Thursday, February 04, 2010

40? Um.... not this week

That number can be kinda scary...

An article came out the other week about how exercise helps stave off diabetes, cancer, risk of stroke. All stuff that's been said before, but this guy came with statistics:

Dr. Paul Williams of the University of California at Berkeley ... found that running 40 miles per week can lower risk of stroke by 69 percent, heart attacks by 37 percent and diabetes by 68 percent. To prevent progressive weight gain with aging, the runners needed to add 1.4 miles a week each year. (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, March 2009.)

Always more impressive if it comes with hard-and-fast numbers. This doctor followed more than 100,000 runners for 20 years.

I took comfort from the fact that the guy said he himself only runs about 12 minute miles pace and is 30 pounds overweight. I'm not sure I could actually run 40 miles a week -- I mean I don't think my joints would stand it even at my slow pace. But if you figure a pace of 5 mph and throw in a rest day, 40 miles a week breaks down to close to 1-1/2 hours a day of vigorous exercise. Would it work if I did this on a bicycle?

I mean, I know I said I needed to kick it up a notch and that the more I work out, the healthier I feel, but... 40 miles? That's an awfully intimidating number to try to meet.

Exercise du jour: Jog a measly 3 miles. (Except that it's not a measly amount if you've never done it before.)
Done! Slow but steady pace. (Indoors, alas, but still counts.)

Photo courtesy of:

14 comments:

Kelly said...

40 miles per week? Guess I'll just have to be in the higher risk category because it's not happening. Gee, I can't even run a mile yet!!!

Marste said...

WHAAAAA????? I mean, really - FORTY FREAKIN' MILES? SERIOUSLY?!?!?!

Ok, I'll stop typing in all caps now.

But, GEEZ.

And *I* don't think 3 miles is measly. I can't even run 1 straight through. So, go you! (And scr*w that other dude. ;D)

Roxie said...

Three is so not measly. Don't let those stats get you down. All we can do is all we can do.

Xenia said...

That would be 5 mph, not 12.

Yikes! I've never run 40 miles in a week. My current training plan has that happening in a couple of months though. We'll see if my body likes that. Probably not though...

The Merry said...

Um, yeah. I knew that. I was just testing you guys.
(Drat mathematics anyway)

TexNYQueen said...

But I think you tapped into something. Like you said - it breaks down to 1.5 hrs of vigorous exercise a day / 6 days a week. So carido and strength training 3 days a week and cardio with stretching the other 3.

Who says is has to be all running? (coming from a non-runner).

I give you majorly bright stars for running 3 miles!

the gazelle said...

40 miles/week is definitely doable - for some people.

I'm a marathoner, but my body really isn't comfortable with more than 30ish miles/week - and I'm not going to push it past that!

However, I do tend to average about 10-12 hours of exercise most weeks - and I think that would be something better to study than just leg miles!

Lu said...

40 is a big, scary number. I just started the Couch 2 5K you mention on the blog. Did you like it? Did it work? I'm really curious.

Feed Me I'm Cranky said...

Dude, 40 miles my rump! Just not gonna happen. am i defeatist? maybe. but i'd like to keep my knees and sanity please.

Merry -- 3 miles is awesome! don't trivialize that accomplishment!

The Merry said...

FMIC, I just meant it looks measly compared to 40 miles a week. It's actually an intimidating number to me personally.

Lu, I should write a post about my take on the C25K. Definitely useful. I wouldn't have thought I could run 30 minutes without stopping.

Gina Fit by 41 Maybe 42 said...

Hmmm...I suppose I'll just have to reduce my risk of stroke by 20%.

I'm doing the couch (computer for me)-to-5K, currently on week 4. I never thought I would jog for 5 minutes. I'm curious if I'll make the 3 miles. I'd be interested in reading your take on the C24K program.

solarity said...

But...but...then the marathons should all be packed with 80 year olds, right?

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Barefoot AngieB said...

Just discovered your blog!!
Wow those are some high weekly miles! Good to know for future reference when I can actually hold up to that much!
Great blog btw and great job on your 3 miles!

messymimi said...

3 miles is great!

I have said for a long time that the only people who can exercise the amount these medical scientists want us to are those who are wealthy enough to have housekeepers/nannies/chauffeurs/etc., those who make their living at teaching exercise, and those who dedicate that much time to it no matter what else is waiting to be done.

I will admit that maybe I am overlooking something, maybe there is some way to fit it in, but someone will have to show it to me.

Meanwhile, as I do not fall into any of those categories, so I will not be exercising by running 40 miles a week or the equivalent in other types of workouts any time soon.