Runners popping pain killers!


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Runners popping pain killers!

Postby Conor Dary » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:18 am

Cheats!! Where is the USADA?

By the way, if it hurts you may be doing something wrong.

    As part of her marathon training, Daisy Carranza has taken an over-the counter pain reliever nearly every day for the last several months.

    On race day Sunday, she's prepared to pop at least seven Extra Strength Tylenol capsules: two at the starting line, three at mile 18 — just before the body starts to rebel — and two at the post-race party, to help with recovery.

    "It's a regular thing," said Chicago's Carranza, 31, who is entered in her fourth Bank of America Chicago Marathon. "I have a lot of knee, back and shoulder pain, so I look at Tylenol in the same way as protein bars and Gatorade."

    Like lucky caps and favorite shoes, marathoners often rely on over-the-counter pain relievers to get them through the endless training and the grueling 26.2-mile race. The most popular drugs generally contain acetaminophen — the active ingredient in Carranza's Tylenol — or ibuprofen, part of a class of medicines called NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

    The medicines can be a godsend when taken as directed for headaches, fevers or acute injuries, such as a twisted ankle. But ibuprofen and acetaminophen pose well-documented health risks, especially when they're consumed in large amounts or for an extended time.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct ... 9050.story
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:30 am

Conor Dary wrote:As part of her marathon training, Daisy Carranza has taken an over-the counter pain reliever nearly every day for the last several months.

Why didn't I think of that, back in the day when workouts/races HURT?!
It makes perfect sense, but I do see a danger of over-medicating. Liver damage?
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby gh » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:54 am

note: that link requires registration to read story.
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby Conor Dary » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:01 am

Yea, that is too bad. The story pretty much is about the large number of runners who pop pain killers on a daily basis. Not a good idea. Not only that but counterproductive.

    When taken preventively, pain relievers "have the potential to reduce how well your tissues adapt to the exercise," said Stuart Warden, an associate professor in the Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. "We all know exercise makes muscles bigger, bones stronger and tissues adapt, changing in structure," he said. "NSAIDs block a pathway that's important for that adaptation."

    Athletes in all sports and at all levels swear by over-the-counter painkillers, especially ibuprofen, which is known by its fans as "Vitamin I." A 2008 survey of participants in an Ironman triathlon in Brazil found that almost 60 percent reported using NSAIDs in the three months leading up to the event, according to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Almost half reported taking pills during the race.
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby Pego » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:19 am

Conor Dary wrote:On race day Sunday, she's prepared to pop at least seven Extra Strength Tylenol capsules: two at the starting line, three at mile 18 — just before the body starts to rebel — and two at the post-race party, to help with recovery.


I see at least two glaring problems here. Maximum recommended average daily dose of acetaminophen should not exceed 3 gms/24 hrs (7 pills is 3.5) and we don't know if she takes that amount fairly regularly.
Second, your receptors saturate fairly quickly and you could get more rebound pain if you take it daily for longer periods of time.
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby marknhj » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:26 am

We used to pop ibuprofen like candy, 500mg prescription pills (before they were sold OTC). One of the British docs once told me that a Scottish sprinter had a stomach lining that, "resembled the Mars landscape", due to ibuprofen abuse.

I hope people understand the risk of taking large quantities of NSAIDS drugs. I was always gung-ho in taking them for training aches and pains, injuries and hangovers; often doubling the recommended maximum dose.

Three years ago a close friend got hit on his motorbike and pretty much broke every bone on the right side of his body, including his pelvis. After spending over a year on Vicodin and Oxycontin, he decided he didn't want to fall into the opiate addiction trap and so stopped and switched to Advil. He took large quantities on an as needed basis, often without food. After feeling like he had a bad case of the flu for a few days he suddenly collapsed with internal bleeding, fortunately while staying with friends. Had a large portion of his stomach removed, then it happened again in the hospital. If he'd been home alone he would have died. I now take them with extreme caution.
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby Conor Dary » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:36 am

Wow, interesting and sad, tale.

Another marathoner who might not know the dangers.

    Chicago's Devin Schuyler, 33, said she uses ibuprofen before and sometimes during all runs longer than nine miles. For Sunday's marathon, she plans to take 800 milligrams 30 minutes before the start and another 800 milligrams or so about three hours into the race. The drugs help keep her muscles and joints feeling loose "and to prevent the onslaught of pain that would slow me down," she said.

    When she doesn't take ibuprofen, Schuyler said she feels stiff and sore during the race and her running form falls apart, causing more post-race pain. Plus, "pain can be a distraction — it can really throw my mental game off," she said.

Hardly seems worth it.
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby Conor Dary » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:07 am

Here is obviously a real danger that runners are abusing. And yet no one really cares...as opposed to what happens in a French bike race...seven years ago.
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby gh » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:00 pm

marknhj wrote:We used to pop ibuprofen like candy, 500mg prescription pills (before they were sold OTC). One of the British docs once told me that a Scottish sprinter had a stomach lining that, "resembled the Mars landscape", due to ibuprofen abuse.

I hope people understand the risk of taking large quantities of NSAIDS drugs. I was always gung-ho in taking them for training aches and pains, injuries and hangovers; often doubling the recommended maximum dose. ...


I hasten to clarify that this isn't meant as any kind of personal attack on you, but this is a nice insight to the mind of an Olympic-caliber athlete. If something isn't 100%-against-the-rules and you think it helps you, you're going to throw it down. Even more than you probably should.

Instructive bit of information for those who condemn athletes for taking every kind of supplement under the sun and for being willing to to be talked into something "new" because it's not specifically on the banned list.

