A new study – new nonsense, says our columnist. When it comes to running, it’s all about the average level, she says. And everyone has to decide that for themselves.

The healthy runner doesn’t really care about studies and experts. And that’s good. Anyone who runs regularly knows their body and is their own expert – because every body ticks completely differently and every runner has to find their own measure for themselves.

What makes me very, very tired are scientists who know exactly – down to the minute – how much of the running is healthy and at what minute we all die an agonizing cardiac death.

Mike Kleiß has been doing sports since he was a child. “If you move, you achieve more” is his motto in life. Running was always his favorite topic. For seven years he has been running between 15 and 20 kilometers almost every day, often in marathons and sometimes in ultra marathons. So far, our columnist has published two books on running. He is the founder and managing director of the communications agency GOODWILLRUN. Mike Kleiß lives with his family in Hamburg and Cologne. He writes about running here every Thursday.

At the marathon, of course. Where else? Because – beware: running a marathon is incredibly unhealthy. It’s correct. But it’s also a lot of fun. So let the people go! By the way, the biggest spoilsports for all marathon runners come from Denmark. There is a study on the question: How much running is really healthy? And when does running become unhealthy?

A difficult question per se, because again: Man is not a clockwork, man is an individual in a crazy way. The Frederiksberg Hospital in Copenhagen is behind the study. A lot of energy was put into the study here and it was ensured that it is really representative.

I don’t want to bore you with all the details, but the result is really amazing. The bottom line is that running too much can be harmful. Wow! And do you need a study for that? Really now? The researchers published the study in the Journal of The American College of Cardiology. There you write that jogging for more than 2.5 hours a week can be harmful.

The study was based on the data from the “Copenhagen City Heart Study”, which focused on 1,098 healthy runners and 3,950 healthy non-runners for years. Important: The connection between the mortality of the people and the intensity of running.

The result is a shock for all frequent and long-distance runners: The lowest mortality was among joggers who did no more than 2.5 hours a week – i.e. about three times 8 to 10 kilometers. Danger! Also new: Physical exercise is good for your health! (irony button off)

But what the researchers also found – and this is really valuable – is that 30 percent of those who are physically active live longer. But if you run for more than 2.5 hours, your life is almost as unhealthy as a non-runner. And here’s the point: it’s just a study.

And the number of people who took part is representative, but in my opinion it is still far too small. Furthermore: The study does not reveal the training status of the recipients. We know nothing about important parameters such as age, lifestyle, eating habits or even knowledge about the state of health.

In addition: 2.5 hours a week can be far too much for some, for others it is the daily workload. Depending on your training and health. For this reason alone, such studies do not necessarily make sense. One can and should be skeptical about this type of research.

We have about 20 million runners in Germany – and we want to squeeze this enormous number into a 2.5 hour window? You have to explain this logic to us runners first. There is no doubt: since the pandemic started, Germany has gotten fatter, around 5 to 6 kilos on average. We consume way too much sugar, way too much alcohol. After water, beer is the main source of liquid for Germans.

The average German moves 500 meters a day. According to the WHO, we spend 8.5 hours sitting – one hour more than in 2018. But: There is hope: Around 70 percent are physically active for around 300 minutes a week. That’s a whole 5 hours! In Copenhagen there should now be great concern for 70 percent of Germans.

From overweight chain smoker to marathon runner – a success story

As a runner, I would simply suggest: Let’s just run. Everyone as he likes. Everyone as long and as often as they like. Basically, the only important thing is that everyone really listens to their body, finds their own average level and always keeps an eye on it.

And: From time to time it’s even allowed to be unreasonable. That is what makes us human! That’s how it works.

Read all of Mike Kleiß’s columns here.