Tag Archives: running

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Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK.

 

This week, with  the newspapers full of health scares, doping controversy and the anticipation of all sort of problems in the run-up to the Rio Olympic games, let me tell you a good news story….

It was the height of the troubles in Belfast, in the midst of the hunger strikes, with frequent riots, shootings and bombs. I had just qualified and was completing junior doctor jobs in a hospital a few miles from our home in west Belfast.  Running to and from the hospital, I often passed the still smouldering debris of last night’s burnt out cars.  Our local athletics club met not far from our home, and the surgery where I was to practice as a GP for 30 years. It was a club without premises, track, or any permanent home. We met in the evening at the local day centre, and we'd run through the streets of west Belfast and beyond.

I don’t know how many members there were but it seemed like hundreds of young people gathered there on winter evenings. ...continue reading

DMacA_3Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK

 

Couch potatoes say that you never see a happy jogger, and they might be right. Too many runners train too hard, think “no-pain-no-gain” and don’t take time to step back.  Intelligent middle aged high achievers (like us doctors) often make the same mistakes.  Forget the Sports Guru nonsense. Your body is not a highly tuned Grand Prix racing machine.  Most of us just chug along like a four-door family saloon. So, here are a few suggestions to help you avoid injury, burn out, and boredom. Basic, simple and obvious, they won’t sell many running magazines but they might be of some use to middle of the road athletes expecting miracles, underachievers who mismatch training loads and life circumstance, and obsessives who feel rest and relaxation should be avoided at all costs. ...continue reading

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DMacA_ski_resizeDomhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK

 

Some years ago, out walking along the river, I met an ex-athlete friend . “I gave up running at 50,” he told me. "Too many of my friends were having heart problems”. This didn’t fit with what I believed about the benefits of exercise, so I didn’t give it a lot of thought.

More recently, however, when preparing a talk on sudden cardiac death, I came across a research paper from Sweden that followed up 52, 755 athletes who had completed the Vasaloppet a long distance cross country ski race (90k) and, curiously, showed that those who raced more often and faster, were more likely to have hospital admissions for cardiac arrhythmia. This seemed counter-intuitive. ...continue reading