the effect on overall health is definitely desirable. Mind you, it's bad to run on hard surfaces without proper shoes-- too high impact. We evolved running through grass and dirt.

0
C916fa9c66f84c0ae8fffdf4adbd4ab6

on August 30, 2013
at 01:53 PM

I love running as well. I usually just run 3 times a week for an hour.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on August 29, 2013
at 08:05 PM

Surely running is better than nothing. If done socially, chatting while running does stimulate your aerobic and cardiovascular quite a bit beyond the miles and pace. The one minus I see is that running on hard surfaces, with improper posture and foot landing, can pound your joints. I used to run competitively, and my coach would pull me out of the track and make me run in place with hands against a wall or with straps on the arms until I got a proper posture and proper gait. Since some of my friends had to stop competing with joint and knee problems, and I never developed anything and still have a good running posture many years later, I think that probably counts.

0
62fafa8cb15af7c562fa8c270f7b6174

on August 29, 2013
at 04:18 PM

Distance running will develop endurance and slow twitch muscle fibers. It provides an easily accessible framework for inactive people to become more active. Most discover it isn't effective to reduce body fat. I can't sympathize with your judgements of these other people in the park. Walking that park with more acceptance, even beyond logic and reason, will help you meet your own health goals.

0
A6b7afacdb512b861716bca9e9226ad3

(333)

on August 29, 2013
at 02:48 PM

I look forward to hearing what everyone has to say--I dislike running very much, and have the impression it's very hard on the joints. I love rowing (albeit on a machine), biking, and city walking when I have the chance (rare). Doing squats via lift.do for motivation these days.

I think I had limited my calories overmuch for a long time as well. I worked with a personal trainer for 3 months, and although some measurements went down, overall I felt disappointed with the results. Yoga felt better, although it was intense emotionally and I suck at planks. :-)

If only I had somewhere to dance...for now it's inside my house with my Pandora stations.

-1
9f52f85c3964445d7b16c94a890f6136

on August 29, 2013
at 04:03 PM

No running is great for you. People like to point on long distance runners physiques at the top level and compare them to sprinters.

Sprinters are on steroids, epo, hgh, run test prop cycles year round before the olympics and do resistance training.

Long distance runners typically have higher type two percentage muscle fibers, they don't consume alot of protein and do not get enough rest.

If you run 3 10 milers a week, get a lot of protein, resistance train you will look great.

A few years ago I bought into the sprint don't run crap and my fitness went from insane and the best in my entire gym to being horrific.

If you want to be the strongest version of you then don't run, sprint. If you want to be the fittest then you need to run.

Also, the crossfit idiots claiming to do tabatas are making a mockery of tabata. You can't do sprint tabatas or do pushup tabatas. Sorry for the rant but ugh why do crossfitters try and appropriate everything with no logic whatsoever.

9f52f85c3964445d7b16c94a890f6136

on August 29, 2013
at 04:40 PM

yes they do genius, but they don't train to look like most people think guys on gear look like, thats why people who say sprint if you want to look like a sprinter and run if you want to look like a runner need to understand the difference between correlation and causality. Lance admitted to taking hgh, test, hpo, hcg and looks like a skinny anorexic dude and lifted weights. He however did not lift lift a sprinter, eat like a sprinter, rest like a sprinter. Also kai green and dorian yates did lots and lots of steady cardio and were huge. The point is running does not make you skinny or injure

9f52f85c3964445d7b16c94a890f6136

on August 29, 2013
at 04:45 PM

And on top of that you have the fact that sprinters are picked because of their genetics, mesomorphs are always chosen to be sprinters because genetics is the main reason for how you look, training and diet are second. There are people who are so much more gifted genetically than me that I could take copious amounts of drugs and train my ass off and they will always be stronger and more athletic than me. That is just reality and if you don't think marathon runners have a genetic propensity to be skinny, think again.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 29, 2013
at 04:45 PM

yeah. he looks a skinny anorexic prick -- http://api.ning.com/files/FoLUdkczFpuSwcESrOV1WdwYQEjkJYsXM0jtMPxp8*oFSyQZRTjFBADSjW6sefPgc9qgyk*kOJbEx-obaaGaqvhFLXIYYQg9/lance.jpeg

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 29, 2013
at 04:32 PM

Yeah, distance athletes never take any performance enhancing drugs. good point. Oh, wait -- http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zfQqTOVJmJI/US-Mom6bo2I/AAAAAAAAAQ4/vaQRU8cwaQY/s1600/lancearmstrong.jpg

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