Warning: Running a Marathon Can Seriously Harm Your Health

by Paula Jager FitnessComments: 227

Have you ever noticed that the marathon runners in the Olympics look like concentration camp victims?

Have you ever wondered why marathons are considered “healthy” in our society yet the first man that ever ran one collapsed and died immediately after?

Yeah, and Pheidippides was fit too, likely selected for his job as a herald due to his speed and distance running ability – not some ancient Greek version of the modern couch potato.

While life may be a marathon your training program should not be. Running a half or whole marathon or competing in a triathlon are all admirable goals. But there are many dangers associated with excessive endurance training.

Dating as far back as the 1970’s, the misconception of mainstream training philosophies that 45 minutes to an hour or more a day of intense aerobic activity has led to an overtrained, unfit, immune-compromised exercising population.

Man was not designed for movement at a chronically sustained high intensity aerobic pace. We’ve all seen it in the local globo gym–day in and day out, week after week Jane and John plod away on the treadmills and ellipticals or pedal themselves into exhaustion in spin classes. It has done nothing to shed the extra fat on their butts and guts let alone tone them. I have never been impressed by any of these results.

 What exactly are the problems caused by training for long periods of times at high intensities such as what occurs during a marathon? Several things. . .

  • Debilitating osteoarthritis . . . at young ages
  • Tendonitis and other repetitive strain injuries
  • Recurrent upper respiratory infections
  • Increased oxidative damage (free radical production)
  • Decreased fat metabolism
  • Susceptibility to injury
  • Loss of bone density
  • Depletion of lean muscle tissue
  • Coupled with the common high refined carbohydrate intake promotes a dangerous level of continuous systemic inflammation.

Eeek! Sounds like a workout gone very bad to me and the sad part is the intentions of this exercising population are good; they are doing this all in the name of “health.”–they are not out to destroy it.

Aside from the disastrous results mentioned above why is high intensity aerobic pursuit such a dead end? One reason is the high level of carbohydrates consumed needed to sustain this activity leads to chronic inflammation. You’ve all seen it–Sally and Johnny are running a 5 K so they load up on a big bowl of pasta the night before and chow down on bagels and juice immediately after their 36 min 5 K. Type 2 here we come.

But quite simply because man was not designed (evolved) to work like this; we have 2 primary energy systems to power our muscles. The first relies on the slow burning of fats keeping us fueled while at rest yet allowing for continuous low level aerobic activity such as walking, gardening and day to day physical tasks. Fat is a very efficient fuel, stored and burned easily and cleanly when lots of oxygen is present

Our second primary energy system that evolved is an ATP fueled system that allows us to do intense loads of work in shorts bursts. It is our high octane fuel. Think of the woman that lifts a car off her child trapped beneath it. Or the person that sprints after a mugger to get their wallet back. In other words all out effort for fewer than 20 seconds; flight or fight and life or death tasks and situations.

Our energy systems are far more complex than that but it boils to the fact that we were evolved to either move slowly and steadily or briefly and fast and we become both healthier and stronger by exercising and living in this manner.

All being said there are still people out there that want to run a half or whole marathon or a triathlon and there is a better and smarter way to train for it while avoiding the negative risks mentioned above. The days of logging mileage in excess of 20+ a week are rapidly becoming archaic. And so is the weak and skinny appearance of the stereotypical endurance athlete.

Many are finding that by incorporating strength and conditioning workouts into their training routine along with shorter more interval based training they are improving speed, power and overall performance along with reducing injury potential. Not to mention having a lot more free time, fewer injuries and no long term scarring/damage to the heart.

This has been hotly debated but well documented in the past several years. Leading the pack in the defense is CF Endurance’s Brian MacKenzie www.crossfitendurance.com. His training has many top level endurance athletes setting personal records far above past efforts with a dramatic reduction in training time and mileage.

Fitness can and should be achieved without the need for pounding the pavement for miles on end, a huge daily time commitment, and a long list of extreme risks to health both short and long term.


Paula Jager CSCS and Level 1 CrossFit and CF Nutrition Certified is the owner of CrossFit Jaguar in Tampa, FL

Her exercise and nutrition programs yield life changing results.

Comments (227)

  • Pascal Landshoeft

    I agree with the article and therefore also do crossfit. I discussed similar topics in this blog post: http://www.marathon-crossfit.com/blog/what-happens-to-my-body-when-i-run-a-marathon All the best Pascal

    March 16th, 2015 5:05 pm Reply
    • KH

      At age 52 and 6’5″ 190 lbs. I have since discovered that “moderation” is indeed the secret to fitness. Having completed 17 marathons between 2:58 – 3:36 in my late 30’s/ early 40’s along with an 11 hour Ironman Triathlon, and in a prior life mid 20’s to mid 30’s engaged in a cross-fit lifestyle with a 500 lb dead lift & 245 lb power clean. While I commiserate with a Runner’s “passion” … I must say the Long-Term effects of LONG distance running definitely IMPACT the joints. Now, I find myself living a life a “hybrid” fitness, casual running (under 5 miles) mountain biking (hills), swimming, and moderate kettlebell work (40 – 70 lbs) to attain short bursts of intensity- 10 minutes snatches. I guess everyone wants to “push the envelope” and get that endorphin rush…. BUT really the goal of fitness is to be FIT for the LONG-TERM …. strength, flexibility, stamina into our 70’s, 80’s and hopefully beyond. Every time I see my 93 year old neighbor walking all over town that’s my GOAL (Mobility)- NOT to be in my 60’s in a wheel chair or hobbling along with a cane due to excessive running or weight lifting. Be REALISTIC understanding our bodies are indeed FINITE …. Carpe Diem!

      April 16th, 2015 7:13 pm Reply
  • Cinthia

    Hello! Have you seen a marathon lately? Kara Goucher? Shalane Flanagan? These women are beautiful and not a bit scrawny. They have ab muscles and thigh muscles and lord, watching them run is like watching beauty in action.
    As a woman in her 50s who runs marathons and is training for a 50-mile race, I have to say that my body hasn’t fallen apart, I don’t look like a concentration camp victim and my diet doesn’t consist of huge plates of pasta, either. (And please–your reference about carbo loading for a 5K? Who does that? You body doesn’t need extra glycogen for such a short distance.)
    I’m think that the real reason why most CrossFit instructors probably dislike running is that it costs almost nothing! You can do it almost anywhere! All you need is a good pair of shoes!
    Yeah, not a lot of CrossFit instructors making money off of running, eh?
    P.S. There is a HUGE difference between running an 11.5 mile race and a marathon, honey.

    March 13th, 2015 8:09 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Kara and Shalane are scrawny and very unhealthy looking to me.

      March 13th, 2015 8:55 am Reply
    • Juliana

      Wow, I just Googled on those two women’s names because I was unfamiliar with them. Wow, just…wow. They really do look like concentration camp victims. My God.

      April 23rd, 2015 4:17 pm Reply
      • mosestewelde

        You are either obese or used to the stereotypical American so-called healthy lifestyle, where they incorporate all the animal junk and fast foods. Look at the Asian and African athletes and people in general for a moment. When compared to the them, it is a far fetched claim to say that Americans are even close to healthy. I wonder why they are much more fit and perform way better than what you refer to as healthy. Do your own research, man was not designed for animal products.

        May 5th, 2015 12:45 pm Reply
    • Bear

      I’d have to agree. They have beautiful faces but it is apparent from their arms and bodies that they are underweight.

      I also agree there is a HUGE difference between a 11.5 mile race and a marathon: A 11.5 mile race is fairly damaging to your joints, whereas a marathon (and the detrimental training required to get to that level) is EXTREMELY DAMAGING.

      May 5th, 2015 12:59 pm Reply
    • Scott

      That’s a bunch of bull. Sure, women have big fat hips and thighs no matter what but they do start to look almost more linemen after running a lot. Their cheek bones and body start to look weird and bony with thick thighs. The truth of the matter is ALL long distance running damages your internal organs without a doubt and they were never meant to strain so long to begin with. Go on now and act like you are in shape by running then try some kettle bells and cross fit and you will see how your heart can truly pump and endure. It’s funny listening to people who run, sure it doesn’t cost anything but the fact that all runners like it when cars drive by and watch them “run” and be “in shape” in front of the world. It’s a super narcissistic excercise that says “look at me everyone! I’m running, therefore I’m in shape”.

      July 28th, 2015 8:49 pm Reply
      • Amy

        Perhaps they are just running outside because they like the outdoors and need a place to run. That is not at all narcissistic… and when you are in your zone, frankly, you don’t give a darn about who is or isn’t driving by as long as they are no on their cell phones swerving at you because they’re distracted. And, no, most woman runners do not want the honks or waves. thank you. Finally, it is cheap… no $ other than shoes… so running outside might be because some of us don’t have the $ for a gym membership and monthly fees. I call it that I belong to the “gym of the great outdoors.” It’s be nice if folks could hold off on the judgments.

        July 6th, 2016 11:59 pm Reply
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  • Larry Towne

    Interesting. This article seems to differ from what you are say.

    July 24th, 2014 10:22 am Reply
    • erika meng

      Not yours’ Larry, Paula’s.

      January 20th, 2015 4:59 pm Reply
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  • Clell Adams

    Articles like this always need to have balancing facts. And the photo shown is one of a 60 year old vs. a 25 year old. Not a good comparison. Besides, how many people look like the 25 year old other than college or professional football (American) players. How high are his testosterone levels?

    Just too much to try and say here. It’s not running a marathon that is dangerous. It’s wrong training methods and wrong eating habits.

    And all this talk about how we chased animals 100 million years ago; no one here knows that.

