Thursday, November 14, 2013

Debunking The Running Myth

An article that appeared in The Star (by a friend that is a journalist) was featured on November 10 under Two-Fit. She has interviewed me before for an article about being a father and working adult, and how I am balancing my life with these passions (of Swim, Bike and Run). I somehow lost that article featuring me and another friend.
In case you missed out on the article about how running is bad for you, it is here. It did create a buzz, which actually help with the daily hit on the online version of the paper as running community beheaded her for her comments. But of course, she mentioned that she is entitled to her own opinion, which I fully agree. 

So, why am I writing this? I was requested by a few friends on my take or opinion on this. Do take what I will share with pinch of salts; take a spoonful, perhaps a cupful if you want. After all, I am not a certified personal trainer, let alone a podium finisher in any races. But one thing for sure, I am a mileage junkie and I spent almost 7hours/week covering no less than 180km on the swim, bike and run. This is my opinion and my mind dictating my fingers to type (i better slow down, as Osteoarthritis may strikes due to the frequent finger landing to the keyboard motion)

The writer's article in italic and my reply in Blue (because I like the color blue) below.
Here are four things to consider before you hop onto the marathon-running bandwagon.
IN case you’ve been living under the rock, we are currently in the middle of a running boom.
Over the past five years or so, large numbers of folks have been pounding pavements, trails and treadmills, all in the name of getting fit, losing weight, and increasingly, to attain the holy grail of completing a marathon.
Conquering these long-distance runs has well and truly incited the fighting spirits of runners everywhere.
For many, a finisher’s medal is a hard-earned totem of success and a significant personal achievement.
While marathon-running folk continue to flood my Facebook feed with their best times and short shorts, here are a few things to consider before you head out for a new pair of running shoes.
The running boom has been in existence since the 1980's. I remember standing by the road outside my home in Ulu Kelang and watching runners passing Taman Permata, which was the route of the KL Marathon in the 80’s when MRR2 was not even built and Kampung Klang Gate was a Kampung. I remembered clearly, men in short shorts, pounding the pavement, grabbing the sponge and drinking water as they ran past. I had no idea what was happening until my mum told me they were running a race. At 8 years old, I had no idea that I would one day be just like these people. 
Many people I know run not because they want to complete a marathon, let alone calling a marathon a holy grail of any runners. Many run because it is the cheapest exercise, ever. All you need is a pair of shoes and no membership to any gym was required. It only get expensive when they progressively move towards swankier gears that they believe will make them run better, or faster, or beat the next person standing at the starting line by looking better.
Holy grail of running is being able to run in world class prestigious races – one that requires you to QUALIFY for it, where even if you can pay for it, you will not get a spot (unless you are a celebrity, but that is a different matter altogether). So, if we are talking about the Holy Grail of :
1.    Marathon – Boston, where qualifying for it at Men Age 80 requires you to run a 4:55 marathon (that is a full 42.195km) of which myself at 37, could not even qualify. So, yes, that is a Holy Grail.
2.    Ironman Triathlon – Kona World Championship where the qualifying simply meant you to come up top of your age group – and that usually meant racing at no more than 14hours for the oldest age grouper category. This also meant, myself, with my PB of 15hours, are not even qualified if I am 55 years old (and above). By the way, Ironman Triathlon is a 3.8km swim, 180.2km Bike and 42.2km Run. Yes, you can brag for the rest of your life after completing it in 17hours.
3.    Ultra Trail Marathons – Too many to name, but it goes from Badwater 160km to the insane Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, which again you have to either be invited or to qualify and CHOSEN for it.
So, really, when someone tells me that running a marathon is a Holy Grail for them, I say aim higher. Standards keep moving and don’t be satisfied with just a mere 42km run, and since running will kill you, better go for higher glory. 
Noted that many people, including myself do flood the Facebook and Twitter timeline with our timing for (say) today’s run where they did a significant workout that they can be proud off – very much like how a weight lifter would be proud of their additional 1kg of 1RM (rep max).
For the record, I used to lift too, and thank goodness I’ve stopped else you will see be bragging about my 17 inch arms and my ability to squat 350kg free weight on an easy day. After all, having a thigh the size of  my wife’s waist is an issue when it comes to buying pants - and don't forget about being in denial and mistaken high bodyfat for "unconverted muscle mass".

