When you look at a seasoned marathoner, he or she usually has the appearance of intense physical fitness. According to a recent study published in a British medical journey, however, the amount of training required to run a marathon may actually be detrimental to your health.
The findings were interesting, if slightly worrisome: researchers discovered that high intensity exercise sessions lasting over an hour could overload the heart, ultimately causing scar tissue and long-term problems.
Even if you don’t damage your heart, at a certain point in marathon training, you stop enjoying the health benefits associated with regular exercise, according to an article published in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Apparently, that point comes when you are either running over 20 miles each week, running 6 days a week and/or training at a pace exceeding eight miles per hour.
Of course, being sedentary is pretty bad for you too…so what is a prospective runner to do? How do you find the right balance of safety and cardiovascular health benefits while still getting yourself in top competitive shape?
The answer is fairly simple, and it is one that I’ve long shared with patients in my Houston podiatry practice. It’s all about moderation—mixing up your cardio so you aren’t just running all the time; building weight bearing exercise and days of rest into your training regimen; listening to your body and going to your podiatrist when you’re experiencing pain.
With good planning and proper care, you can complete your first (or fiftieth) marathon injury free and cross the finish line in better shape than ever before! If you have questions about safe marathon-training programs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider today!