    April 30th, 2014 9:49 am Reply
    • Clell Adams

      If I may add. The 25 year old is a 100 – 200 meter sprinter max. Compare him to a 400 meter specialist, and then a 800 meter, 1500 meter, etc. and you will find that he is doing what he is best suited for. 99% of people could train all they want to and never, never look anywhere close to his physique.

      April 30th, 2014 9:52 am Reply
    • Me

      The long distance runner is Janne Holmen and that picture was taken in 2006 when he was 28.

      June 13th, 2014 7:24 am Reply
    • Bear

      You’d THINK he was 60 years old, but the truth is you just MADE THAT UP to prove your point, which means on top of being a LIAR, you are WRONG. The picture is of Janne Holmen who even NOW isn’t even 40!


      So much for your “balancing facts”. Lies can be an effective way of pretending like you’re right, but only if other people don’t have access to the truth. So be careful in your future bullshitting and good luck!

      May 5th, 2015 1:10 pm Reply
  • Kaydee

    Have you ever trained for or ran a marathon? Just curious. I agree with you saying that logging loads and loads of mileage on in a training program may lead to injury, most of those injuries being doing too much too soon, but running and training properly for marathons is not bad for you. I’d love to see an article about all the debilitating injuries that have happened doing Crossfit… I’ve known young people that have permanently ruined their backs from lifting WAY too much weight too soon, and further screwing up their backs from kipping on pull ups because they were trying to finish the workout faster during an AMRAP workout… You can spout out all day long how running is bad, Crossfit is bad, etc… Any type of physical activity has injuries associated with them. It’s all about being smart with training and yes nutrition. But please don’t give running, or training for marathons a bad rep. I’d love to see a Crossfit person run a 2:08 marathon like Meb did at Boston on Monday… Yea not gonna happen. You know what his pre race meal is? Pasta. And lots of it. Just because not everyone eats Paleo, doesn’t mean they are carb loading on doughnuts or pastries either…..as a marathon runner I’m very cautious about what I’m putting into my body for fuel and recovery, and if you knew more about marathon training, you’d find that the majority of runners are conscientious about what they are putting into their bodies… I think you should do some more research in the area of marathon training and maybe run a few yourself before you write an article like this clearly based off of your opinion, making assumptions and generalizing running and marathon training. Maybe doing that can be your “WOD” (Crossfit lingo for workout of the day)

    April 24th, 2014 1:29 am Reply
  • Kaydee Tha Lady via Facebook

    Have you ever trained for or ran a marathon? Just curious. I agree with you saying that logging loads and loads of mileage on in a training program may lead to injury, most of those injuries being doing too much too soon, but running and training properly for marathons is not bad for you. I’d love to see an article about all the debilitating injuries that have happened doing Crossfit… I’ve known young people that have permanently ruined their backs from lifting WAY too much weight too soon, and further screwing up their backs from kipping on pull ups because they were trying to finish the workout faster during an AMRAP workout… You can spout out all day long how running is bad, Crossfit is bad, etc… Any type of physical activity has injuries associated with them. It’s all about being smart with training and yes nutrition. But please don’t give running, or training for marathons a bad rep. I’d love to see a Crossfit person run a 2:08 marathon like Meb did at Boston on Monday… Yea not gonna happen. You know what his pre race meal is? Pasta. And lots of it. Just because not everyone eats Paleo, doesn’t mean they are carb loading up on doughnuts or pastries either….. I think you should just do some more research in the area of marathon training and maybe run a few yourself before you write an article like this making assumptions and generalizing running and marathon training. Maybe doing that can be your “WOD” (workout of the day Crossfit lingo)

    April 24th, 2014 1:10 am Reply
    • Paula

      Actually I’ve run a Tough Mudder (11.5 miles); using a CF Endruance training template which worked well. I personally do not enjoy long distance running. I didn’t say “running and training properly” is bad for you should one desire to run a marathon. It’s the people that log excessively and do too many miles that end up with the negative effects and injuries.

      Any exercise program–CF and weightlifting included when done improperly or too much too soon can certainly result in injuries. Kipping pull ups should never be done before one has the strength and shoulder stability to do strict pull ups.

      You get good at what you train for. Mainstream CF is not intended for marathon runners but for general physical preparedness. A combination of the 2 can greatly benefit the distance runner saving time and minimizing injuries.

      I don’t put a “Paleo” or “Primal” label on my nutrition; I eat traditional healthy real food. And if you think a bowl of genetically modified processed wheat is healthy perhaps you should do some nutritional research.

      April 24th, 2014 6:17 am Reply
  • Laura

    Shame on you. Poor timing, poor taste, lacking sources…. On Boston weekend? Running makes people happy. It releases endorphins. The finish line of a marathon trumps the finish of any WOD for some people, and to post this stereotypical generalization of anyone that runs marathons is offensive, and is exactly what gives Crossfit a bad name. I love both, but I’m tired of the holier than thou attitude that Crossfitters often project. And, to talk about the “appearance” of runners… Really? People are born with different body types, different amounts of fast and slow twitch muscles. Skinny dudes are great, if it’s natural and healthy. Chicks with bulky muscles are great, if it’s natural and healthy. And, lastly, why don’t you go run a marathon…. Before preaching about how unhealthy it is.

    April 22nd, 2014 10:11 am Reply
  • Bay Ley via Facebook

    So interesting! People always say training for a marathon is so healthy and will add years to your life. Even if that’s true, they’re likely to spend all of that time if not more, running. Lol, no thank you!

    April 21st, 2014 2:45 pm Reply
  • Nina Hewitt via Facebook

    This seems in bad taste on marathon weekend, esp promoted by crossfit trainers that make money on these “facts.”

    April 21st, 2014 7:52 am Reply
  • Jacqui

    Your assuming that people evolved. Evidence is showing that people are actually devolving and that the primary source of energy that the human body likes to run on is carbs – sugars, starches…

    April 21st, 2014 12:58 am Reply
    • Jon

      There is absolutely NO evidence that shows or even suggests that people are ‘devolving’. ‘Devolving’ isn’t a thing that is possible – you, like many people, have been the victim of poor teaching on the subject of ‘evolution’. Evolution merely means that a type of organism is changing through random mutation over many generations – it doesn’t necessarily mean that the type of organism is improving through random mutation over many generations.

      April 8th, 2015 7:29 am Reply
  • Lux Louisa via Facebook

    I watched a great set of videos by an isometrics expert and he was also talking about how damaging to the heart running can be.

    April 21st, 2014 12:54 am Reply
  • Maria @ The Good Life

    This is a very broad generalization about half marathoning and marathoning. While many people have had injuries (myself included) I can tell you it is because they are either increasing their mileage ridiculously fast not having run a marathon before or are not following a proper training (that includes strength and conditioning training nor a proper nutrition plan that supports the body through the training. I just think the generalizations made about long distance running are very broad.

    April 20th, 2014 10:49 pm Reply
    • Maria @ The Good Life

      By the way, the fact that this was written by a Crossfit trainer says a lot about it. Nothing personally against them but they are well known for advocating against any type of long distance running.

      April 21st, 2014 10:26 am Reply
  • Whitney E Kamal via Facebook

    *on the subject of nutrition, etc.

    April 20th, 2014 9:19 pm Reply
  • Whitney E Kamal via Facebook

    Seriously?!?!?! Maybe for some people, yes. But, on the subject of injuries, I have seen them occur with other sports as well. Shaking my head in disbelief.. Take care of your body~ inside and out. If an injury occurs, seek medical advice sooner rather than later. Educate yourself nutrition, etc..

    April 20th, 2014 9:19 pm Reply
  • Health, Wellness & Lemongrass Spa with Nicole via Facebook

    Wow! I’m learning so much having Hypothyroidism!

    April 20th, 2014 7:07 pm Reply
  • Crystal Topham Coston via Facebook

    However, after my wedding day and the births of my five children, the day I completed a full marathon ranks up there as one of the greatest days of my life! It made me realize more than anything else I’ve ever set out to do that with hard work I’m capable of amazing things. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I have no regrets

    April 20th, 2014 5:00 pm Reply
  • Dana Stone Woodward via Facebook

    Although, I’ve seen plenty of injuries from running in my practice, I see them from all sorts of athletic activities too. I agree, no blanket statement for the whole population. Husband loses weight from running and it makes me store fat faster :p

    April 20th, 2014 4:27 pm Reply
  • Jason Bo-bason via Facebook

    Tarahuara Indians and the book Born to Run would beg to differ. Also, why make a blanket stmt about all people? It’s like saying everyone should be vegan or paleo. Maybe some people are suited to long distances and some aren’t.

    April 20th, 2014 4:18 pm Reply
  • Tressa Campbell Doordan via Facebook

    Every human body metabolizes/ handles stress differently( ie training for endurance events). As a “has been” marathoner and triathlete, I can no longer handle these types of events. My body falls apart and feels fatigued for days despite a nourishing diet. As with most things health related- listen and trust what your body is telling you.

    April 20th, 2014 12:32 pm Reply
  • Kristin Kauffman via Facebook

    I do crossfit and endurance events. Ive done long distance triathlon and marathons for almost 10 years. I will tell you that I believe some of this is true but endurance athletes are a different breed and love what they do! It is enjoyable to them and the smart ones train properly and eat properly. There are always outliers but you can’t tell someone to stop an activity they love doing so much based on that.

    April 20th, 2014 12:27 pm Reply
  • Kelly Gilluly Weyd via Facebook

    I love biking and swimming……makes me happy!!!! To me being happy is important.