It wrecks your knees
The knees are prone to injury and damage to begin with. They bear the brunt of your body weight and are subject to daily wear and tear.
The way you stand, walk and move can have an impact on the health of your knee joints.
Agree on this. So does playing contact sports, court games. Badminton players casual or otherwise suffers from more leg related injuries than any runners I know. Pulled hamstrings, torn ligament, dislocated shoulder are a norm for semi-competetive badminton playing folks.
On the other extreme, I know a friend that busted his knees doing house work. No wonder many are getting lazier. They are after all, saving their knees.
Point taken on this. Even cycling is bad for your joints when you hammer on the largest gear trying to outrun that bulldozer going at 60km/h. Sense of achievement eh?
How about weight lifting? Many do not know that every time they lift a weight half their own body weight, they are putting 50% stress on your joint repeatedly - that is like jumping with a 34.5kg back pack (in my case) everytime I go for a run. It is as damaging ain't it? 
So rather than generalising that running wreck your knees, many other things will as well; and that including doing rowing as part of the warming up before powerlifting. 
The writer failed to raise the awareness that the key to an injury-free workout is how you do it. Form is important – and many are lifting weights as wrongly as those that run wrongly, which is why I had a whole blog entry about running correctly. Heck, make that TWO entries

The problem with activities such as running or even walking is that every time your feet move up and down and touch the ground to propel your body forward, your joints are jolted and stressed.
Now, imagine doing this repeatedly and regularly for hours on end.
The repetitive stress on your knee joints can, over time, cause its ligaments to tear and its tendons to swell.
Osteoarthritis can take hold and eventually ruin a perfectly good set of knees.
In this world of borderless information, I goggled for Osteoarthritis and found out (and educated all in 5minutes) about it. It seems that it is a degenerative diseases. I then scrolled through and found little proof that running is the main cause of this – in fact, age was the first in the line of cause, followed by sex (as in gender, not how often), then bone deformities, then injuries OR accidents, then obesity, then occupational, and lastly other diseases that contributes, like gout. I felt it to be wrong to be putting blame on running to be the main cause of bad knee. If anything at all, read my reply above on sports injuries. 

I’ve helped many saved money from going through painful and potential wrong diagnosis by doctors that think all knee disorder are caused by someone running. Most of the time it is bad recovery after a hard run and it causes issues such as ITBS. This is often characterized by tugging pain on the outer-upper part of your knee. The ITB muscles pulls the knee cap upwards and outwards, causing the uncomfy feeling. Yes, it is a muscular-nerve cause, not joint. But if in doubt, go get it checked with a proper doctor; and that at least look like he exercise - not with one that tells you to exercise but he looked a good 10kg overweight. 

You could drop dead
Early this week, a 25-year-old Singaporean woman reportedly died after participating in a 10km run.
Goh Kai Lin, who worked in an engineering firm, was said to have collapsed before she reached the finish line.
May she rest in peace. Truly, she could have had a congenital disease that she did not know. I lost two friends because of running too – but their condition are more because of blocked arteries due to lifestyle (may they rest in peace). Remember your Facebook and Instagram where “runners” loaded up on food before a “big run” with “bigger plate of food”? Well, that would probably kill you faster than running multiple marathons or performing endurance sports. Problem with people doing sports or exercising is that they justify their workout with food; and most of the time they replenish/refuel with crap. We complain of our cars not being in tip top condition if we put in Ron95 right? What many are doing is probably feeding their body with Ron80 type of fuel. No wonder many suffer the long consequences of bad eating habit.

OK, you may lose all your toe nails, but hey, that’s a rite of passage like how bodybuilder get stretch marks by eating too much in the name of bulking and losing it all by starvation and fat burners.

A review of research on endurance exercise conducted by the Mayo Clinic found extreme endurance exercise, such as marathons, “iron man” distance triathlons and very long-distance bicycle races, may cause structural damage to the heart, causing “scars” to occur. These scars were found in almost one in 10 of marathon finishers.
By the way, its Ironman, not Iron Man. We are in endurance sports, not a movie. Tony Stark is nothing without his suit, i doubt he can even swim, cycle and run and still look good like many of us in the sports.

