A lot of publicity is always given to the negative aspects of running and endurance sports - the one person in 50000 that keels over during the Great North Run or London Marathon every 5 years or so; or the perceived damage to one's joints. This is despite the evidence that running, when properly trained for and distances appropriately built up to, actually strengthens joints and extends the life of the cartilage in the knees (compare the cartilage of an amateur runner to that of an obese computer games addict and I suspect you can see the difference) according to some reports I have read of late.
The BBC article is an interesting and (finally) a well balanced essay on the perceived dangers of endurance sports. It quotes a scientist at Liverpool John Moores University.
""Although you can’t account for exceptions, George thinks that people who train appropriately should be safe. “You can’t normally run yourself into a heart attack if you don’t have a pre-existing disease,” he says. Nor do the regulars seem to show a significant build-up of long-term damage – like scar tissue in the heart’s muscles or excessive wear and tear to their joints – that some had expected.""
I'll be pointing out this article to everyone and anyone in future to refute certain well held preconceptions about endurance sports, and I shall continue to endeavour to push back the perceived boundaries and society imposed limitations.
Rant over - onl