    April 20th, 2014 12:08 pm Reply
  • Robin Marzano via Facebook

    Really really enjoy your page, blog and YT videos. I’m learning so much!!!! Thank you :)

    April 20th, 2014 12:07 pm Reply
  • Joan Giden via Facebook

    This article sounds like a bunch of crock…

    April 20th, 2014 11:59 am Reply
  • Jennifer Landers via Facebook

    Curtis Landers

    April 20th, 2014 10:38 am Reply
  • Patricia Rashed via Facebook

    If you can’t run it, don’t!

    April 20th, 2014 10:12 am Reply
  • Patricia Rashed via Facebook

    What a crock.

    April 20th, 2014 10:12 am Reply
  • Riley Camp via Facebook

    This is silly. Go home HHE.

    April 20th, 2014 8:42 am Reply
  • Paula

    It might be the 3rd re post but some things bear repeating. “Man was not designed for movement at a chronically sustained high intensity aerobic pace.” – continue to over do and most people will at some point find themselves with the above mentioned negative effects.

    Nothing wrong with running long and slow if you enjoy it–done in moderation and in conjunction with other activities. It can help facilitate recovery and clear the mind.

    Participating in a triathlon or marathon if desired can be done with minimal damage to the body provided the training is intelligent and adequate recovery periods are factored in between events.

    The picture may be extreme and is meant to make a point but it’s most on the mark. Your training will dictate what the body will look like along with your genetics.

    April 20th, 2014 8:33 am Reply
  • Stacey Hollen via Facebook

    Two things: 1. Where are your references for the info provided. 2. Oh yeah, that’s right. Of course, she’s a CrossFitter. **walking advertisement for CF**

    April 20th, 2014 8:30 am Reply
  • Samantha Cohen Tamulis via Facebook

    A lot of assumptions being made in these comments… I trained for a marathon in my postpartum year after my first child was born. My bladder strength and control improved, I had no joint issues, and I was able to get pregnant within weeks of the race. I honored my body through the training process. I ate so well. I was so in touch with how food made me feel. I ran at a pace that worked for me. And when I crossed the finish line I felt insensible joy. I learned a lot about myself that day. I come back to that moment often to remind myself how strong I am after a life of doubting. I came back to it when I birthed my second child naturally after a long labor. The psychological benefits themselves were enough! I could go on. There are good and less good ways to do everything. Excess is always a possibility. But a marathon in and of itself, moving your body for 26.2 miles, I don’t think is inherently excessive.

    April 20th, 2014 8:00 am Reply
  • Ruth Lyman via Facebook

    Love you Heather!

    April 20th, 2014 7:54 am Reply
    • alex

      Mary Ruth ? Lyman..please contact me via e mail..thanks..Dr Kondic

      June 11th, 2014 4:06 pm Reply
  • Chris Nagy via Facebook

    How about a post now on how runners can heal faster and reduce inflammation by grounding or earthing….
    I brought my grounding sheet to Boston!

    April 20th, 2014 7:43 am Reply
  • Chris Nagy via Facebook

    Running Boston tomorrow and can’t wait! I’ll guess I’ll just have to take this risk. I do pretty much every other over the top natural granola thing there is…
    Boston Strong!

    April 20th, 2014 7:41 am Reply
  • Hilary Cassady via Facebook

    “The best way to exercise” , “is far more enjoyable” is just an opinion not to mention the photo-come on HHE! I’ve run a marathon, sometimes things are just about challenging yourself and feeding your soul rather than worrying every minute about dropping dead! Coming across that finish line was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done! Carry on runners :)

    April 20th, 2014 7:27 am Reply
  • Carrie Weldy via Facebook

    Boston Marathon is my 11th tomorrow with 36,000 of my friends & it won’t be my last! :) Boston Strong

    April 20th, 2014 5:59 am Reply
  • Colleen Neider via Facebook


    April 20th, 2014 5:34 am Reply
  • Vanessa Barry via Facebook


    April 20th, 2014 5:27 am Reply
  • Kaoutar Haloti via Facebook

    Loubna Haddad Tijani Haloti

    April 20th, 2014 4:31 am Reply
  • Sarah Lynn via Facebook

    roxanne great points. the least talked about eating disorder is the one where an atheliete is not getting adequete nutrition. it’s never discussed that athletics related injuries are a result of malnutrition. a sign that you are not giving the body what it needs to do what it needs to do. its the. number one reason for shin splints and other running rekated injurues.

    April 20th, 2014 3:35 am Reply
  • Vanessa Askew via Facebook

    Vaughn Lowe FYI for Fofo

    April 20th, 2014 3:29 am Reply
  • Vanessa Askew via Facebook

    Angie Askew

    April 20th, 2014 3:27 am Reply
  • Rachel Faralan-Mingo via Facebook

    No need for running!

    April 20th, 2014 3:09 am Reply
  • Roxanne Rieske via Facebook

    What this article fails to realize is that A LOT of olympic marathoners are heavily encouraged by their coaches to maintain abnormally thin weights in the misguided belief that it will lead to more endurance (which it doesn’t). So, are these health ramifications listed in the article really the result of marathon running/endurance training or the result of long term eating disorders combined with intense training? I would go with the latter. Oh, and I’m not a runner in any stretch of the word. I hike, swim, and do a couple stints on the eliptical machine a few times a week (it’s easy on the joints), but no more than 30 minutes at a time. Generally, olympians are not doing their sports for “health” reasons. They are in to win a gold medal. They know the long term health risks of the intense training they do, and they are willing to accept the risk for the chance at a gold medal.

    April 20th, 2014 3:04 am Reply
  • Sarah Lynn via Facebook

    well you guys know anything and everything in excess is bad for you right? with this said the healthy home economist likes being controvercial and always has.

    April 20th, 2014 2:37 am Reply
  • Kimberly Costello via Facebook

    Mariam Rafigh

    April 20th, 2014 2:36 am Reply
  • Tiffany Hoffman via Facebook

    Great info! Good to know!

    April 20th, 2014 2:34 am Reply
  • Pam La Turno Druary via Facebook

    I’ve never been a proponent of endurance training especially for women

    April 20th, 2014 2:11 am Reply
  • Shannon Engstrom Asbill via Facebook

    My dad was a triathlete – runner, biker, swimmer. His heart started doing strange things, and now he only does mostly leisurely bike rides due to atrial fibrillation, brought on and exacerbated by “chronic cardio”. His brother, also an avid runner/biker, is having similar heart issues, and he’s only 50.

    April 20th, 2014 1:10 am Reply
  • Stephanie Armstrong via Facebook

    I’ve heard this before. This is exactly why I don’t to more than a 5k at a time.

    April 20th, 2014 1:09 am Reply
  • Chris Hemmings via Facebook

    Well, I’m glad you reposted – I’ve not seen it before. I love sprinting, especially on grass but for long, sustained andusually pavement exersize I go for speed walking. Far more natural and body friendly – just takes longer so 26 miles takes maybe five and a half hours.
    I’d be very interested in others’ feed back on this approach.

    April 20th, 2014 12:58 am Reply
  • Paige Deneen via Facebook

    Face-Palm salute. If this information doesn’t work for you, politely move on.

    April 20th, 2014 12:51 am Reply
  • Julie Baldizan via Facebook

    I don’t know if I believe this! JoEllen Jolly-Shiflet you should know first hand. What do you think of this article?!

    April 20th, 2014 12:44 am Reply
  • Vella Gordon via Facebook

    Elderly couple ran a full marathon every single day in 2013, and they are alive to tell the story. After 365 marathons in a row, they shouldn’t be alive. http://www.trueactivist.com/elderly-vegan-couple-ran-a-marathon-every-day-of-2013/

    April 20th, 2014 12:42 am Reply
  • Ce Adams via Facebook

    I completed ( to say I ran the whole thing would be a lie) and it ruined my back and knees. Even though I trained for 6 mo.
    Never again.

    April 20th, 2014 12:34 am Reply
    • gregg

      Then you obviously trained incorrectly !

      March 22nd, 2015 11:14 pm Reply
  • Jodie Hagan via Facebook

    Dr. Mercola seems to agree. http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/08/23/extreme-endurance-exercise.aspx

    April 20th, 2014 12:27 am Reply
  • Heath Motley DC via Facebook


    April 20th, 2014 12:18 am Reply
  • Heath Motley DC via Facebook

    Great article.

    April 20th, 2014 12:17 am Reply
  • Amy Powell Oz via Facebook

    My father was a runner….very fit and ran every day until his heart stopped at age 49…stopped 6 times before they got a pace maker in…

    April 20th, 2014 12:16 am Reply
  • Kelly Vines via Facebook

    Hmmm…this article is originally from 2011 and has been reposted at least 2 more times since then.

    Each time, it has garnered the same type of comments (“Oh, wow! Thanks for letting me know,” said every non-runner. “Your facts are messed up, and this article is wrong,” said every runner.)

    Why keep posting an article with erroneous information that is going to alienate part of your following?

    I’m going to think long and hard about being a follower of this page. There is an ulterior motive to reposting this article, and I need to decide how much I trust a page that is yanking the strings of its community.

    April 19th, 2014 11:53 pm Reply
    • Kellie

      My sentiments exactly. Well written.

      April 21st, 2014 8:03 pm Reply
  • Aurelie Cous via Facebook

    some people have stuff to prove to themselves….