The word extreme is too strong to be used here. Bearing in mind that these are subjective and superlative. Perhaps if someone never ran a 10km and went on to do a 42km, that is extreme – and signing their life away. But for someone that has been training in a correct structure, dedicating their time and effort to do it right, that is expected. Very much like lifting weights with progressive load, proper compound exercises, they too will feel curling a 60kg barbell for their biceps to be a “once a week affair”. But if a newbie were to walk into a gym and started ego-lifting (aka carrying more than they possible could), they too, are being extreme and will kill themselves. Weight lifters and body builders, I am sure they too have damages to their heart; weightlifting increases your blood pressure, and that alone is dangerous as you may rupture a blood vessels and die a horrible death.

Yeah, I was just joking with the last statement about horrible death. Mayo clinic actually did say that weight lifting is dangerous though. The risk as is the same for runner, bodybuilders, weightlifter, cyclists, divers, swimmers and even the man that has not done extreme couponing if we read it generally enough. 

While cardiovascular (cardio) exercises can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems, including heart disease and stroke, experts point out that exercising between 30 and 60 minutes a day (depending on the intensity of your workout) is ideal, and beyond that would lead to “diminishing returns”.
Here lies the problem. This is again subjective – and this is where many perceived their work out to be of “quality”. Exercising 30-60minutes a day is a long period of time. I for one do at least 30mins/day and boy it is sure tough. Don’t believe? Go and check my 4th week Ironman training. That is a good example of commitment to 30mins/day, every day. I do not go to the gym, lounge around looking at people, talk rubbish and pretend to lift weight. Spending 30mins gawking at the babe next to you or 60mins checking out the body infront of you is not my idea of a good cardio workout - no matter how much my heart beats or where the blood flows.

How about diminishing returns? Since we are on the matter of death by exercise, how is this for death by lifting? But of course, we can argue it's 1 in a million chances this happened. Likely a freak accident. Nothing some common sense won't solve.
Now, compared that to running via a medical paper conducted by doctors that noted within a 10 years period and 3.7million marathon runners, 28 deathoccurs. Working out the math, That is less than 0.0001%. Still scared? Yes I am, more so after reading this writer's article. 

It could ruin your sex life
You may be decreasing your testosterone levels with your long-distance running. A study by the University of British Columbia found that male runners who ran over 40 miles (64.4km) per week had distinctly lower testosterone levels than their short-distance running counterparts.
Testosterone is a hormone that helps you increase lean muscle mass and bone density. It is also primarily responsible for sex drive in both men and women.
Low levels of testosterone can lead to increased risk of obesity, depression and a faltering bedroom experience.
You can combat this by incorporating strength training into your workout. Studies show that lifting heavy weights can boost testosterone, which in turn, enhances your muscle growth. Opt for full body, heavy exercises such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses for optimum results.
I know of many men and women that does long distances races. Sex seems to be the least of their worries. Exercise, in this instance, running, will not lessen your testosterone. Howewer your choice of food such as you eating those chicken injected with growth hormone, or you binging on soya bean drink and those fatty sinful food that will actually makes you fat, grow man-boobs, puts you in depression and make you a dead fish in the bedroom. 

I believe the incidences of weightlifter and bodybuilder taking anabolic substances are higher compared to say runner. Yes, you can argue that the Famous Lance is the cheater. He was. No doubt about it. But do remember that at the level of professional bodybuilding where heavy lifting is concerned, many of them struggles with testesterone deficiency as they relied on substance (abuse) to beef them up. 

I know of some men that have turned to endurance sports to change their sedentary lifestyle, and in return last longer, pound harder and are way happier compared to those that do not exercise, and by that, i meant those motion on the road and in the bedroom.

It’s not the most effective weight loss method
Contrary to popular belief, cardio exercises such as running or bicycling, are not the holy grail to weight loss.
I agree. I lost 46 pounds not by running, but by eating clean and correctly. I then added structured exercise and took the opportunity to be stronger and better. It is a lifestyle change and sacrifices where getting out of the normal cycle of giving yourself excuse that it is OK to have that fast-food, or to binge on this or that. So, it’s true, running OR cycling is not the HOLY GRAIL to weight loss. Your diet is. Want more tips? Read my blog, or you can read Lyn Kong's book

While cardio exercises burn more calories than strength training during your workout, lifting weights actually torches more fat overall.
In a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, women who completed an hour-long strength-training workout burned an average 100 more calories in the 24 hours afterward than those who skipped the weights.
Muscles burns more kcal at rest. That is a given. Perhaps many would want to know what 100kcal looked like and believe me, many actually consumed this amount without a blink of an eye – one egg is 80kcal, that 1 can of isotonic drinks is already 180kcal. Let’s not talk about burning 100kcal extra when many just eat it back, most of the time, even more. Weight loss and maintenance is a matter of balancing the input and output of your food and exercise respectively.

