2015 Study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology expounds the virtues of “slow running”

I have three speeds when I run: Slow, Slower, and Stop.

My kids say I waddle.

To be honest, last winter, when I visited a Physical Therapist due to an injury, he performed a video gait analysis. When he showed me the video admittedly, I do kind of waddle, and I certainly run slow.

On vacation, one of my favorite things to do is explore the area by taking an early morning run. I always find you get a true feeling for a place before the hustle of the day begins. On one of those days, my twelve-year-old son decided he would wake up early and go on the run.  After barely a half mile, he couldn’t take it; I wasn’t running fast enough for him, so he ran back to the rental house.

One time, after a trail race, I decided to look up my finishing time. When I found my name on the list of finishers, I found that I had finished two places behind a runner who was 30 years my senior.

But there is hope

I recently heard about a 2015 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that expounded the virtues of “slow running.”

The Danish researchers who completed the study: Dose of Jogging and Long-Term Mortality: The Copenhagen City Heart Study, stated, “strenuous joggers have a mortality rate not statistically different from that of the sedentary group.”

Another surprise in the study was, “compared with sedentary nonjoggers, 1 to 2.4 hours of jogging per week was associated with the lowest mortality……The optimal pace was slow or average.”

That is great news for us slow plodding waddlers; we tend to live longer than those rabbits and gazelles who run much faster.

So I’ll keep shuffling along at my modest pace and be happy to be out there.

One such example of a slow and steady runner is Bob Hayes. Bob is 89 and began his running career when he was 61 years old. Since then, Hayes has completed roughly 30 races each year, ranging in distance from 5k road runs to 50k trail ultramarathons.

If you need proof that the slow and steady pace is right for you, check out the movie trailer about Mr. Hayes, The Hardway Documentary.


Mr. Bob Hayes: Photo Courtesy of Erik Petersen

Phillip Potenziano

About Phillip Potenziano

In addition to blogging, Dr. Potenziano works as an Assistant Superintendent, and volunteers on the board of a southern Maine local non-profit. He is happily nestled just north of Portland, with his 3 kids, a wife and lots of projects awaiting his attention. He loves early morning runs, donuts and sometimes coffee. Two lessons he tries to remember are: "Every man is my superior in that I may learn from him" and "At the moment of commitment, the entire universe conspires to assure your success."