    April 19th, 2014 11:42 pm Reply
  • Lori Graham O’Neal via Facebook

    Tammy Baker

    April 19th, 2014 11:35 pm Reply
  • Alana Nystrom via Facebook

    Alana’s Husband

    April 19th, 2014 11:29 pm Reply
  • Sarah Lynn via Facebook

    dont tell runners their habbit is bad fir them lol

    April 19th, 2014 11:29 pm Reply
  • Nancy

    I started running to loose weight after being encouraged by a running friend in 2007. I lost 75 pounds by 2009 and ran my first half that fall. 2 halfs in 2010 and a tri & full marathon in 2011. It was 2 weeks before that marathon I started to become ill with horrible fatigue swollen lymph nodes. I completed the marathon but have never ran more than 5 miles since. I have spent so much money on test after test and new doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with me. When I look back at pictures I see my weight started creeping up in 2010 and 2011 when I was running more and more miles. So far have been dx with hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue pernicious anemia, CFS. I don’t know if training for a marathon caused my problems but I think I overtaxed my body to the point that basic systems started to shut down. My diet was pretty good but i consumed a the gels and gatorade and carbs the night before. All my experienced alete running friends do or did. Also the night before the marathon we went to a pasta place and was amazed at seeing very well fit runners with huge plates of pasta in front of them. I couldn’t eat like that or I’d gain 5 pounds. Lots of people run ultras and marathons with no problems, yes. Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them.

    April 19th, 2014 11:25 pm Reply
  • Kelly Vines via Facebook

    Wow! I usually like this page, but if I see another melodramatic, under-researched, completely biased article like this, I will unfollow this page. I like to be educated, not brainwashed.

    April 19th, 2014 11:23 pm Reply
  • Tracy Kern via Facebook

    This is a very biased article.

    April 19th, 2014 11:21 pm Reply
  • Sarah Rachel Kreiger via Facebook

    Wow this is news to me.

    April 19th, 2014 11:21 pm Reply
  • Tammy Miles Garcia via Facebook

    Carmen Davidson Burleigh Erin LouiseTungseth

    April 19th, 2014 11:18 pm Reply
  • Anita Sherbanuk via Facebook

    Why do we need to resort to body shaming? We have no idea what is going on in either mans life. Maybe an ED. Maybe body dismorphia.

    April 19th, 2014 11:10 pm Reply
  • Beth Chesler Lampron via Facebook

    Joseph Lampron

    April 19th, 2014 11:08 pm Reply
  • Dan Jarvis via Facebook

    Another reason not to run. Check

    April 19th, 2014 11:02 pm Reply
  • Tom Longino via Facebook

    Guess I should just grab a beer and head back to the couch.

    April 19th, 2014 10:58 pm Reply
  • Mikey Bowers via Facebook

    Jason & Nina

    April 19th, 2014 10:57 pm Reply
  • Chad English via Facebook

    I love to running but my legs are disabled. I disappointed it. But I glad I can ride bicycle will do better than running haha.

    April 19th, 2014 10:55 pm Reply
  • Darcie Mayo via Facebook

    Makes sense..seems that it doesnt seem right when female intensity athletes stop menstruating after awhile

    April 19th, 2014 10:54 pm Reply
  • Kristy Jones via Facebook

    Noemi Ratcliff… I knew there was a reason I didn’t like marathons!!!

    April 19th, 2014 10:50 pm Reply
  • Heather Mashnouk Brandon via Facebook

    Wow. A crossfit “expert” writing a surely nonbiased article. The vast majority of marathon runners I know are well versed in nutrition and variation exercise. Try again.

    April 19th, 2014 10:48 pm Reply
  • Bob Surma via Facebook

    I knew there was a reason I didn’t like running.

    April 19th, 2014 10:45 pm Reply
  • Functional Forms via Facebook

    Spot on!

    April 19th, 2014 10:40 pm Reply
  • Justin Potts via Facebook


    April 19th, 2014 10:36 pm Reply
  • Sofia

    I think the key word is excessive. Like maybe a marathon a month would be too much. I think the vast majority of us are not in danger. I would say Warning: NOT running a marathon can harm your health!

    April 19th, 2014 7:54 pm Reply
  • rosa

    I agree with the article that running is hard on you. But we did not evolve. Our intricate bodies where created by an all powerful God! Read Genesis 1.

    April 19th, 2014 1:29 pm Reply
  • angela@spinachtiger

    You’ve left a lot of room for large discussions. Just last week during a half-marathon in NC, a 35-year-old man collapsed between the 10- and 11-mile markers, and a 31-year-old man died near the finish line. Both were taken to hospitals where they were pronounced dead. Obviously, it’s an incredible stress on the body. We hear about deaths during races but not shortly after or a week later, so we don’t know for sure the true impact. But they could just as easily have died mowing the lawn. No one knows for sure.

    I was a 3 mile a day runner for decades. I think that’s reasonable and I didn’t go fast. But, I’m not a competitive type.

    I doubt the body is made for such intensity, but I could say the same thing about cross fit. I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in (strong, flexible) and I only use 3-5 pound weights. in the classes I take. When I had a guy trainer, I sustained two injuries with heavy weights, which took long healing process. Now I’m in the best training program, and I can feel the difference.

    If someone really wanted to do something for our culture, figure out a way to keep people in after age 45 when they drop out. I’ve been in the gym for over 30 years, but I’m rare. Cross fit is specifically designed for the 20-45 age group (who is well off and can afford the $250 a month).
    Running does break down barriers of age and wealth. I’d like to see more people of all ages involved in fitness. It would be interesting to know the stats on how long a person sustains a running life style vs. a cross fit life style. Not trying to put cross fit down, but I’ve noticed that if people are into cross fit, they look at others like “we don’t get it.” I know what I do get. Consistency. The key to health and fitness is not amazing abs, it’s a consistent doable life style. This consistency I’m talking about seems to be achieved most by the running community (for whatever reason).

    Still, a good conversation, and I do agree, don’t use the “concentration camp” example. Not a good choice of words. I flinched a little when I read them.

    April 19th, 2014 11:11 am Reply
    • Mr Alexander

      I also agree, perhaps some valid points but utilizing the analogy of concentration camps is perhaps similar to not utilizing your flight or fight ability at all..

      March 12th, 2015 11:56 pm Reply
  • Tara Pantera

    I have SO many residual injuries from running in the Army…and NO Crossfit injuries. In fact, I have to scale a lot of movements due to running injuries. Oh..and the only way I could pass the running portion of the PT test in the Army was to do HIIT training…all of the miles and miles of running didn’t help me pass, but running sprints twice a week for only a couple of weeks was the remedy every single time.

    April 19th, 2014 11:03 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Wind sprints are the BOSS! Forget long distance running. Doesn’t give you the fitness or the figure you want.

      April 19th, 2014 11:33 am Reply
      • Christina

        This article makes me upset for a few reasons but the most upsetting is the body shaming in the article, and the body shaming in the comments. Is this really someone you want to get health advice from? Let’s try to support one another rather than comparing peoples’ bodies to those from concentration camps. That’s inappropriate on many levels.

        April 24th, 2014 4:02 pm Reply
  • Cheryl Cope

    The very first marathon runner for whom the term was named, DIED after completing his 26 miles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pheidippides

    April 19th, 2014 10:52 am Reply
  • Lance

    I think the issue at hand is that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been proven in many studies to be more effective at burning fat than long distance running when you look at time and effort. Granted, some people just love long distance running but I’d rather spend 30 minutes doing HIIT than hours running.

    Here’s some links to three different university studies proving this:




    April 9th, 2014 7:27 pm Reply
  • taucan62

    is this a joke?

    January 19th, 2014 12:24 am Reply
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  • Jeanine Burnett

    A big bowl of pasta before a 5k and chow down on bagels and juice afterwards? Get real!

    Real runners know that is a bunch of BS.

    September 19th, 2013 1:23 am Reply
    • Megan


      April 19th, 2014 12:24 pm Reply
    • Desiree

      I agree!! This post is written by a NON-RUNNER who wants to promote her CrossFit biz… so of course, she’s gonna say running is “bad” and CrossFit is “good.” Whatever…

      April 19th, 2014 1:06 pm Reply
    • Sofia

      I know I caught that too. Hehe 5k :)

      April 19th, 2014 7:51 pm Reply
  • Molly

    Wow! Amazing article. I had no idea that long distance running/training was so bad for your body. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable info! Unfortunately, I already ran two marathons :( and developed a heart problem shortly after…it makes so much sense. Paula, I would like to know what you think about walking long distances. I am currently fast walking 3-4 hrs a day for my job. I’m not sure if this fits into the same category, it is obviously not as near as high intensity as running. I am not planning on keeping this job long term. But I am wondering if it could be further damaging to my heart. What do you think?

    July 2nd, 2013 12:10 am Reply
  • Joe

    I disagree with most of the points made here. It’s true that marathons and marathon training place lots of stress on the body, but that doesn’t have to produce these ill effects. Logging lots of miles strengthens the bones and tendons and increases blood volume when mileage is increased gradually and adequate nutrition is consumed. As long as you take rest days when you feel you need them and eat well, marathon training will only make you healthier.

    Also, not nearly all elite marathoners look like the “concentration camp victims” mentioned in this article. The picture is clearly chosen to support the article and not a realistic depiction of the typical marathoner. Look at athletes like Haile Gebrselassie, Kara Goucher and Ryan Hall. They’re certainly thin, but look pretty healthy to me. Elite marathoners are thin because that’s the body type that suits the sport most.

    June 23rd, 2013 6:24 am Reply
    • Megan

      Agreed! I think it’s when people engage in activities that go against their natural body type that problems arise. Sometimes a specific activity is popular and then everyone feels like ( or are pressure to) participate. Not every person should be marathon running!

      April 19th, 2014 12:39 pm Reply
  • Jes

    Interesting that a Crossfit owner wrote this article. And while I do know that there are some really great, conscientious Crossfit trainers out there, the reality is that this generation of Crossfit trainers has the possibility of being as detrimental, if not more, towards your health than marathon running. I say to Paula, before chastising the running community, clean up the Crossfit backyard first.

    May 7th, 2013 4:58 pm Reply
    • Paula

      Jes, the article was not meant to “chastise” but to educate on the proper way to train for an endurance event should one choose and how to avoid/lessen the detrimental effects listed above.