Putting your body through the same routine regularly may also cause performance to plateau, because your body would have adapted to the repetitive training stimulus and is no longer challenged. When this occurs, your exercise programme is no longer effective, and you are not making gains from your workout.
This is actually correct. Which is why many endurance athlete do not do one sports – but the confused lots (like me) does all three. Life is too short to just stick to swim, bike or run…or lift weights, or just talk about it.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t run at all, but as with chocolates and wine, moderation is key to maintaining good health.
Actually, chocolate is one of the super food. Just make sure it is dark chocolate of at least 70% purity. 

As for wine, yes, perhaps. If your diet allows it, a glass once in a blue moon could help you with some blood movement – very similar to using caffeine pre-workout. But abuse these substance and you see no effect and it became negative. 

Moderation is again subjective. I used to have a friend that tells me he was “moderate with his fast-food intake”. I probed and he told me he goes to Joint A once a week. Then he tells me his routine that Monday, he goes to A, Tuesday is to B, Wednesday is to C…that is his “moderate” as he justify it not to be eating A, every day. Beat that.

So, is your moderation a cup of wine everyday? A block of chocolate once a week? A nasi lemak alternate day?

Varying your workout is also important in helping to prevent injuries and keeping your body structurally balanced, besides beating boredom.
Of course, there is room for running in healthy lifestyles. But I have yet to jog over to that point of view.
Do consider trying, it may change your mind. Oh, on another note, don’t. Here is why: I hate running, I still does – and this is perhaps why I keep doing it. God forbid one day I start loving it and I stop doing it, because I might had reached my Holy Grail of Running. 

In all seriousness, i did not feel angry or slighted with the writer's article. I see it as her not being exposed and aware enough to actually wants to run or pick up endurance sports. So, perhaps, this article will lighten things up. No need to be so serious and afterall, the column in the paper is about being "Fit". 

All exercises is good as it helps to combat daily stress and releases endorphin (happy hormones). I know many endurance athletes are addicted to the "runner's high" feeling. I wonder if weightlifters too experience the same happy feeling and not just DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). 

Lastly, if my memory serves me right, Crossfit too requires a high level of cardio workout as it is seen as a more wholesome type of workout where you are not trying to be body-builder like, but to be functional Spartan-like. Can you imagine those Spartan armies not being able to run during the war? That would be a whole load of beef laying on the floor dead(fish, like in bedroom) with no function whatsoever. Also, Spartan armies are build eating Paleo food, not on chocolate or wine, no matter how moderate it seems. 


Tri Stupe is not a certified personal trainer but he is passionate with his Swim Bike Run. He continues to do this despite having to juggle between marital bliss, a boss that is yet to find out what he does outside of office, confused colleagues wondering why he get tanned over the weekend and a whole load of friends that look up in his blog for a tip or two (of unverified training tips). His joints are fine, he is still alive, his bedroom is still hot and he has no issue with his weight management or bodyfat level. 


  1. Applause, applause, applause! Well said, Stupe. Kudos to you for taking the trouble to do something about this, as opposed to many of us who complained about this article and left it there. Yes I agree that the writer is entitled to her opinion. But I feel that she, being a trained fitness professional, should have done more research and present her article with more objectivity and facts, rather than her own biased opinion because many would have taken her article at face value and be easily misguided.

    1. Kev - Agree. The internet is a vast throve of information. Some found Davy Jones' Locker and unearthed whole load of evil, while some may tip toe on the beach and be happy with the penny found and share it with many others and create more smile.

      I could had been more biased with my reply, but that would had defeated the whole purpose that I am just talking about Swim, Bike and Run. :)

  2. Good write up. Someone needs to say something to this person. A 'little knowledge' is sometimes the most dangerous thing....

