Finally, an answer to those who lately have said that long distance training and racing could shorted your life:


AMSTERDAM — French riders in the Tour de France live an average of six years longer than the general population and die less often of cardiovascular problems, researchers said, which may help ease worries about the effect of extreme exercise on the heart.

Published: September 3, 2013 at 5:46 AM ET

The research also offered limited assurance that doping was unlikely to pose a major heart health risk, at least in the short term, since any major adverse impact would have skewed the results. Illicit use of the blood-boosting drug EPO, or erythropoietin, has been rampant in competitive cycling since the 1990s.

     The study presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress on Tuesday examined all 786 French competitors in the gruelling bicycle race from 1947 to 2012, and found their death rate was 41 percent lower than average for French males as of last September.
     Dr. Xavier Jouven of the European Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris, who led the analysis, said the mortality reduction was “huge” and the result suggested that doctors should be more assertive in championing vigorous exercise.
     “We should encourage people to exert themselves,” he said. “If there was a real danger in doing high-level exercise then we should have observed it in this study.”
     Riders in the Tour de France – which has been compared to running a marathon several days a week for nearly three weeks – actually had a 33 percent lower risk for death from heart attacks or strokes than the general population.  Indeed, they suffered lower rates of death from all causes, including cancer, with the one exception of traumatic injury, which Jouven said reflected the frequency of road accidents.
     Worries about high-intensity exercise like cycling and marathon-running have been fuelled by some previous small studies using advanced imaging techniques that suggested possible heart abnormalities, such as heart arrhythmias.  Alfred Bove of Temple University Medical Centre and a former president of the American College of Cardiology, who was not involved in the latest study, said such imaging data could be misleading.  The long-term analysis of Tour de France riders offered a unique insight that clearly vindicated the value of extensive exercise, Bove said.  “The message is clear – even the level of intensity involved in the Tour de France is not going to shorten your life,” he said.

About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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