      As for “cleaning up the CF backyard” I only have control over my own which is very well kept. As with ANY profession there are bad, good and great.

      May 8th, 2013 6:09 am Reply
  • Guerda

    What about the Tarahumara- native american tribe – they were know for their their long-distance running ability. I believe nutrition is a huge factor in long distances. I did long distance and I had no injuries. I think it depends on an individual’s body composition. The human body is resilient. Some people have a natural talent such as Ethiopian runners while others do not.

    May 7th, 2013 4:58 am Reply
    • Paula

      You are correct. Proper training, the right nutrition and genetics will definitely play a very large part in the ability to run long distance without ill effects.

      May 8th, 2013 6:11 am Reply
  • Dawn Hering Manzo via Facebook

    Yes, excess in any aspect of your life can harm your health. Why single out running? Perhaps running, and marathoning in particular, have exploded because we have smarter training methods that are accessible to the average person. There is plenty of evidence that we are indeed built to run long distances (of course everyone is different though!). Read Born to Run. IMO, this is such a silly, alarmist, uninformed and uninformative article.

    May 6th, 2013 5:01 pm Reply
  • Melinda

    Which of these guys looks the strongest and least worn out and good posture lots of energy left? Yep, you got it the black guy and why? He is nose breathing. I am telling ya, it makes a difference…. along with nutrition it makes a big difference to have the oxygen readily available to your cells and organs and only nose breathing can make sure of that.

    May 6th, 2013 4:30 pm Reply
    • Melinda

      And fat plus protein would be much better than the carbs like pastas the night before. Do they still teach that? I know they used to for team in training. I agree with this but check the breathing too.

      May 6th, 2013 4:35 pm Reply
  • Amy Combs via Facebook

    My husband runs marathons and recently ran started becoming an ultra runner by running 100 miles in 24hours. He does NOT look like a concentration camp victum nor did he even get sick this past winter when every single person we knew was getting strep, the flu or who knows what else. It’s all about training and fueling your body correctly.

    May 6th, 2013 4:29 pm Reply
    • Rocio

      I’m with you Amy, my husband is and ultra runner also, he is the healthiest man I know, he takes care of his body and what he eats. His decision to become an ultra runner wasn’t a light one, he like most of the people is not fool, he knew the risks involved and the demands of the endeavor, and is taking care of it. Endurance sports are not for everybody, and like any other sport of course have its risks, is the person decision to go with it or not! That kind of sports are more than just a physical achievement is a mental and sometimes a spiritual one, and that can be very misunderstood!

      May 6th, 2013 5:42 pm Reply
  • Tyffani Weinhold via Facebook

    She didn’t say there’s no in between. Actually at the end of the article she mentions CF as a way to strength and endurance train.

    May 6th, 2013 4:28 pm Reply
  • Za Kocher via Facebook

    Bc there’s no in between, unhealthy obese and unhealthy (hormone disfunction) concentration camp victim. Nope…

    May 6th, 2013 3:59 pm Reply
  • Lyndsey Stark Stang via Facebook

    Glad you wrote this. It gives me more of an excuse never to run. I hate running and I hate running on treadmills because I fall off of them. I am not the most balanced person. lol I can just walk and hold on at least. lol

    May 6th, 2013 3:45 pm Reply
  • Weldon Williford via Facebook

    marathon runners seem to be as bad as vegans when it comes to defending their lifestyles when the facts don’t agree with their beliefs they lash out and deflect from the real arguments presented.

    May 6th, 2013 3:45 pm Reply
  • Jessica Nicholson via Facebook

    I disagree. You say carb-loading welcomes type 2 diabetes, but marathon runners don’t carb-load every night. Nor do they run marathons everyday. I would rather look like a “concentration camp victim” (as you say in this article) than be another obese and unhealthy American.

    May 6th, 2013 3:39 pm Reply
    • Paula

      2 extremes. The sprinter’s look/health should be the goal

      May 8th, 2013 6:00 am Reply
  • Rebecca Barco via Facebook

    Makes sense, the body has to have a way to keep calcium in the bones!

    May 6th, 2013 3:22 pm Reply
  • Josh Barton via Facebook

    This book talks about this sort of thing in great deal:


    May 6th, 2013 3:16 pm Reply
  • Vilna

    I think we can all agree marathons are not for everyone.

    Being able to run a marathon is not and should not be a standard of health.

    People run marathons for the love of it.

    Just as people play other sports, for the love of it.

    I think focusing on health and healthy activity is the key here, not just the idealization of a particular activity.

    September 10th, 2012 11:15 pm Reply
  • Greg

    The writer is off target on this article. While I am willing to believe that extensive high intensity exercise is rough on the “system” that is about where my agreement ends. Firstly, you are not supposed to train like that for endurance sports. The vast majority of your training is long slow easy mileage so that you DON’T overextend yourself, prepare your body and then you up the intensity only in the weeks before your races.

    Hundreds of thousands of runners complete marathons every year and don’t die. The numbers tell the truth here

    Millions die from Chrinic disease each year that is a direct relation to lack of exercise and proper diet.

    You don’t have to eat copious amounts of starchy carbs to compete in endurance. Sticking to low GI foods like legumes and brown rice get the job done just fine and don’t throw your Glucose levels out of wack. besides if you are burning off your carbs you are essentially just refilling the tank anyway, not overflowing it like most people do that don’t train for enduracne sports.

    This article is a good example of ” a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

    May 17th, 2012 7:44 am Reply
  • Frances

    I don’t agree with everything in the article, but that doesn’t matter since it seems to have been written with intentional exaggeration to make a point, and I think the point is a good one. My anecdotal experience is this: after years of no running I decided to do a relay marathon with my family and am on the hook to run 1/4 of it in a few months. I was running running running at the gym, at home and it was pretty rough, not fun at all. And not much improvement. Then, I sprained my foot playing with the kids in the yard. When I started doing some light running a week later to get back at training I made myself take walk breaks, a lot of them. After a week I noticed a huge difference, I was enjoying running and running faster in between my walk breaks. I have totally moved over to training in an interval training style and I am NOT going back. The run run run tell you drop thing is no fun and probably bad for you too.

    September 1st, 2011 9:54 am Reply
  • Kristin Konvolinka

    I am an avid trail runner. I love my trail, I love running alone on my trail. I like slow long runs sometimes, and when I say long I mean 6 miles…because the human body was not meant to do much more than that. All it takes is a little common sense, look at those long distance runners, they look like they’re dying! On top of it all, athletes…often…are not well nourished. They’re all about their protein and sweet electrolyte drinks, but totally don’t understand real nutrition, or how their intense workouts are not just damaging their joints, but every cell in their body with free radical damage. Thanks for the great post!

    August 24th, 2011 8:25 pm Reply
  • Jo @ Jo’s Health Corner/Naturally Sports & Wellness

    That is why periodization in training is important. Many self coached endurance athletes never take a break. Continued training at high intensity and high volume will lead to overtraining syndrome. A properly periodized training plan with a proper mixture of aerobic, anaerobic, and load bearing exercise is important for athletic success. I would argue also that nutrition plays a big role. Just another argument why endurance athletes should be coached properly.

    August 22nd, 2011 1:11 pm Reply
  • RunCast (@runcast)

    How Running a Marathon Can Seriously Harm Your Health (wrong, but entertaining!) http://t.co/0KiqA24

    August 21st, 2011 2:23 pm Reply
  • Marc Payan (@PayanX)

    How Running a Marathon Can Seriously Harm Your Health – http://ow.ly/68ETD // interesting

    August 21st, 2011 9:29 am Reply
  • Erica

    I understand your point about the comparison with concentration camp victims, but not all marathoners look like the one in the photo you chose and if you compare them to photos of real concentration camp victims you will see a marked difference. I think it important to note, as someone who is related to survivors (and those who did not survive), that there is a very, very, very real difference between someone who chooses to run a marathon (however unhealthy and hard on the body) and someone who is forced to live in a concentration camp. It is a sensitive point, which could easily have been avoided in the article.

    That said, otherwise this was an interesting article.

    August 21st, 2011 5:43 am Reply
    • Sara

      Hi, I think this is a great point and so happy someone else said it. Using the term “concentration camp victim” in such a way was a bit off-putting to me as well.

      April 19th, 2014 8:48 pm Reply
  • Nolvia Smith

    After recently reading the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson I have to agree with many of the points Paula makes in the article . Mark was an extreme marathon runner and he suffered from most of the sysmptoms of degeneration due to excessive excercising ( the man experienced eight upper respiratory infections in one year ! ) He thought he was extremely healthy but realized that he was actually killing himself. I know everyone is different but one must analyze if all this working out is really worth it in the long run.

    August 20th, 2011 10:21 pm Reply
  • Mary

    This is a bold article! We all know that regular exercise is good for us. Not everyone likes the same form of exercise and we all have our own reasons as to why we exercise. Finding something that you enjoy doing on a regular basis is the most important and then the other is that you need to increase your training as your body adapts. If you overdue with any sport or exercise program you are putting yourself at risk for injury. Genetics, nutrition and hydration all play an important role in what we do and how we perform as well. I had a neice tell me she did a “boot camp” class recently and she could barely move for a few days…How healthy is that… ? I also have friends that train on a regular basis to run marathons. These ladies look healthy and most importantly they are doing something they enjoy. This article was too narrowminded and judgmental.

    August 20th, 2011 3:03 pm Reply
  • FancyMomma

    Lol this is hilarious. Of course elite runners overtrain to a point that is likely not great for long term health, as do elite athletes in pretty well every sport. However, to the typical recreational runner (even one aiming to run a marathon) she is preaching to the choir and saying nothing new. I am a runner and belong to several running communities online and in real life. We ALL cross train. We ALL use intervals in our runs. We ALL do strength training. Some of us are thin, some fat, some in the middle. The few emancipated looking runners I know I believe look that way because they are prone to that sort of body type or very disciplined dieters/exercisers and would likely get super skinny whatever thier exercise of choice.