    1. Doc, thank you for the note. Yes, a little knowledge is dangerous and what more when it is taken out of context or literally. We as runners or active people should try to raise better awareness and share what we know.

  3. Great read! I can identify with a fair bit of this, especially the 'It's bad for your knees' part. I don't have great knees - two dislocations of the same kneecap in the past - and when people hear of that, their first question is always as to whether it was from my running - and then they stare in disbelief when I say no, not at all - I started running AFTER those dislocations, and running has actually strengthened my knees. Of course it all took a lot of work, reading-up on posture, gait and how to run injury-free. Which was great, too, cos I came across a lot of great reads along the way. Glad you took the time to debunk the myths. Cheers!

    1. Speedshuffle - Thank you. I had bad knees playing Rugby and being in denial about overweight. Endurance sports (particularly triathlon) has brought new life for me. It is easy to say that the sports we do crippled us, but the actuality is always how we do it and this is where self-education and listening to sharing from others will help greatly.

      Good to know that your knees and condition has improved. See you on the road some day, if i am lucky enough to bump into you.

  4. Thanks for you timely and well written commentary. Although I see many of your comments and posts on Facebook, we are not "friends" although we have many friends in common. As a certified sports massage therapist, and an avid runner from the US (currently living in Penang, Malaysia) I found her article to be disturbing, since opinions are best left to the Op/Ed section of most newspapers. As a writer for the health and wellness section of what seems to be a major publication here in Malaysia, I felt that she could have taken a different direction, more from the point of view of educating people on how best to take up athletic activity safely...I mean drinking too much water can kill you. Proper conditioning, good nutrition management and a consult with a physician before beginning any activity are all things that can contribute to long term enjoyment of said activity. Are there risks? Sure, but overall, a healthy lifestyle is far better than the alternative. Thank you for a really great post! see you on the road...Run, Cycle, Swim Happy! peace

    1. Chris, thank you for the sharing. I've been trying to inform or raise awareness on hydration during races too. I noticed many drink way too much at water station short of getting themselves drunk on water or sugar water.

      Agree that the article could had been better approached where it will employ critical thinking and pushes the reader to think a bit deeper and to seek a more informed facts on running or exercising.

      Many run without respecting the distance - just look at many suffering at the tail end of a marathon, or sometimes, a 10km run!

  5. Thank you for making the effort to write this wonderful reply. Hopefully this will reeducate those who have been wrongly influenced by her "personal opinion".

    While one is always entitled to one's own opinion, one must be responisble enough to verify one's statement before putting it out as a objective facts and truth. It'll help that if she states that these are still highly debatable controversies, and that she was just stating her own opinion.

    1. Seow Kong Sir - thank you for your valuable input. As someone I really look up to, you are the epitome of what running has help shape the community and the many of us here in Malaysia.

  6. Good write-up!IMO, any form of exercise that (a) gets you moving/active, (b) it's something you enjoy and/or (c) it's something you want to keep on doing, should not be discouraged, and the most important thing is to make sure you're doing it right so as to get the best out of it and avoid injuries.

    Keep up with the writing!

    1. I agree. Any form is good as long as we make it a point to do it!

  7. keep on writing good articles like this,

  8. Good one Stupe! I didn't even know about the original article (stopped reading papers yonks ago!) til friends told me about it. Everyone can get a fitness certification, even I have one, but not everyone can write a good article nor impart subjective information. I'd much rather read your blogposts than some half-assed, unresearched drivel in the papers.

    1. Thanks Anna. My biggest hindrance is not being certified, and hence, my blogspot also considered as half-assed unresearched drivel by some. But point taken. Those that know me will know the full history of my sporting endeavour ;-)

  9. Hi,
    A poorly written article in my opinion. Selective information used, especially from the links that you gave, about weight-lifting being dangerous, and rupturing blood vessels? To be fair, the Mayo Clinic link stated that it is dangerous IF you have high-blood pressure. Strain against an immovable object cause cause your blood pressure to rise, yes, so is straining to take a dump, or just by holding your breath. Strength training involves continuous movement and breathing, hence does not cause a massive vessel rupturing increase in blood pressure! If you bothered to even read the link you posted, then clearly you can see there are more benefits to strength lifting than you care to know about! You clearly didn't expect someone to click on the links you provided. The death by lifting link is also just a shot in the dark. It may as well be an article about how a person crossed the road, didn't look both ways and got knocked down. Out of context as it's simply about negligence.

