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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Marathon Running - the heart of the matter

Amateur marathon runners risk heart trouble. Amateur marathon runners who run less than 40 miles per week during training often show signs of cardiac dysfunction after the race and some of these abnormalities may persist for up to a month after they cross the finish line, a study shows.

Gary Moller comments:
I once monitored the pulse and blood pressure of a fit male after completing a marathon. I was not surprised that both measures were very poor immediately after finishing (low blood pressure and pulse well over 100 bpm). What was surprising was that these measures were very slow to return to normal, taking several hours to get anywhere near normal. His heart muscle was exhausted.

The heart, unlike other muscles, can not be laid up in bed for a day of complete rest. It has to keep on working, no matter what.

As my sister, Lorraine, quipped in an email about the about this research article: "This report is a good case for training properly".

I have written several articles about sudden death and exercise and have noted that there is a disturbing tendency for very fit men to pop off at about 50 years of age. If you are really keen to bone up on this topic you might like to go to the e-publications section of this and read the substantial paper about "Cardiovascular disease: assessing history, signs and symptoms; assessing fitness and prescribing exercise". Aso, read my lecture notes about "Risks of sudden death during exercise".

If, as reported, heart function takes several weeks to normalise after a marathon, this is due to more than simple post-marathon exhaustion. I suspect mineral depletion may have something to do with it. Many people are already pooly "mineralised" and it is known that muscle and nerve function require magnesium and calcium. If these are already depleted, and if there is an extraordinary demand on reserves such as during recovery following a marathon, there may simply be not enough to go around.

Supplementing with Nutra-Life Magnesium Complete and Nutra-Life Calcium Complete may be life savers. If body stores are low in minerals, these take a long time to be replenished - a year or so probably. This is because these are stored in muscles, and organs like the liver and in the bone matrix. Bone is replaced over several years.

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