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Punishment Running: Is It Excessive?

By Skylar Alley
On October 8, 2021

Graphic by Alaina Burris





  1. more than is necessary, normal or desirable; immoderate.



Last month, an athlete on the baseball team was rushed to the hospital after passing out while doing punishment running. This led the athletic trainers to ban coaches from permitting athletes to do excessive running, which brings up the question: How much running is excessive running?


According to the University of South Carolina and the Ochsner Health System, the average athlete shouldn’t run more than 20 miles a week, with enough space in between for rest, and to limit your endurance days to no more than an hour for maximum benefits. Exceeding 20 miles a week decreases these benefits and could lead to major health issues down the line.


This dangerous activity can thicken heart tissue, causing fibrosis or scarring, and can result in atrial fibrillation or irregular heartbeat. In a German study published in “The European Heart Journal,” researchers compared the hearts of 108 chronic marathoners and people who do not run regularly in a control group. Despite their active lifestyle, the runners had more coronary plaque buildup, a risk factor for heart disease. It may also lead to blockage in your arteries from “oxidative stress.”


Though the amount of running an athlete does varies from sport to sport -- for example, track runners being more conditioned for long distance than baseball players -- the amount of running that causes lasting damage remains the same.


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