The couch potato marathoner

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

I often find myself talking about the problems with going from couch to marathon in too short of a time. Well, what to make of runners who are both couch potatoes and marathoners at the same time?

To sum up the study, researchers at the University of Texas in Austin sent surveys to participants of the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon. 218 runners responded reporting peak training duration (total time training for their peak week) and average time spent sitting, as well as some other information such as anticipated finishing time.

The results found that, while the runners peaked at 6.5 hours (median) training in a week’s time, median sitting time was 10 hours and 45 minutes on workdays and 8 hours on non-workdays.

We already know from prior studies that time spent seated is extremely bad for our health, potentially regardless of the amount of exercise we get (though those studies generally looked at people who didn’t exercise nearly as much as these runners).

So what does this mean? Well, not a whole lot…yet. I’d like to see more. Small doses of exercise don’t seem to counteract the negative effects of spending large amounts of time seated. Do larger doses? That is a question I’d like to see answered. In the meantime, no matter how much we exercise, maybe we should try to spend less time seated.

Sorry for the lack of long form posts this week and last. Some family matters kept me from being able to finalize anything I have in the works. I expect to be able to post one next week.

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