    Rather than probably googling ' death + weight lifting + injury ', why not find a Sports and Health journal available with proper research and results? As opposed to some random Discovery Magazine article also dated 7 years ago? I'm sorry but what you're doing is no better than the writer. To make running look good by discrediting weight lifting makes it less proper and genuine to people who are looking for real, scientific and backed up reasons to start running.

    The running boom may have started since the 80's but nobody can deny that everywhere you look THESE days, everyone is signing up for a marathon. Just take a look into Facebook and every other week, there will be pictures of people running a marathon. So I believe this is what the writer is trying to convey. Rather than be so anal about it and relate back to your bygone childhood days, you should look at the context of the article. The fact is, everyone is running and using marathons as a justification to deem themselves fit. The fact of the matter is, any tom, dick and harry can enter a marathon. Most, like you may be in it for the proper and right reasons, but most are simply hopping onto the wagon and their goals are completely different. (well different to the dedicated runner). Most want to LOSE their body fat content. The obese, the nearly-obese, the overweight. And while running is a form of exercise that can help people lose weight/fat, it is not the ideal exercise exactly for the reasons stated in the article.

    1. Agree! I guess it was my mistake to ALSO selectively chose what to write and share ;-)

      Keep exercising, eat well and live well!

  10. One being, that running is a repetitive exercise, so we talk about repetitive stress injuries which more often than not, strike the knee joint. It may also affect the foot, and the shin as well as the heel ( The Achilles tendon, which is typically a exercise-ending exercise). And it is caused by impact on the joint. Not stress. Yes sports do cause injury, which is a given, but again, we're looking at the context. Repetitive stress injuries typically go away when you do not REPEAT the action. Hence you need to stop running to heal it. You can't compare it to a sport like basketball or football, which is typically a knock, a sprain or in the worse cases, a God forbid, a stress fracture.

    "Point taken on this. Even cycling is bad for your joints when you hammer on the largest gear trying to outrun that bulldozer going at 60km/h. Sense of achievement eh?
    How about weight lifting? Many do not know that every time they lift a weight half their own body weight, they are putting 50% stress on your joint repeatedly - that is like jumping with a 34.5kg back pack (in my case) everytime I go for a run. It is as damaging ain't it? "
    Contrary to what you have written (without a source this time?), cycling is NOT bad for your joints as it is a non weight-bearing cardio activity, there is no impact on the joint as the feet are firmly planted on the pedals at all times. As for stress on a joint and muscle, that is a given, but this is how the bone density and the muscles are strengthened, not from IMPACT. Your example of putting on a backpack of 34.5kg and running it totally IRRELEVANT. It's comparing an apple and a piece of steak. There is no impact involved in basic strength-training, HOWEVER, adding in plyometric exercises, such as jump squats, jump lunges and other explosive exercises where your body needs to leave the ground and come back down DOES result in impact on the joints. If you're talking about joints, then perhaps unnecessary stress MAY occur during open-chain exercise, as opposed to closed-chain, simply due to the fact that yet again, closed kinetic chain exercises, such as the push-ups, end up with the hands and feet still grounded. Opened kinetic chain examples may include something such as a bicep curl.

  11. " I know of many men and women that does long distances races. Sex seems to be the least of their worries. Exercise, in this instance, running, will not lessen your testosterone. Howewer your choice of food such as you eating those chicken injected with growth hormone, or you binging on soya bean drink and those fatty sinful food that will actually makes you fat, grow man-boobs, puts you in depression and make you a dead fish in the bedroom.

    I believe the incidences of weightlifter and bodybuilder taking anabolic substances are higher compared to say runner. Yes, you can argue that the Famous Lance is the cheater. He was. No doubt about it. But do remember that at the level of professional bodybuilding where heavy lifting is concerned, many of them struggles with testesterone deficiency as they relied on substance (abuse) to beef them up.

    I know of some men that have turned to endurance sports to change their sedentary lifestyle, and in return last longer, pound harder and are way happier compared to those that do not exercise, and by that, i meant those motion on the road and in the bedroom."