    Also, nobody except perhaps a non-runner doing it once for fun or charity carb loads before a 5k. That is laughable. If I truly felt carb loading was required before running 5k…I’d be eating pasta almost daily…which I assure you I am not.

    August 20th, 2011 2:33 pm Reply
    • jen

      I agree with you Momma…

      You know what was going to give me diabetes and cause me to drop dead? being 240 pounds. I started running. Now at a healthy 144 for my height and a few half marathons and a full later my doctors couldn’t be more thrilled with how my numbers from blood sugar to blood pressure are stellar.

      As far as carb loading – if you consider a little whole wheat pasta with fresh tomato and homemade lean turkey meatballs pre-race or a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, then, yeah… Guilty as charged.

      August 21st, 2011 5:03 pm Reply
  • crazy4boys

    I’m a new runner (okay, more of a jogger) and I just wanted to address this statement made by Paula: “Aside from the disastrous results mentioned above why is high intensity aerobic pursuit such a dead end? One reason is the high level of carbohydrates consumed needed to sustain this activity leads to chronic inflammation. You’ve all seen it–Sally and Johnny are running a 5 K so they load up on a big bowl of pasta the night before and chow down on bagels and juice immediately after their 36 min 5 K. Type 2 here we come.”

    I’ve been on the GAPS diet the whole time I’ve been running (and a bit before) and have had no problems whatsoever with energy. I’m only “training” for a 5K so it’s not like I’m running the huge marathons, but it is possible to eat well and still run.

    And the ToughMudder looks awesome. I don’t have time to train for the one closest to me, but it looks like something my husband would love to. I’m interested in seeing your training schedule. Maybe we’ll plan for it next year!

    August 20th, 2011 12:04 am Reply
  • Jade Teta

    Nice job Paula :-)

    August 19th, 2011 9:03 pm Reply
    • Paula Jager

      Wow, thank you Jade! I am a huge fan of your outstanding articles in On Fitness magazine.

      August 20th, 2011 5:59 am Reply
  • Katie

    Please show me real hard data on how marathon training/running causes the following, and I quote:

    Debilitating osteoarthritis . . . at young ages

    Tendonitis and other repetitive strain injuries

    Recurrent upper respiratory infections

    Increased oxidative damage (free radical production)

    Decreased fat metabolism

    Susceptibility to injury

    Loss of bone density

    Depletion of lean muscle tissue

    Coupled with the common high refined carbohydrate intake promotes a dangerous level of continuous systemic inflammation.

    August 19th, 2011 8:41 pm Reply
    • Paula Jager

      Only a portion of your quote is correct. I did not say nor imply that “marathon training/running” causes the above conditions but that “excessive endurance training” or “movement at a chronically sustained high intensity aerobic pace” is well known to lead to those conditions. I am talking about people that are logging 30-90+ miles a week, over and over a period of time. Cumulative damage prevails.

      A few quick Google searches should pull you all the “very real hard data” you desire. And as for “high refined carbohydrate intake promoting systemic inflammation”, try reading Taubes book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. Lots of hard data there.

      August 20th, 2011 6:11 am Reply
  • Michael Acanfora (@BayonneChiro) (@BayonneChiro) (@BayonneChiro)

    How Running a Marathon Can Seriously Harm Your Health – The Healthy Home Economist

    August 19th, 2011 6:20 pm Reply
  • watchmom3

    As a recovering anorexic/bulimic from my younger days, (15 years wasted!) I can attest to the validity of this article. It is HIGHLY addictive to continually over-exercise and live in the “endorphin moment!” It has taken me years to get back to normal, with lots of twists and turns. The real moment of truth came when my sweet little daughters began worrying about their weight. It absolutely repeats itself in the next generation if you aren’t totally honest about why you exercise. Taking care of our bodies is a very good thing, even commanded by God. (He really does want what is best for us!) Moderation is key. I knew there would be some flack about this subject. Many aren’t ready to stop and look at whether or not they are addicted to the highs ( deceptive feelings of power) from this type of behavior. Thanks again Sarah! It is so good to get it out there and talk about it! Helps all of us!

    August 19th, 2011 4:28 pm Reply
  • Brittnee Turner Horting via Facebook

    Obviously this isn’t true for every person who runs a marathon..but it can be for some. I have a friend who I would consider addicted to, not only marathons, but excercising. That’s all she does, she has let go of all her other interests and spends less time with her kids…just so she can excercise. She had a baby 3 weeks ago and is already back into it hard core…and I don’t think that’s quite enough time for your body to recover. I think it just becomes an obsession, and that’s when it’s dangerous.

    August 19th, 2011 3:27 pm Reply
  • Paul

    It seems many of the people here who are arguing against the “overtraining” idea are missing the point. The author is not saying running a marathon or training to run one is ALWAYS BAD. Those of you saying “hey I run marathons but” are actually supporting her point – you mention interval training, not being emaciated, etc. You are training in the way she is saying is the BETTER way. One of you said “I don’t carbo load” – well that’s great, you are already following the author’s advice and hey look…it’s working great for you!

    August 19th, 2011 1:31 pm Reply
    • Kate

      I have to disagree with you, I think the author thinks that marathons are bad for you across the board, because the professionals are too skinny so it must be harming everyone. That is at least the tone that I am picking up.

      August 19th, 2011 8:43 pm Reply
      • Paula Jager

        Paul hit it spot on. While I have no desire to run a marathon some people do; done so with the proper diet and training and not in excess it can be accomplished without ill health effects. While many “professionals” are too skinny, a lot of amateurs are too fat. It’s the lack of strength and interval type training coupled with excessive carboydrate intake.

        August 20th, 2011 6:15 am Reply
  • D.

    quote from Melissa: “Sarah, you are brave and unapologetic and I am glad that you have the platform you do and the courage you show!”

    Here here! I agree. Not all the subjects in the world are warm and fuzzy. But they need discussion and consideration, too.

    August 19th, 2011 12:41 pm Reply
  • Nick Richardson (@nr_fitness)

    Definitely worth a read if you’re thinking long distance running will have you looking your best! http://t.co/tomnYhO

    August 19th, 2011 12:29 pm Reply
  • Melissa @ Dyno-mom

    I am glad that you brought up this intersesting point. I have always been shocked by the appearance of marathon runners. I remember two women crossing the line at the Greek summer Olympics and how they shook and were horribly dehydrated from the heat. This, along with their frightening thin bodies, made sure they looked exactly like concentration camp victims crawling along the ground and I remember being troubled by it. I know this is controversial, but especially in women just a lack of body of fat is contrary to health. While I am not a “fat-vocate” I certainly know that fertility is a function of feminine health and when fat drops too much, women are infertile. This indicates a health problem. Sarah, you are brave and unapologetic and I am glad that you have the platform you do and the courage you show!

    August 19th, 2011 11:24 am Reply
  • Amber Nerswick via Facebook

    Not to mention running can be like an addiction, causing the user to get highs, and be in denial of ill side effects, etc

    August 19th, 2011 10:54 am Reply
  • Julie

    Funny. Fear has always gotten the best of people – it works in any medium across the world at any time…

    August 19th, 2011 10:54 am Reply
  • Rebecca Latham

    Thanks for this article! I will add it to my collection of articles to share with people who do “cardio” and think it is healthy: http://lowcarbbetterhealth.blogspot.com/search/label/Cardio

    I say, ditch the cardio and lift weights instead: http://lowcarbbetterhealth.blogspot.com/2011/01/if-youre-smart-youll-skip-cardio-and.html

    August 19th, 2011 10:51 am Reply
  • Amber Nerswick via Facebook

    Just because a person looks healthy while excessively running, doesn’t mean their heart is in good health, or other systems like hormones, etc.

    August 19th, 2011 10:47 am Reply
  • D.

    I hafta tell ya’ll – – one of my clients teaches a spinning class. Now, I’m from a different generation than most of my clients, keep that in mind. When she said spinning, I thought she meant with a spinning wheel – you know, like quilting or sewing type spinning of yarn. :slaps forehead:

    But the really funny part is that this girl is quite a bit overweight herself, yet she is “teaching” this class? I can only imagine her clientele. If this spinning idea was so great, how come this girl is still so overweight?? She teaches the class three nights per week. I’ve known this girl for a little over two years and her weight hasn’t budged one bit up or down since I’ve known her.

    The other funny thing is that her husband is a marathon type runner (although I don’t think he’s participated in any) and he looks, physically, on par with the guy in the first photo above (from Finland or whatever it says on his shirt). Skinny as a rail, all bones, and looking very anemic and undernourished.

    She is short and heavy – he is quite tall and super-skinny. What is supposed to be healthy about either of those body types? Not a dang thing from what I can see just from this one couple.

    Me, I eat WAPF as much as possible and I probably have 15 pounds I don’t need, but I am not 20 anymore, and I feel pretty good most of the time considering I had two medical issues to deal with before I ever started WAPF. I grew up eating a very healthy WAPF-type diet (grew up on a farm with little store-bought food) but of course in my 20’s and 30’s I ate low-fat and yada yada because that’s what I thought I was supposed to be doing (thank you Uncle Sam for all the misinformation over the years). When I started feeling crappy I knew it was time to talk to Mom! She told me my body needed nourishment from real foods and I listened because I knew in my heart she was right.

    August 19th, 2011 10:45 am Reply
  • Camille Vernarr via Facebook

    Very interesting! Thank you for sharing! And praise God we are fearfully and wonderfully made by an awesome creator Jesus Christ :-)!

