The sad topic of doping has long since arrived in running. Banned substances spoil the magic of our sport. If you dope, then do it right!

Anyone who thinks that the subject of doping is only at home in professional sport is greatly mistaken. Studies prove what has long been suspected: more than half of the hobby runners who take part in a marathon have painkillers in their blood.

For many, aspirin is no longer considered a painkiller, but a dietary supplement. This also applies to paracetamol or ibuprofen. People like to rub ointment on themselves to relieve sore muscles. Doctors sometimes shudder when they learn how much abuse is being carried out with diclofenac, for example. The list could be continued at will, the side effects are enormous, internal organs can be life-threateningly damaged.

Mike Kleiß has been doing sports since he was a child. “Those who exercise 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.

Hobby runners take on all this and much more – for just one reason: performance improvement is the magic word. The pressure to perform for runners like you and me is almost as high as at the Olympics – albeit one without holding hands. It’s all about best times here. The first question is whether our hunger for faster and faster times has to be there at all.

Anyone who thinks that competition is a must should simply satisfy their hunger for doping with sports fasting. Sport fasting is currently the miracle cure for all those who want to experience an increase in performance solely from the power of their own body. A mix of discipline, optimization of the metabolism, and fasting.

Sport fasting initially has nothing to do with a diet. It is a ten-day training method in which the muscles are trained. Fat is burned instead of sugar. One speaks of the so-called metabolic switch. A coordinated nutrition plan is supplemented by 30 minutes of sport per day. In order for the process to function optimally, substances such as amino acids, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins are also taken.

The following happens in the body: The combination of exercise and fasting first consumes carbohydrates that are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. At the same time, the concentration of hormones such as adrenaline and glucagon increases. These tell the body: Please draw energy from the long-term reserves – the body fat.

The tissue cells now form completely new mitochondria. In these small “power plants” the fatty acids are broken down into carbon dioxide. The existing mitochondria become larger and more efficient through fasting. A nice side effect: On average, you lose between 4 and 6 kilograms in weight. real weight. Not just water. Difficult for me, because with 73 kilos, 1.80 meters and 7 percent body fat, it will be a strenuous test. I want to try anyway.

I am currently preparing for some marathons in 2023, which will start in spring. 2022 was a tough running year for me because first of all I needed and wanted to get back to the level of form I was at in 2020 and 2021. With the help of some experts, I will take up the challenge and try sports fasting myself starting in November.

I am accompanied by sports scientists and former professional runners who did not invent sports fasting but have already done so as legal “doping”. It’s not about running a personal best in 2023. I would like to contest the next races better and more powerfully. Together with a good team of experts, I am developing my sports fasting plan these days.

In any case, the aim should be to slowly prepare the body for this experiment. Incidentally, this also includes an intensive check of my body. Unfortunately, there were again incidents at some marathon events this year where runners had to be partially resuscitated on the route. To be clear, these runners didn’t push themselves beyond the limits. In almost all cases there was an illness that developed well before the race. In most cases, it is inflammation of the myocardium that goes unnoticed or is delayed.

From overweight chain smoker to marathon runner – a success story

In order to prevent all this evil – especially when you go into sports fasting, when you want to face a marathon several times – there is no alternative for me to an intensive check-up. Even if you don’t want to run in an extreme area, one request: Have yourself examined regularly by a sports doctor. The heart as the engine of our body deserves special attention again and again. That’s how it works.

Read all of Mike Kleiß’s columns here.