© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated

If you strive to be wholly mediocre as a runner, read some of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology propaganda. For example their 2012 published tripe has been propagated by the general news media complete with the gobsmacking headline; Fast running is as deadly as sitting on couch, scientists find. This is your study on how to grasp the brass ring of ordinariness; attain a true lack distinction, but ultimately continue to…[gulp]… actually live.

This is a new article from a somewhat dated and re-hashed study from the mediocre minds at the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. They studied 1098 healthy joggers and non-joggers over a 12-year period. Note how they refer to the joggers as healthy and nothing, not even a mean-spirited insult for the non-joggers. We here at the Athletics Illustrated labs would like to know how they determined what a “healthy jogger,” is. What’s the metric? We don’t know and apparently neither do they.

They found that those who ran the fastest were NINE TIMES more likely to die prematurely than those who enjoyed a waddle two or three times per week. Two subjects died in a follow up to the study. Their deaths aided the hypothesis, but no one mentions how they died. Perhaps they were attacked by rabid pit bulls or were run over by a train, while waddling along the tracks with their mp3 blaring in their ears?

At any rate, according to the mediocre minds at ACOC, they determined that there is this upper limit of how fast one should be jogging, apparently the pace should be no faster than 8kph (5mph). You may ask, WTF? And this, my overachieving, singularly-focused bi-ped movers and shakers is why I am here: to translate. This foreign pace-based metric translates to a waddle of 12:10 per mile (7:30 per km). This begs the question, are we jogging or rolling spliffs at this pace?

And they called it “steady”.

Now animals (animals are humans too) are competitive by nature. From the wee sperm racing like mad to the ovary (gross!), to the geriatric person on their death bed taking their final rattling breaths, we fight to live. It is in our whatever, our DNA, nature, brains, instincts or astrology (for you hippy-dippy space cadets), to succeed. So is that it? Just barely waddle twice-per-week and you gain immortality?

Does the alpha-bull shit in his own corral? You bet he does!

What the data, when massaged enough, indicates is that the optimum amount of time to run per week is 2.5 hours. Any more and you increase your risk of meeting the Grim Reaper, by NINE TIMES.

Their sample size is larger in the sedentary category, so there is a red flag if I ever saw one; queue the shitting bull. The sedentary group had an average age of over 60; whereas the jogging group had an average age around mid-40s, why not just compare 15-year-olds to 90-year-olds?

Apparently you increase your risk of witnessing a UFO pass over Texas, when you are in Texas.

Just for fun, here is a list of athletes who ran much faster than twice the indicated maximum speed limit and their current age or the age they made it to before copping it:

The great Arthur Lydiard-84
Bill Bowerman-88
Roger Bannister is 85
Emil Zatopek-78,
Peter Snell is 76
Ron Clarke is not yet 78
Ron Hill is currently 76,
Ed Whitlock is 84 (he ran a marathon in 2:54:48 at age 73, definitely a death-defying stunt)
Billy Mills is 76
Murray Halberg is 81
Pyotr Bolotnikov-83
Paavo Nurmi-76
Heikki Liimatainen-80
Teodor Koskenniemi-77
Frank Shorter and Bill Rogers are both 67 and very healthy.
John McDonnell is 76
Barry Magee is 81
Lasse Viren is 65

Vern Walker who ran with the Lydiard-led group of high flying Kiwis said when asked why he chose now to write a book about the golden-era of New Zealand running, he told Athletics Illustrated, “I needed to write the book now, or I would eventually run out of athletes to interview! After all, we are now all in our late 70s-early 80s. I started interviewing the older ones first!”

If this is the result of using someone else’s money to determine pedantic medical tripe then funding should be cut off. How did these people accept the funding with a straight face? This is the best use of science? What about a cure for diabetes, obesity, alcoholism, high blood pressure and black toe nails (the real black plague)?

To achieve the ordinary, read here.