Friday, February 3, 2012

Fitness Friday....Run Your Heart Out

As a new runner....heck as any have those time when you may feel like your going to have a heart attack.  One race I ran with a friend, it was her first, she kept telling me that her heart was going to give out!  I also ran with a friend who watched her heart rate monitor closer than card counters in Vegas look at cards!  I actually took it away from her and no she did not in fact have a heart attack!  She is now a triathlete!

There are tragic stories from marathons or other running circles that you hear of people dropping dead during runs.  Even the Hood to Coast movie (makes me cry every time!) follows one team, Heart and Sole, who has a member whose heart literally stopped on the course.  She was there the next year determined to run again!  However, the important thing that doctors want you to know is that most if not all of these people had something wrong with their heart BEFORE they stepped up to the starting line.

Running in fact is very good for your heart!  My hubs was at the doctor's and he was explaining to him how running makes your heart pump more efficiently.  Runners are known for their lower than low resting heart rates.  Deena Kastor, during Olympic time, was said to have a resting heart rate of just 28 beats per minute.....holy wow!  Mine is usually around where near Olympic greatness but amazing for me!  An article written by Elizabeth McLeod Sadler of Vanderbilt wrote, 

"Finally, running strengthens the heart and helps prevent heart attacks. The large muscle exercise it provides helps keep the cardio system efficient and strong. In fact, the heart of an inactive person beats 36,000 more times each day than that of a runner, as running keep the arteries open and the blood flowing smoothly."

So what do you say?  Yes you will experience heart break from running....but you'll also experience the addictive runner's high and the feeling of your heart soaring just from reaching your goals!  Go on out there and hit the pavement or mill....your heart will thank you!  

Are you wearing your red today?  Today is National Wear Red Day to raise support for women's heart health.  Put on that red and go run!! 


  1. Great post! I did some damage to my heart due to smoking for 18yrs. I know that running has made my heart stronger and has added a few years to my life. :)

    1. I am also an ex smoker turner runner! YAY!!!!!! for helping our hearts

  2. During spin last week I thought that my heart was going to beat right out of my chest! so I know how your friend felt. LOL Great post, Nancy!

  3. I didn't know it was wear red day. I will throw some on! Heart health is so important to me and I know every time I take the time to run it is actually giving me more time on this earth!

  4. I am def wearing a red fleece today! I always get the quick speeding heart but I am just sitting still. I was finally told I have a murmur and was asked if I feel it while running but I actually feel much better while running.

  5. agreed.

    however, men in general need to be watchful of possible long distance running induced enlarged heart. most of the time when the training stops for a length of time - the heart size will go down with it. yet, it needs be monitored. especially if you start feeling heartbeat flutters or irregular heartbeats, and dizzy. you need to stop running and see your Doc, or actually go to the ER to get it checked quickly.

    also, sometimes heart irregularities someone may have born with don't manifast themselves until one is active and engaged in an endurance sport, or as a person ages. so, it is always good advice to monitor things as we train.

  6. My grandfather died of a heart attack, so I am always cautious. However, my RHR is about 45-48, so I think I am doing well! I always try to eat right and exercise! I am going to put my red on now!

  7. Great post,It always makes me sad when I hear of people having a heart attack when running,but as you say its good for your heart and we don't get to know how many who die who don't run ...

  8. Great reminder of another awesome health benefit to being a runner! Just make sure to get a physical before you start running if you are a newbie.

  9. Loved reading this!!

  10. I wore red yesterday!

    There have been so many times when I'm at the doctor's office and they either take my heart rate and comment, "you must be a runner" or "is it always that low?"

  11. Great post! Thanks for posting about heart month related to runners. I have a friend whos son just had a heart transplant, so well hearts are on my mind. :)

  12. Good post. It bothers me when people tell me I shouldn't run because people die when they run marathons. When I try to explain what you said above, they don't listen. In my first marathon in Chicago in 2000, I ran past a gentleman getting CPR that I found out later died instantly. I cried for about 2 miles thinking about how his family at the finish line was going to feel. sad...

  13. Great post! I think it's important that people hear about the positives in running instead of all the negatives! It's that way in everything we do, if you focus on the positive then your more likely to keep going. If you choose the negative then your more than likely to stop after the first few times!

  14. Love this post! Great information! I have to say each time I hear about a runner dieing on the course makes me a little worried. But you are right, there are pre-race conditions and it could have happened anytime.

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