I have stated previously in these pages that I while I respect and admire the exercise of running, I have even considered taking it up to get more weight-bearing exercise, I think that on-balance marathons damage the body and should be avoided. Since October is the beginning of marathon season, I wanted to put this out.
Dr. Mercola says, “Several recent studies have indicated that conventional cardio, especially endurance exercises such as marathon running can pose significant risks to your heart. It can result in acute volume overload, inflammation, thickening and stiffening of the heart muscle and arteries, arterial calcification, arrhythmias, and potentially sudden cardiac arrest and stroke—the very things you’re trying to avoid by exercising. ”
Here’s what Dr. Jake Emmett, Ph.D. had to say on the Marathon and Beyond website, “As if hitting The Wall wasn’t worry enough, running a marathon can be a musculoskeletal nightmare as well. It takes between 30,000 and 50,000 steps to run a marathon. Every time the foot hits the ground, a stress three to four times body weight is absorbed by the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. Also, with each stride, some muscles contract to propel the body forward while others control the degree of movement by being lengthened. The lengthening or eccentric contractions are notorious for damaging the muscle’s infrastructure. As a result, muscle damage and inflammation can remain for seven days after having run a marathon, while repair of muscle fibers can take three to 12 weeks. It’s not surprising then that post-marathon data have found “stiffness or pain” in 65 to 92 percent of marathon runners.”