- Running a marathon is as traumatic for your body as having heart surgery
- The Many Ways Running a Marathon Destroys Your Body
- Running IS bad for you! Marathon runners 'at greater risk of fatal kidney disease'
- Marathon running could be bad for your health
The total mileage of my solo runs across the United States, Montana, Germany, Alaska, and the Mojave Desert from 2006-2011 was 5,386 miles -- the equivalent of 206 marathons in 184 days on the road (all while pushing 80 pounds of gear in a support stroller)! Of course, there was also about 7,000 training miles during those 5 years.
If I were to believe all of the doomsday articles written about marathoning, I could possibly convince myself that all of the marathons I accomplished in my 40's have permanently damaged my body and decreased my lifespan. However, I don't buy it! Sadly, headlines (like those above) can discourage potential marathoners from ever approaching the starting line.
My advice to anyone interested in researching marathon running with an aim of possibly taking on the challenge is to read quality studies from reputable institutions. Don't let some 'scary' headlines keep you from experiencing one of the most wonderful goals in running. Train smart, have a check up with your physician beforehand, and enjoy the 26.2-mile journey -- a journey that millions of people have successfully taken since the first marathon distance was accomplished in 490 BC.