    Yet again, trying to discredit and put down strength-training. Why? Truly, a male's testosterone level would decline if they were more unhealthy and overweight. But why the poke at chicken breasts, and binging soya bean drinks, man boobs? The fact of the matter is, as a fitness person you should simply encourage someone to keep fit, which means not consuming too much calories compared to their activity levels. This is simply immature, mentioning anabolic steroids and the such. We are not even talking about bodybuilding as sport, or any serious bodybuilder. Your audience is an average joe and jane just like me. So why even mention steroids? Why put the sport of bodybuilding down? Your points are totally irrelevant. It's more akin to you BASHING strength-training and bodybuilding rather than you clarifying your points about running. I don't see the logic of this argument.

    The fact of the matter is, is that steady-state running, while a good workout for your cardiovascular health, is not effective a fat burning exercise, as compared to high intensity workouts, such as say, sprints. You burn more calories for the moment when you run, and a small amount of the calories are fat. High intensity would burn a decent amount of calories, a higher percentage being fat, and a carry-on effect, which mimics the after-effects of strength-training, which burns calories over the next 48 hours. I don't have a source for this because it is non-debatable, however which was you want to Google for this, it'll give you the same answer.

    Again, so fussy and anal about the words being used. What do we understand by the word moderate? I think running 7 times a week for 3 hours each day is possibly excessive to the average person. The average person who has the goal of looking lean, decreasing their body fat percentage. So yes, that is excessive. Perhaps 3x a week of long-distance running for 30 minutes, built up to 45 minutes depending on their preference is moderate. And truly? I believe most people would be fine with that in general. So stop picking on the minor things.

  12. You just continuously picked at strength-training for the most of your article. Again with the 'runner's high' compared to the DOMS. There are so many effective ways to strength-train which completely gets rid of DOMS. And for the record, yes, strength-training also provides the same high, but I guess you were too cooped up in running these days that even you, whom used to bodybuild, forgot about it. For the record, I've delved in strength training and running, I find both have their benefits, but seeing as you can even achieve cardiovascular benefits via strength training, this is purely something I stick to these days due to the time. I am aware of the runner's high, and I still find it refreshing to go for a leisure run once in awhile. But strength-training enables me to get the best of both worlds, and at the same time, keeps me stronger than my peers, and enables me to look good and maintain my muscles. Something that, can't be said for running. Unless you do sprints.

    People want to look good these days. That's the main thing. Running doesn't result in this. Take a look at the people around you, or even the mirror. No offence, but none look like they've had an ounce of muscle on them. Most people are still fat and chubby, or they're really lean to the point of having very little body fat, but as equally little muscle mass. The body adapts to the sport you do. It's an age old cliche comparison, but since you like to Google, then google a comparison between a typical marathon runner, and a typical sprinter. And then you can tell me, or you can ask most people, WHOM they'd rather look like. Most people get into fitness not for the health benefits unless they're struck by some illness that requires it. Most get into fitness to look good NAKED. That means, having a lean physique with muscles, not too big, not too small. I guess THIS physique is the equivalent of running in terms of BOOMING.

    Last but not least, this last paragraph was really..
    "Lastly, if my memory serves me right, Crossfit too requires a high level of cardio workout as it is seen as a more wholesome type of workout where you are not trying to be body-builder like, but to be functional Spartan-like. Can you imagine those Spartan armies not being able to run during the war? That would be a whole load of beef laying on the floor dead(fish, like in bedroom) with no function whatsoever. Also, Spartan armies are build eating Paleo food, not on chocolate or wine, no matter how moderate it seems. "

    Are you seriously comparing Crossfit to running? Do you know how fit most of these Crossfitters are? Look at Rich Froning Jr, he looks NOTHING like a marathon runner. So are most serious Crossfitters. Admittedly there are high level cardio exercises in Crossfit, but they COMBINE it with high level gymnastics and Olympic lifts! And the example of Spartan armies not being able to run in the war? Well, why would they? They made need to jog to a certain location, but once the war started, would they be jogging and running around the enemy? They'd be SPRINTING YO! Not doing steady-state cardio! Although if you want me to imagine a bunch of typical marathon runners as Spartan soldiers...then yeah... that would be a sight. They can jog while trying to run away I suppose? Same goes to our 'ancestors', in the Cavemen days. Do you think they ran and jogged to their destination? Hell no! They'd conserve energy so they'd walk! When would they expend their energy? Well, probably 2 occasions, when they were HUNTING for their dinner, and when they were ESCAPING a predator. So did you think they JOGGED towards their prey and JOGGED or RAN away from the predator? They'd SPRINT! There was no running or jogging for long periods of time! Come on!

