Why Running a Marathon is NOT Healthy

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Why You Should STOP Running Marathons


I used to be a long distance runner. I ran cross country and track in high school. It was no big deal to go run 10 miles on a Saturday morning. When I was pregnant with Aidalyn, I continued to run long distances in my first trimester. This was before I knew how unhealthy it is for your body to run very long distances. 

Why is long distance running so appealing?

Why do we idolize the idea of running long distances for health? It seems like the iconic view of health is a woman running outside along a body of water…. where did this come from?

Why Running Marathons are Good

Running a marathon is great for pushing yourself beyond what you thought you could possibly do. Training for a marathon takes dedication and determination. No one can wake up one day and say “I’m going to run a marathon today!” and succeed.

If your goal is health though, training for a marathon is not the answer. 

Tweet: Are you thinking about running a marathon? Read this first: http://ctt.ec/J7A8H+ #marathon #running #cardio #weightloss


 Why you should stop running marathons

Why Running a Marathon is not Healthy

Have you ever noticed when watching the Olympics how the marathon runners and the sprinters compare in muscle and overall appearance of health?

The marathon runners look like they are starving and their clothes are barely hanging on to them. The sprinters, on the other hand, are fit, muscular, and kind of make me want to hit the gym just looking at them!

Our bodies weren’t designed to be stressed for hours and hours of running on end. This stress reduces our immune system over time and allows for us to get sick more easily.

Running long distances increases cortisol production and decreases fat metabolism. This means that Long distance running isn’t even good for weight loss. A recent study compared two groups of women either running for 40 minutes at a continuous pace or doing intervals for 20 minutes over 15 weeks. After the 15 weeks, the interval training group lost 3x the fat perfectage than the continuous running group. 

Secondly, chronic cardio stress taxes our adrenal glands and causes adrenal fatigue.

When our adrenals are stressed we feel sluggish and tired all the time. Signs of adrenal fatigue include difficulty waking up in the morning, cravings of sweet and salty foods, and feelings of being overwhelmed. This sounds like every woman I know.  Does your body needs help coping with mental and physical stress? 




What is the answer???

Adapted from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/2593849213/


1) Don’t over train! Remember to take rest days and give your body time to recover. Listen to your body, if you feel overworked and tired, your body may need a break more than a workout. Keep your workouts under an hour and possibly closer to 30 minutes. 

2) Mix it up! Don’t do repeats of the same exercise every week. Try circuit training or adding a new type of exercise to your routine to keep your body guessing. Crossfit is a great option as well. Include walking, swimming, cycling and strength training in a routine for example. Don’t forget to throw in some sprints or high intensity pushes during your workouts.

I’m really loving the 7 minute free workout app on my phone. I also love Fit2B’s workouts (I’m not an affiliate, I just love their program).



How to you feel about marathons? Have you trained for a marathon?

What is your experience? Start the discussion


This post is linked up to Naturally Living Mondays and Mama Moment Mondays  and Thank Goodness it’s Monday

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Angela Parker
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      • Me too and I would add warm to that 🙂 I walk pretty much everyday and lately it has been on icy, snowy, or slushy sidewalks. Glad Spring is on it’s way!

  1. Thanks Julia! I know that it is somewhat controversial in our culture today. I was thinking about training for a marathon a few times… but then I realized that it just was not the answer for my health. