Monday, October 12, 2009

Are Marathons A Form Of "Crash Diet"?

Most runners would not classify a marathon experience as a form of “crash diet”. But one journalist dares to make this argument.

Recently, I picked up a provocative “must read” by Wall Street Journal writer Kevin Helliker. He argues that the popularity of the “marathon movement” really hasn’t led to better health among participants. In his article, he discusses how many runners train and run the event, but later give up running due to injury or lack of interest. As a result, he says the exercise is not as beneficial as one might think.

While many runners would trip over their running shoes to argue against Helliker, he raises some valid points in his article. First and foremost, total fitness over the course of one’s life really is a marathon. Helliker gets it right when he says training for a single marathon can just be one “sprint” in this process.

I think Helliker is also trying to promote the message of “fitness in moderation”. Participation in a marathon or Ironman event isn’t a requirement for a healthy lifestyle. We can all realize the benefits of regular exercise without consistently putting our bodies through the ringer.

Check out the article and see what you think --

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