    1. Actually, are you the same Anon from above and below?

      if you are, point taken, YOU are more qualified than me.

      But what is your take on the original article written by the journalist, which is also my friend. :D

    2. Anon,

      I beg to differ, this link right here shows how primitive man hunted without tools.

      I think you need to understand where TriStupe was coming from, it was a rebuttal and the fact is that everything can cause injuries and not only by being a runner as per the article he was replying to.

      I would think that it hit a nerve on your end because he mentioned Crossfit, and from my experience with Crossfitters is that they have a certain cult-mentality. People get fit for a different reason, and it shows here in the image of athletes different body type. Though Froning Jrs body type is further from what I aspire to be, but to each his own.

      Lastly, I think the one who needs to get off his high horse is you.

  13. I didn't mean to outrightly bash your views on the article. But I feel that you were doing injustice to other types of fitness activities. Just because you felt that the writer bashed running, what makes you different from her in your own article? It's close-minded, immature, evidently seen from all the poking fun and bashing strength-training and bodybuilding without ANY valid sources. Anyone can Google, even a 5-year old. But it's up to them to know which sources are legit and which are not. Especially being current and up to date, because we all know that fitness is constantly evolving.
    I know a thing or two about fitness, I've had about 15 years experience in strength-training, a variety of sports, dieting, and I am also ACE-Certified. I don't condemn any type of exercise as each person is different and each exercise will suit their needs. HOWEVER, I believe some things ARE general. Methods of losing weight and reducing fat content have been researched and discussed over the years and you do it great injustice by spouting baseless and selective information.
    Whether you meant it as a joke, I'm aware you have a large audience and people who look up to you, so it may influence people to start despising strength-training, which is what I feel is a crucial part of fitness.

    So for God's sake, get off your Running high horse and have a more open mind about other forms of exercises.
    Cheers mate.

    1. Thanks! Indeed you are right. I am not even certified let alone a subject matter expert in what I shared, that is why i mentioned to take what I write with pinch of salt :)

      I lift as well, it is part of the training regime that I put myself into. I do modified Annie and I am a big fan of free weights. :)

    2. What is ACE-certified? How to get one?

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Sijil yg membenarkan anda untuk kritik/perli senaman kesukaan orang lain sambil gerak-gerak otot tetek. Buat plank lebih 1.5 minit pun kena perli. Haish.

    5. Abang Bac - LOL. Plank itu wajib ok!

      Anon - ACE is a fitness certification. In Malaysia, it is moderated by Fit Malaysia.

  14. Anonymous. FYI

    From an anonymous reader who deadlifts 200kg, benches 110kg, squats 150kg and does plenty of 24hour fasted state long runs on a carb cycling diet who still looks better than most of the "bodybuilders" in the gym.

  15. Great write up TriStupe. You're an inspiration for me who is starting just starting to take jogging as a serious form of exercise. I certainly feel more energetic and healthier now. IMO the writer's article could have been made into a discursive subject, but what she pointed out sounded like an authority on the subject and I might add, misguided on the testosterone thingy.
    some of the points the writer made out looked like a cut an paste and that irked alot of readers who are passionate with running. Irrregardless of whether it's running or taking weights. I'd say if you feel fine doing what you're doing, keep doing it. What's important is keeping sickness at bay that's my goal anyway

    1. Thank you sir.

      I agree with you. My writing above does irk some muscles, and it goes to show a one-sided show is not a good thing. But what tickles me was I did not just mention weight-lifting. I guess we all also do selective reading.

  16. Great reply sir. And yes, to a better performance outdoor and indoor!

  17. You used to squat 770 pounds?


    1. DBKL Gym where anything is possible. Most of my formative years on lifting were done in Melawati and Wangsa Maju. Perhaps you know someone there that can help verify too. ;-)

  18. Great write sir!!!! Anonymous picking on you might be writer herself?


    That's a 770 pound squat.

  20. You have given really an awesome and a productive tips that i will surely apply physically and mentally as well.I would definitely recommend you