    August 19th, 2011 10:42 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    The article is written by Paula Jager CSCS … fitness trainer and cross-fit devotee but I do definitely agree with her article.

    August 19th, 2011 10:35 am Reply
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  • Bethany Slusher via Facebook

    I appreciate Sarah’s quest for truth and myth busting…

    August 19th, 2011 10:17 am Reply
    • teresa

      me too.

      August 19th, 2011 11:14 am Reply
  • Bethany Slusher via Facebook

    well…. there is a lot of negative talk goin’ on here… I think there is some definite validity to this article and personally know a few people who have had these exact problems.

    August 19th, 2011 10:16 am Reply
  • Liz

    People can drop dead during most any activity, I don’t think marathon running causes death. People have heart attacks just sitting on the couch, or driving to work, or playing golf.

    I just ran my first marathon this year. I have run several half marathons and 25ks. I am not skinny and I do not look emaciated on any part of my body. I cross train and get regular chiropractic adjustments and I have been injury free. I feel strong physically and mentally when I run regularly. I have not had a cold or flu in many years. I am one of the few runners I know who fuels with high protein and quality fat before and after a run. Unless I’m running for more than 1.5 hours, I rarely need more than plain water and/or coconut water. I stay away from all the sports drinks and artificial stuff.

    August 19th, 2011 10:14 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Body type is going to determine whether you are skinny running marathons. Some folks will never be skinny no matter what. It is very telling that marathoners at the top of their game look horrible and emaciated. Folks who don’t have this body type could never compete in marathons at the highest levels.

      Look at other sports that are interval training based rather than endurance training.

      Tennis, soccer, short sprints and medium distance runs .. these people look AMAZING at the top of their profession.

      August 19th, 2011 10:18 am Reply
      • Paul

        I’d have to agree with the article, in my opinion. Of course, that the marathoners coming to the defense of their sport doesn’t surprise me at all, and they have the right to their opinion (even if they have a “don’t confuse me with the fact” attitude). Well, 2 days ago, at the Chicago marathon, another sad death. Typical comment is- Oh , he must have had an “undiagnosed” condition. That’s almost always the response to these type of deaths. The other response might be, well he/she hasn’t trained enough. Well folks, I’d guess that it’s not an undiagnosed condition, AND, in fact, that those that train very heavily are probably in even worse shape- BECAUSE it’s the CHRONIC inflammation of continous training, possibly coupled with the fact of trying to beat your best time, that causes the death on the actual day of the marathon. Relatives of the dead marathoners seem to frequently say- “he/she was in the best shape of their life”… Oh really, how can you be in the best shape of your life and dead at the same time? It’s an INCORRECT assumption, that just because someone can run for a long while without stopping, they are in great shape. All it means is that they’ve trained their body to run for a long while…you can’t assume anything else other than this.

        October 11th, 2011 12:38 pm Reply
    • Jo @ Jo’s Health Corner/Naturally Sports & Wellness

      You are absolutely correct My husband is a Sports Nutritionist and endurance athlete coach (cycling & track and field). He believes that nutrition is very important for endurance athletes. Many of these types of athletes read the literature and eat diets that are high in processed carbohydrates. Although these diets work to replenish depleted glycogen storage. They do very little to compensate for the catabolic nature of the oxidative energy system that breaks down fat and muscle proteins for conversion to glucose and subsequently ATP. Furthermore, the body will release cortisol as product of the training stress that breaks down muscle and converts it to glucose in the liver. This is why endurance athletes require high amounts of protein and fat in their diet. Unfortunately most are missing it.

      August 22nd, 2011 1:27 pm Reply
  • teresa

    Would you share what you do for regular exercise. I think you look amazing! Thin, but not too skinny. Thanks!

    August 19th, 2011 10:11 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Walking, gardening, yard work, biking (bike hard then coast or pedal lightly/rest, repeat … NOT endurance biking which is the same problem as marathons) yoga (push hard then rest then push hard then rest to mimic interval training).

      August 19th, 2011 10:14 am Reply
      • teresa

        Thanks Sarah,
        I think if we would stay busy doing all these daily type activities we would have less weight problems. I am really trying to do this. I will also add the push hard, rest and see what happens. Personally, I can’t exercise to the point of exhaustion anyway. I would be in bed for 2 days. 20 yrs ago I got an autoimmune disease that affected my joints and lost my kidneys 13 yrs ago from it..I agree that too much hard and long exercise (marathon running)can be risky.. So glad I have found the real food “way” of eating. I feel so much better. My joint problems are better. No doubt I caused my problem by the way I ate yrs ago.. the SAD diet. Thanks Sarah so much for helping me with the videos and info you provide.

        August 19th, 2011 11:10 am Reply
        • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Hi Teresa, sounds like you are on the right path. Be patient with yourself as a SAD diet for years can take some time to recover from.

          August 19th, 2011 11:36 am Reply
  • Judy Martinson via Facebook

    Have you seen ultramarathon runners? They’re not emaciated in the least for the most part! They’re often quite sturdy-looking … and they *far* exceed the measly *26.2* of a marathoner. (As a note, I recently began my running journey a few months ago. I’ve completed two 5Ks and was working towards a 10K. I don’t think marathon runners are Weenies 😉 ). I think a method of running is also important. There is a method called the Galloway method (formulated by Jeff Galloway) that is based on run-walk-run, inserting walking breaks into a run to keep you fresh. This bit of rest makes a lot of sense I think.

    August 19th, 2011 9:58 am Reply
  • Dawn Lane via Facebook

    I’ve run several marathons, and done 6 Ironman triathlons – I am far from emaciated, very muscular, and never had health problems from participating in any of them. My doctors credited those activities with my drastic improvement in asthma as well – from very medication dependent with lots of asthma attacks to virtually med free and a much higher lung capacity than normal, let alone normal for an asthmatic. I’ve enjoyed many of your posts, but I’d have to disagree with this one as well.

    August 19th, 2011 9:39 am Reply
  • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

    Not to mention how wrinkled long distance runners get! Their faces drop from all the force of gravity as they run. This compounded with their typical lowfat, high carb diet makes for a very very wrinkled complexion.

    August 19th, 2011 9:33 am Reply
  • Kate

    Hahahahahahha (*inhale*) ahahahhahahaha….. My Dad has run 8 marathons, 2 over the age of 50 (and respectable times to including qualifying for and running in Boston) and I can definitely tell you he looks great and healthy, he also doesn’t carbo load and it would be quite interesting to see the stats on Type 2 Diabetes in marathon runners. *eye roll*

    There will always be people who take things to the extreme in ANY case such as those Olympians who look like they could use a hamburger (or five). Is ice skating dangerous? You could be beaten in the legs by a hit man!

    August 19th, 2011 9:31 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      What about all the marathon runners that drop dead? Every marathon it seems, at least 1 person dies and several go to the hospital. Many also have permanent scarring to the heart muscle which you couldn’t tell by looking at someone. I seem to remember Mercola had an article on this recently how the heart muscle is permanently scarred by endurance training.

      August 19th, 2011 9:49 am Reply
      • Kate

        What about all those people who drop dead from sitting on their ass? (!!) People die or have serious injuries because they didn’t train properly or pushed themselves too hard not because of the magical 26.2 miles that they want to run. In this day and age I cannot *believe* someone would be discouraging people from a form of physical activity that CAN be safe and healthy. I just wonder if you have a hat somewhere with a bunch of ideas that 95% of the population things are good things… then draw out of it and set out to prove everyone that they are wrong are you are right. Too hot for me, gotta get out of this kitchen!

        August 19th, 2011 8:20 pm Reply
        • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Please read the entire post as it doesn’t discourage running. Please see Paul’s comment below which hits the nail on the head.

          By the way, plenty of well trained, well coached marathoners drop dead (at young ages too like in their 40’s and 50’s) after running for years with seemingly no problem. Just because most people believe something to be true doesn’t make it true. I like how Paula dismantles the marathon sacred cow in this post. People need to realize that this type of exercise is dangerous and not healthy for the long haul.

          August 19th, 2011 8:31 pm Reply
          • Molly

            But you know…lots of NON-marathoners also drop dead at young ages… Sometimes people just die.

            I actually don’t see too much wrong with training and running a Marathon. What does disturb me intensely is the people who run one or two a month… to collect a medal. I mean really….we are adults here. They don’t train well, and put themselves at fairly big risks to their health, all for a shiney piece of metal?

            Now. I’m a runner, a Marathon runner, and soon to be an Ultra Marathon runner…But you wont find me running 50 miles every day…

            July 1st, 2012 8:43 pm
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Just one of many examples .. one of those who dropped dead was a man who had completed 50 marathons. Only 65 years old but obviously what he was doing was not helping his health:


      August 19th, 2011 8:35 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    I don’t think ancient humans would have run continuously for 25 miles tracking prey. It would have been a run/rest/run type of thing which is very healthy form of exercise.

    August 19th, 2011 9:26 am Reply
    • Meagan

      agreed. not to mention ancient humans were much more muscular and stocky in bone construction so they had very powerful bursts of motion and power.

      September 17th, 2011 5:20 am Reply
    • Ryan

      No it would not be. The human body is made to run efficiently, walking would be a waste of energy. After about 8 km/hr it becomes more and more energy efficient to run than to walk. Not to mention the forces exerted on your body from the acceleration and deceleration of the interval training you theorize would create much more impact forces on your body vice a steady trot which in the long run.

      May 6th, 2013 8:54 pm Reply
  • Rachel Stanton Jimenez via Facebook

    I realize running marathons often are compared with long-distance hunting of animals but from what of seen of animals stalking their prey it’s not usually a continuous trot/run. It’s probably closer to interval training with speed variations and occasional breaks.

