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Marathons, why you shouldn’t run one

Marathons, why you shouldn’t run one unprepared

The main idea here is that it is really dangerous to run a marathon if your body is not really prepared and strong to endure the effort and distance.

It is safe to do it when you are strong.

Now let’s clarify these statements.

Marathons are known as the ultimate test for athletes. It is the ultimate even at the Olympics.

It is known as a hard test for will, passion, and endurance.

marathon finish line

Marathons are not an “experience.” Are an endurance test

Jumping from an airplane is an experience; everyone can do it in a safe way. Go, pay and jump. Bucket list item check.

airplane jump

Much more than an edurance test, marathon are an efficiency test. The most efficent runner wins.

You may think that it´s about cadence, rhythm, speed, and strategy. That is what you see. The part that you won’t get to see is how that stress affects your entire body.

As the miles pass, it taxes your body. So it is about how much you can endure maintaining an efficient rhythm and pace.

But most important, how efficient is your entire body handling that type of stress?

You don´t get healthy training for a marathon.

The main strategy is how much you can push your body at a certain pace without getting injured. Without your body shooting down and entering survival mode

That is what professional, paid athletes do.

Running is a repetitive movement that puts a lot of pressure on your joints, muscles, and ligaments. That it is a simple explanation.

knees injury

As you get tired, lose your running form, or get slower and slower as the miles pass, it is the less of your problems.

I am going to quote two studies, One from Eric Larose, presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2010, CANADIAN STUDY, and the other one presented by Yale university in 2017. YALE STUDY


Eric Larose’s research found that the magnitude of abnormal heart segments was more widespread and significant in a group of less fit runners.

This means that, during the marathon, they had signs that the heart might be at greater risk of damage than runners who had better training or at least had better exercise capacity.

Without proper training, marathon running can damage your heart. Fortunately, the exercise-induced injury is reversible over time,” said Dr. Larose. “But it could take up to three months to completely recover.”

When it comes to marathons, the danger here is going from a relatively sedentary lifestyle to suddenly put in a grueling number of miles to train for a 26.2-mile race.


This is what freaks your body out and can cause cortisol levels to shoot up. So, if you do insist on training for a marathon, build mileage gradually.

Back in 2017, researchers at Yale found that an alarming 82 percent of marathon participants suffered from a kidney injury that left them unable to filter waste products from the blood. This is known as stage 1 acute kidney injury. Essentially, it means that kidney cells become damaged by the lack of blood flow to the organs during a race and the loss of fluid volume. Runners’ kidneys typically recover within two days. Yet, it raises the question of whether completing multiple marathons and the high mileage training involved could cause chronic or even permanent kidney damage.

kindney injuries in runners

The list of risks are

  • Create plaque buildup in the arteries and inflammation.
  • Chronically increased cortisol levels, resulting in weight gain, fatigue, and lower immune function.
  • The increased oxygen intake involved with running marathons can cause oxidative DNA damage.
  • The repetitive muscle contractions associated with marathon training and racing can also cause muscular damage. Studies have suggested that competitive endurance events result in an increase of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase. These chemical compounds are indicators of the extent of skeletal muscle cell damage.



Endurance sports are a serious deal that needs knowledge, planning, patience, time, and maturity.

And What that means for the recreational runner is that building endurance in a SAFE and healthy way takes much more time than the merely 12-18 weeks that the average runner takes for training.

If you cannot run a half marathon in less than 2 hours. To be on the healthy side, you should get stronger before trying to increase your distance.

I suggest you read this article about how to get at your best  Key Running Metrics . Be healthier stronger faste

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