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70% of runners take ibuprofen before every workout. Say what? (Read 1357 times)

    There's a good NYT article today about the risks of daily ibuprofen use in runners and other athletes. It's shocking, but not because of the finding that using this stuff every single day causes health problems. Here's the part I couldn't believe:

     

    Many active people use the painkiller ibuprofen on an almost daily basis. In surveys, up to 70 percent of distance runners and other endurance athletes report that they down the pills before every workout or competition, viewing the drug as a preemptive strike against muscle soreness.

     

    This blows my mind. 70 percent of distance runners take ibuprofen BEFORE every workout as a "preemptive strike?"

     

    And aside from what ibuprofen does to your gut, it interferes with the recovery process. So it doesn't even make sense as a "shortcut" to training harder or longer.

      I have never used it prior or during a run. I do know one guy, a Dr. of Optometry, who does not start a run without it.

       

      He will also consume 3 or 4 gu's on a ten mile run.

      www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

        This has come up on the FB group for my local running club a lot.  A frightening number of people seem to live on the stuff--but 70% still seems high from the sample of runners I've interacted with.  I only know one guy who mentions taking it "before hard efforts," as he put it.  

         

        I admit I dose on the stuff if a race gives me DOMS, but I use "Do I have to walk down the stair backwards?" as a guideline for if I get ibuprofen--and only after running, even then.

         

        I really would like to see this survey that they did that produced those results.  

        "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
        Emil Zatopek

          Creative wording? Note that the sentence says "before every workout or competition" not "before every workout and competition." That suggests the author may be adding together people who take ibuprofen before every workout (which could be daily) and people who take it before every race (which could be only a few times a year).

            He will also consume 3 or 4 gu's on a ten mile run.

             

            I never understand the people who do this.  There seem to be a ton of them.  Many of them understand, in conversation, glycogen, fat burning, etc...but are still convinced they need gels on even short runs.  

            "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
            Emil Zatopek

              I don't think there is any way it can be nearly as high as 70%.  I only know 1 guy who does this before marathons, and I'm not even sure he does it "before every run".  Sensationalism from the Times.

              - Joe

              all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

                There's a good NYT article today about the risks of daily ibuprofen use in runners and other athletes. It's shocking, but not because of the finding that using this stuff every single day causes health problems. Here's the part I couldn't believe:

                 

                 

                This blows my mind. 70 percent of distance runners take ibuprofen BEFORE every workout as a "preemptive strike?"

                 

                And aside from what ibuprofen does to your gut, it interferes with the recovery process. So it doesn't even make sense as a "shortcut" to training harder or longer.

                 

                A good NYT article? Agree with the risk part. Really have to say bullshit on the 70%. Thought the dangers where well know in the last several years. Back in the late 90's, I took Ibuprofen at 13 miles during marathons. Now days, only after a race or running the 11.2 for the first time in a season. 

                  Creative wording? Note that the sentence says "before every workout or competition" not "before every workout and competition." That suggests the author may be adding together people who take ibuprofen before every workout (which could be daily) and people who take it before every race (which could be only a few times a year).

                   

                  this is probably the 70%. Talked to 10 people: 3 said before or during races, 3 said after a hard workout or big toe hurt or.....  and 1 said every once in a blue moon.

                    I never take ibuprofen or other NSAIDs, but have packed them during long races if I feel I 'need' it.

                    However, my son (who's not a real runner) must take very high doses daily for other reasons (to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis).  He gets his from the pharmacy with much higher mg doses than described in the article, and it has an additive to protect against ulcers. 

                     

                    70% seems very high, but there are chapters pages in the endurance books that speak about NSAID usage MTA: (pros and cons) changed to (when to use it and when not to use it)

                    2014 Goals:

                    #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                    #2: 365 Hours training

                     

                      When I started running to try and lose some weight I had a really hard time figuring out what the term "easy" meant as it applied to running. I had a weight lifter, body builder mentality of "go hard or go home" and "no pain, no gain". I'll admit that it didn't take very long before I was popping an ibuprofin before I could out of bed because I hurt all the time.

