Health vs. Fitness in Endurance Sports – Issue #162

Posted admin Newsletters

Dear friend,

I came across this article written by Phil Maffetone for Lava Magazine last month that I think is so important that I wanted to share it with you.

“House Calls: We May be Fit, But Are We Healthy?”

Maffetone was the coach of some of the great Ironman athletes of the 80’s and 90’s, like Mark Allen and Mike Pigg. (interestingly, the last 2 guests I’ve had on my podcast have mentioned him!).

The problem that he outlines with many endurance athletes is inflammation. And this isn’t just knee and shoulder pain, this is also the kind that can affect your heart. The importance of the idea of being not only fit, but also healthy, is emphasized with this quote:

“Last year, Laval University’s Dr. Eric Larose presented his frightful research findings at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010 in Montreal. He followed a group of 20 marathoners, 14 men and 6 women, ages 21 to 55, before and after their race. He showed that racing was associated with an inflammatory condition that raised the risk of death seven times that of normal. Most of these runners had significant inflammation that reduced heart function, with dehydration contributing to the problem. While these runners all recovered by their three-month follow up evaluation, this appears to be an indication that many runners have serious inflammatory problems under the stress of competition. ”


Much of the taking responsibility that he is talking about is with diet. The above is the reason why I spend a lot of time discussing nutrition, and bringing on the people who I consider to have the healthiest diets on the podcast to discuss their successes with paleo and low carb eating. It’s more than just losing that extra body weight (which is nice benefit), it’s also living in optimal health!

To your health,

Coach Kevin