According to Running USA, over half a million people complete a marathon each year. A marathon, by definition, is a long distance running race that is 26.2 miles. It’s incredible that people are pushing themselves to reach high achievements with their physical exercise. Runners benefit from a variety of health benefits, but when you push yourself to extremes there are always negative effects too. We’ve decided to list out some risks of marathon running that you should consider before you take on the lengthy run.

You can scar your heart.

Experts say that 30-60 minutes a day is ideal for daily exercise, but anything beyond that can lead to harmful effects. According to the Telegraph, marathon runners risk long-term damage to their hearts and are at a much greater risk of suffering from a heart attack for up to two years after their race.

You can suffer from loss of bone density.

Although marathon runners seem to be in top health, your bone density can take a hit when you exceed the recommended running amount. A study conducted by Melonie Burrows compared people who ran seldom, frequent, and marathons. She discovered that those that ran the most had the lowest bone density. People used to believe running increased bone density, but that is not the case for extreme runners.

You can experience weight changes.

According to Active, many runners train for a marathon to lose weight, but can actually experience weight gain. A runner becomes accustomed to increased carbohydrate intake which can last after you’re done training. Increased carbohydrate intake and fatigue after a draining marathon causes many runners to experience weight gain.

You can injure your joints.

Osteoarthritis is a hot topic with runners considering the swirl of studies reporting conflicting findings. Currently studies report that moderate running does not lead to osteoarthritis, however marathon runners are highly likely to develop overuse joint injuries. This can deplete the joint of the lubricating glycoproteins, wear away cartilages, and cause micro-fractures.

You can become susceptible to injuries.

According to Active, long distance runners may experience muscle collapse, blisters, muscle strain, exhaustion, and lightheadedness. Even further, intense marathon runners can experience gastrointestinal distress, back pain, and joint pain. An alarming 29-43% of runners develop injuries during training.

At Northeast Nebraska Imaging, we want to make sure you’re always informed! While marathon running can reap many health benefits, it can also create stress on your body which can lead to long-term effects. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of marathon running in order to decide if it is right for you.