    August 19th, 2011 9:22 am Reply
    • Paula Jager


      August 19th, 2011 1:13 pm Reply
  • Michael Guzman via Facebook

    I like Ms. LeBaron’s points & take it into consideration.

    August 19th, 2011 9:18 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    I remember that with 2 of my births, I actually snoozed in between contractions a couple of times.

    August 19th, 2011 9:17 am Reply
    • Erica

      Hi Sarah,

      Was giving birth very easy since eating a very healthy diet for quite some time?

      August 19th, 2011 6:02 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    I would say that giving birth is definitely NOT like a marathon. There are natural resting phases after every contraction (with a nonmedicated birth at least) which you do not ever have in a marathon.

    August 19th, 2011 9:17 am Reply
  • Michael Guzman via Facebook

    Being an iconoclast can be a lonely road sometimes…..but I’ll run it. Keep up the good work.

    August 19th, 2011 9:17 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Busting myths is part of the goal of this blog, Katie. Busting myths and preconceived ideas gets messy.

    August 19th, 2011 9:14 am Reply
    • Paula Jager


      August 19th, 2011 1:12 pm Reply
    • Erica

      It certainly does, Sarah! People need to know about these issues. Keep up the great work! :)

      August 19th, 2011 6:00 pm Reply
    • Rocio

      Yes, but before busting this “myth” there was another myth and preconceived ideas busted. The one that told us we were not able to run long distances, the one that told us we would died or get hurt, the one that told us it would be impossible. Granted, ultra endurance events is not for everybody, and it doesn’t have to be. If you want to shed some pounds or be healthier, you don’t have to be and endurance athlete!!! it is not a requirement! But if that’s something that you find inspiring and want to try it…. WHY NOT!? with proper training, and the right mental attitude it can be done avoiding injuries and damage to our body, and if you find out that’s your passion GO AHEAD!!! take care of your body and pursue your goals.

      May 6th, 2013 4:05 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Tomany LeBaron via Facebook

    I think Paula is wrong on this one. I think we are definitely “evolved” to run long distances (as in following game for the hunt.) The problem really only comes when we turn it into a race and keep trying to do it faster and faster. It may well be true that professional marathon runners are emaciated, because they are trying to win. However, I know many marathon runners who are not pro’s, and they are the very image of fitness. Strong and sleek and glowing with good health. Sarah is a big fan of the anecdotal evidence, and the anecdotal evidence for running as a healthy form of exercise is abundant. Even running longer distances.

    August 19th, 2011 9:13 am Reply
    • D.

      Chasing game was normally done on the back of a horse. Where on earth did you learn your history? I live in buffalo country and believe me, they weren’t hunted on foot. :rolling eyes: We attend (I ride) in the Custer State Park Buffalo Round-Up every September. We aren’t even hunting them and it can be dangerous.

      Trapping and fishing were probably the only types of “hunting” not done on horseback because a quick get-away wasn’t usually necessary.

      Most of the runners I know are now suffering with joint problems. It’s a fact, not an anecdote. Sarah, this is just one of those things people have to live long enough to experience, I think, because judging from the amount of negativity being posted here, I can see you are dealing with younger, more inexperienced folks. Oh well, live and learn. And they will.

      August 19th, 2011 12:31 pm Reply
      • Melkuphd

        This comment about horses and trapping reflects a gross misunderstanding of both evolution and also the VERY limited amount of time in human history during which humans have participated in such activities as domesticating horses and using traps to hunt.

        May 8th, 2013 2:35 pm Reply
    • Paula Jager

      Running is very healthy. It’s when people overdue it and spend excessive time at a high intensity. When man went hunting his “chase” for game was nowhere near the distance covered in a marathon. It didn’t take 26 miles to kill dinner; more like a couple of hundred meters or less. He may have walked quite a distance, getting hours of low level aerobic activity but the intensity was limited to short burts of speed followed by recovery.

      August 19th, 2011 1:10 pm Reply
      • Meagan

        Have we forgotten that humans hunted on foot before ever taming horses? Have we forgotten that the glutes are the strongest muscles in the body? Or how about we sweat better than any mammal (most animals with fur must pant to keep cool) in the world and are able to keep our bodies cool with the least amount of effort? Humans are made to run. I do agree though that intensive training in any activity for long periods of time w/o adequate rest and nutrition are damaging. All of us could get out and run 20-30mins a day and be healthier for it. Aerobic activity is a must for optimal health.

        September 17th, 2011 5:18 am Reply
      • Ryan

        This is false, persistence hunters would run at low speeds for 15-20 miles in the peak of the day before catching their game. Running is much more efficient than walking, our bodies are built for it.

        Next time you write an article with the intent of drawing people to crossfit you should try espousing the strengths of your own fitness style instead of improperly bashing on another. All of the negative effects you listed would be caused by improper training or inadequate nutrition. You could apply the same train of thought to crossfit and come up with an equally scary list of effects.

        May 6th, 2013 8:43 pm Reply
        • J

          “Next time you write an article with the intent of drawing people to crossfit you should try espousing the strengths of your own fitness style instead of improperly bashing on another. ”

          Thank you. You just saved me the need to reply a long detailed response mentioning the flaws and lack of the validity of the claims brought forth in this article.

          January 3rd, 2014 12:55 pm Reply
    • Andrew

      The book Body By Science explains this topic quite well. Our ancestors did partake in long, monotonous, moderate intensity activity. Our body’s metabolism is uniquely designed to respond to high intensity stimuli. The book also shows some interesting studies showing the health issues associated with endurance athletes.

      May 6th, 2013 4:12 pm Reply
  • Maxine Horne via Facebook

    I’ve never run a marathon but running a 10k was one of my dullest afternoons ever. You can’t say that about giving birth!!!

    August 19th, 2011 9:08 am Reply
  • Katie Johnson via Facebook

    I’m tired of all of this doom and gloom. No longer a fan, Sarah. Sorry.

    August 19th, 2011 9:01 am Reply
    • Kate

      Agreed! And I literally have almost the same name as you. Weird!

      August 19th, 2011 8:15 pm Reply
    • Chris

      Not a fan of this either. You really need to back this up with evidence. It looks like alot of opinion here.

      August 19th, 2011 10:23 pm Reply
    • Anonymous

      Some have more difficulties than others when it comes to addressing the truth.

      August 21st, 2011 3:15 pm Reply
  • Michael Guzman via Facebook

    Why are so many of these “runners” deathly afraid of pushing themselves with weights? Heck even body weight? I see so many wimps running around & when I question training practices, I get the “stink face” or some snooty remark?

    August 19th, 2011 9:00 am Reply
    • Anonymous

      haha stink face

      August 21st, 2011 2:43 pm Reply
  • Nathalie Farquet via Facebook

    if you compare giving birth to running a marathon, which one is better?

    August 19th, 2011 8:50 am Reply
    • BREE

      having a baby! It is not as uncomfortable, and the reward is eternal.

      August 19th, 2011 1:35 pm Reply
  • Megan

    Very interesting. I ran extensively in high school and suffered a few injuries but have not run so intensely since…however many of my friends have done marathons and 1/2 marathons and at this point a 1/2 is the farthest distance I’d consider.
    The other night I was watching a TV show on USA and a character was a “marathon runner,” but my husband & I noted that she was not skinny enough to be a typical marathon runner. You could actually see flesh on her body and she wasn’t just skin & bones (not that all marathoners look like that, but it seems many of the professionals do)!

    August 19th, 2011 8:49 am Reply
  • HealthyHomeEconomist (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon)

    How Running a Marathon Can Seriously Harm Your Health – The Healthy Home Economist http://t.co/nOAKSaX

    August 19th, 2011 8:28 am Reply
    • Josh Dyrland

      The misinformation here in incredible. 1) With proper diet/ running form/ injury prevention, all of the injuries you listed can be prevented (btw I have never heard of running causing an upper respiratory infection). 2) You don’t need lots of carbs to run for long distances- fats and proteins burn better. 3) “20+” miles per week wont get you in shape to run a marathon, the pros do over 100 miles a week and are perfectly healthy. 4) crossfit and short high intensity intervals won’t increase your endurance very well either. Humans evolved to run, get over it

      January 25th, 2014 11:00 pm Reply
      • Frank Shorter

        I agree completely. His two main energy scources are completely incorrect. ATP’s first choice is aerobic (with oxygen). The body uses oxygen until about 75% of maximum heart rate is reached. Once it’s about 85% it begines to use lactic acid because oxygen cannot keep up. But the point is that even professional marathoners do not exceed 85% of their maximum heart rate until the last 30 or so min of the race. I know a coach who has proven that anybody can run for an hour if they keep their heart rate under 170 bpm he has proven this with first time runners using heart rate monitors. You know nothing about distance training, the energy zones of the heart, and your statement that we have not evolved to run is completely laughable. Do you realize for 100 million years humans hunted without weapons? This is called persistence hunting. Persistence hunting is when one keeps an animal moving until it overheats and collapses, humans are made to run, from cooling devices like arm and leg hair to our perfectly shaped feet and highly effecient trot. This article was written by people who profit from the misinformation they provide. Running is a fantastic excercise, and a collaigent cross country and track athlete and a math/biology major I can assure that this article is bologna!

        February 11th, 2014 8:24 pm Reply
        • Alex

          Thank god some people actually provide trustworthy info. It almost sounds like some people dislike running so they need to prove it sucks anyway!
          I don’t know much, but I do know enough to see some arguments in the post are kind of stupid. But with all this preaching about how running is bad I actually got to be sort of afraid (more like “sad”?) . And PHEW to your comments haha

          March 22nd, 2014 5:32 pm Reply

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