Yes, of course there are those who play dumb, but I also believe that many ill-informed athletes get confused and trapped by "similar substance" rules which only somebody with a good knowledge of chemistry can understand.
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby preston » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:15 am

gh wrote:...Instructive bit of information for those who condemn athletes for taking every kind of supplement under the sun and for being willing to to be talked into something "new" because it's not specifically on the banned list.

Agree with you completely, and have debated athletes on this very point ("It's not on the list...!"), but unless an athlete is a chemist then they shouldn't take the risk if they don't know for certain that one of the ADA's won't consider it a similar substance to something that IS on the list. I fundamentally disagree with Pego, who approaches it from the knowledge of a doctor and a medical "will it/can it do harm...is it effective?" frame of reference where I only look at it as whether the rules were violated or not.
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby kuha » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:04 am

Pego wrote:Second, your receptors saturate fairly quickly and you could get more rebound pain if you take it daily for longer periods of time.


This is a very real thing and demands cold-turkey withdrawal.
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby 502CD » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:24 am

Marathons are supposesd to hurt. One of the big joys of finishing when you gave your all is knowing you perservered through the pain not only during the race but during the training.
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby no one » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:38 am

Maybe apples and oranges but 'in the day' cortisone was the 'treatment of choice' issued by many major school athletic programs, including track. Long term effects = ?. it is a steroid, no? Masking agent.

Have a good friend who was a 440 (dates me), 880, miler type attending a major university. He developed some kind of ankle problems that severely inhibited training and running. Staff Doc prescribed cortisone shots .... up to 6x per week. He ran, and limped, and did better than OK (All American multiple times) When I asked him why he 'allowed' that he replied something to the effect " I was a sophomore - a kid, on scholarship at a big school - I didn't feel like I could say anything." 4-6 shots in the ankle for 3 years, to a young fairly naive kid in the 60s. He's not naive any more. He never ran without pain wore 'special shoes' - win one for the gipper. A piece of meat, as he described. He watched many come and go through the treadmill.

He left school immediately after his last final of his Sr yr, giving up his last race in the conference final and a sure bet to go to the NCs with a decent bet to win there. I had mixed feelings - obligation v last chance to express his opposition to 3-4 yrs of maltreatment/abuse.

I guess my point is partially that sometimes its not so much the runner (and I'm not excusing and realize this is a different time) as it is 'the system' that profligates this whole scenario. Coaches and 'systems' have pretty significant influence on young 'kids' wanting to achieve, to please, and to belong. Contrarians are all to quickly labeled malcontents, trouble makers, and difficult etc.

And, given all that - I don't know if stuff like I've described still takes place
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby no one » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:10 pm

or maybe not all that releveant
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby lapsus » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:11 am

An interesting anecdote for sure.

Perhaps somewhat related to runners popping pain killers, a story that the Finnish YLE aired in the late 90s (and that popped up again recently):

In an interview of now-deceased August Kiuru, old-time skier and later (60s and 70s) one of the national team trainers, gave a reason for one of the skier retirements in the Sapporo Olympics. The testing for amphetamines was supposed to start in Sapporo, and Kiuru no longer provided a "special" drink late in races to give a boost to the end like he apparently used to do for some of the skiers.

At least one of the old guard of the Finnish cross-country skiers had apparently become too used to getting a methamphetamine boost. So when he heard from Kiuru that there was nothing "special" available at 40 km (of a 50 km race), he immediately retired, even though his time was among the leaders at that point.

Now, that anecdote was clearly on the wrong side of ethics, doping morality, fair play, and so on, but while popping pain killers is perhaps on the allowed side in sport, the mentality is a bit similar. After all, in my understanding the performance improving effects of amphetamine are more like the effects of pain killers ("lying" to the the body so that it doesn't really feel its own condition) than the effects of steroids or blood doping (clear, real, long-term performance increase).
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby DrJay » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:33 am

Conor Dary wrote:Wow, interesting and sad, tale.

Another marathoner who might not know the dangers.

    Chicago's Devin Schuyler, 33, said she uses ibuprofen before and sometimes during all runs longer than nine miles. For Sunday's marathon, she plans to take 800 milligrams 30 minutes before the start and another 800 milligrams or so about three hours into the race. The drugs help keep her muscles and joints feeling loose "and to prevent the onslaught of pain that would slow me down," she said.

    When she doesn't take ibuprofen, Schuyler said she feels stiff and sore during the race and her running form falls apart, causing more post-race pain. Plus, "pain can be a distraction — it can really throw my mental game off," she said.

Hardly seems worth it.


I'd argue she's experiencing a placebo effect. "Muscles and joints feeling loose"? From ibuprofen? Doubtful. And the "onslaught of pain"? Oh what drama!
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby Conor Dary » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:27 am

DrJay wrote:
I'd argue she's experiencing a placebo effect. "Muscles and joints feeling loose"? From ibuprofen? Doubtful. And the "onslaught of pain"? Oh what drama!


In all my many years of running and staying pretty injury free, when something really hurt I usually was doing something wrong. I rarely took even an aspirin. One of the joys of running and racing long distance, was finding the balance between running fast while staying relaxed. Certainly you were glad to get the race over with, but for the most part it was a great experience.

And on the other hand so many of the jogger types seem to just go headlong into it and if it hurts I need a pill. Poor technique, running with water bottles in their hands, ipods to distract them.
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Re: Runners popping pain killers!

Postby Conor Dary » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:35 am

lapsus wrote:

but while popping pain killers is perhaps on the allowed side in sport, the mentality is a bit similar.


Of course they are similar, if not identical. Taking either one helps your performance. One is a sidebar story. The other is the second coming of Tony Montana, or at least that is how it is being portrayed.
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