The running community is up in arms about an editorial to be published in the British journal Heart that claims “Running too fast, too far and for too many years may speed one’s progress toward the finish line of life.” In a story headlined, “One Running Shoe in the Grave,” the Wall Street Journal summarizes the argument:
What the new research suggests is that the benefits of running may come to a hard stop later in life. In a study involving 52,600 people followed for three decades, the runners in the group had a 19% lower death rate than nonrunners, according to the Heart editorial. But among the running cohort, those who ran a lot—more than 20 to 25 miles a week—lost that mortality advantage. Meanwhile, according to the Heart editorial, another large study found no mortality benefit for those who ran faster than 8 miles per hour, while those who ran slower reaped significant mortality benefits.
So if you have run for more than 30 years, run more than 25 miles per week, and maintain better than a 7:30 pace, you lose your “mortality advantage.” You are, however, a badass.
It is best not to get too worked up about these sorts of things in either direction. Even if Heart is correct, running fewer miles at a slower pace might decrease your mortality from heart disease while increasing it in the event of a zombie apocalypse. I’m planning to submit an editorial headlined, “One Running Shoe Out of the Grave” that will detail how the zombie horde will first eat the brains of the sedentary, then pursue this new cohort of slow, short-distance runners with extraordinarily healthy hearts. The survivors will be the faster sort of ultra-runner, plus triathletes, since I’ve never seen a zombie on a bike or attempting an open water swim.
Geekdad at Wired.com has an excellent race report of the Run for Your Lives zombie 5k obstacle run in Georgia. The wet weather gave the event a real The Walking Dead vibe, since the TV show also involves zombies, Georgia, running and mud.
The general sentiment was positive and fun, but a few participants complained that there were “too many zombies.”
Suck it up, buttercup. Think of it as practical training for the coming zombie apocalypse. You can work on the academic theory part during the summer.
Just as fall is prime marathon season, so to is it prime zombie season. And what self-respecting zombie wants to find himself at the end of a game of zombie tag without some fresh, juicy brains? If you’re one of the walking dead, don’t get shut out for lack of speedwork. Sears is now taking care of all your retail needs, in your language! The department store chain is especially pumped to get you into the best shape of your, um, life.
At Wired.com, they have taken up a question vital to the future of our nation: Which are more frightening, slow zombies or fast zombies?
Opinions vary, but every debate benefits from a scientific angle, such as this one, provided by “radonol”:
“It all comes down to respiration. If the zombies do not breath, then they can only produce anaerobic energy, and as we all remember for basic biology, anaerobic respiration produces between 2-8x less energy than aerobic respiration depending on the reducing agent. We can safely assume that zombies do not respire, as they do not bleed, so we know that they are anaerobic beings (they do not have anywhere near the surface area needed to respire without circulation). This means that not only are they slower than the living, but that they will slow down and weaken as they age and desiccate. So zombies in a warm, wet environment will be stronger and faster (H2O being a good reducing agent), but will rot and burn through their energy reserves faster than their counterparts in arid regions (who would be stuck with N or S as reducing agents as they dry out).”
It seems zombies would be unable to increase (or even have) VO2 max, so speedwork wouldn’t have the same benefit for them as it would for you – so get out on the track and increase your chances for survival when the zombie apocalypse hits!
On an episode of the Syfy series Being Human, a character goes out for a run to clear his head. This turns into a problem because he’s a werewolf and when he sees other runners, well, he is compelled to chase them.
Another Syfy series, Continuum, put a runner in jeopardy. As you can see from the beginning of this clip, a character attacks a man with a shovel. But the man he sees is a product of his fevered mind. We learn later he actually attacked an innocent jogger.
Finally, the TNT series Rizzoli & Isles, which has featured runners before, premiered its new season with an episode in which a female jogger is murdered and her baby kidnapped.
While cardio may protect you from zombies, I would suggest a little speedwork is in order for all other screen runners.
Here are five bits of technology to wear while running, or hold tech while running, or aid in your escapist fantasies while running.
1) The Smart Sensing Digital Shirt, or D-Shirt, has a GPS, heart-rate monitor, accelerometer, altimeter, and more sewn into its fabric.
3) BSX Athletics offers a wearable lactate threshold monitor that fits inside a calf compression sleeve.
4) Digital Trends lists the Best Headphones for Running.
The big news today is a Rasmussen poll that reveals 37 percent of Americans believe zombies would do a better job running the federal government than the current occupiers of national office.
This shouldn’t come as a complete shock, as America has a long and proud history of zombie political activism, all the way back to its early days.
More recently we’ve had Zombie Nixon…
…Zombie Romney and Zombie Obama…
…Zombie Reagan for 2016…
…and the irrepressible A. Zombie.
We’ve even had a candidate to avoid the zombie apocalypse, 2012 Libertarian candidate and triathlete Gary Johnson.
The Rasmussen poll also found that only six percent of all Americans expect a zombie apocalypse, which means I’ll have to run fast than 94 percent of you, or put a sharp stick in your earhole when you come to eat my brain.