                       

                      I figured this was not a normal response to running because if it was, I couldn't understand why people would run at all. I started to search the innerweb for some answers and came across LHR training and RA. I bought into both and finally had something to guide me into understanding what recovery and easy meant. I stopped taking ibuprofin when I learned to slow down and I now embrace the stiffness, soreness of intense high efforts

                       

                      The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                       

                      2014 Goals:

                       

                      Stay healthy

                      Enjoy life

                       

                        Really have to say bullshit on the 70%. Thought the dangers where well know in the last several years.

                         

                        I agree -- the dangers of popping the stuff like candy are hardly a secret. So maybe they are playing games with how they define "70%" to write a sensational lead.

                         

                        Then again, even if it's 7% instead of 70% that's still a lot of people.

                         

                        I use ibuprofen a couple of times a week when my back flares up. But never before a workout. That just doesn't make sense to me. It's like cutting the cord on your phone when you're expecting an important call -- just because it might be bad news.


                        just a simple cat

                          I had a crashing headache after Monkey and tried to get some ibuprofen to take , and not even the EMTs on course would give me any.  You're saying 70% of those runners there were holding out on me?   Angry

                           

                           


                          Needs more cowbell!

                            I'd believe it, maybe.  Some of the cyclists I know carry ziplock baggies full of NSAIDs in their jersey pocket.  I didn't even want any after I busted my wrist last week.  I was worried that I'd be unable to be given meds once I got to the ER and would have to wait to have my bones set.  I didn't have any pain relief for over 2 hours (walked a couple of miles out of the woods, rode in a car 45 minutes to the ER closest to home, waited for a half hour, then triage).  Some people are real pussies.

                            Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                            '14 Goals:

                            • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                              I think I tracked down the source of the 70% claim. It's from a 2009 NYT Phys Ed blog post. Here's the relevant excerpt:

                               

                              Several years ago, David Nieman set out to study racers at the Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile test of human stamina held annually in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The race directors had asked Nieman, a well-regarded physiologist and director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the North Carolina Research Campus, to look at the stresses that the race places on the bodies of participants. Nieman and the race authorities had anticipated that the rigorous distance and altitude would affect runners’ immune systems and muscles, and they did. But one of Nieman’s other findings surprised everyone.

                               

                              After looking at racers’ blood work, he determined that some of the ultramarathoners were supplying their own physiological stress, in tablet form. Those runners who’d popped over-the-counter ibuprofen pills before and during the race displayed significantly more inflammation and other markers of high immune system response afterward than the runners who hadn’t taken anti-inflammatories. The ibuprofen users also showed signs of mild kidney impairment and, both before and after the race, of low-level endotoxemia, a condition in which bacteria leak from the colon into the bloodstream.

                               

                              These findings were “disturbing,” Nieman says, especially since “this wasn’t a minority of the racers.” Seven out of ten of the runners were using ibuprofen before and, in most cases, at regular intervals throughout the race, he says. “There was widespread use and very little understanding of the consequences.

                               

                               

                              This is hardly a run-of-the-mill distance race, and these aren't your everyday runners. But I would be interested to see a study looking at the long-term consequences for heavy ibuprofen users versus non users.

                                I think I tracked down the source of the 70% claim. It's from a 2009 NYT Phys Ed blog post. Here's the relevant excerpt:

                                 

                                 

                                This is hardly a run-of-the-mill distance race, and these aren't your everyday runners. But I would be interested to see a study looking at the long-term consequences for heavy ibuprofen users versus non users.

                                 

                                It would be interesting to compare endurance textbooks (coaches writings) relating to this subject as it progressed from early 1980s to now.  Many endurance athletes follow guidance from those in the know.


                                I've seen it discussed in a couple of the books I've read, and I'm not surprised that people do it.

                                (I don't have the books with me, but I may look at them tonight)

                                2014 Goals:

                                #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                                #2: 365 Hours training

                                 

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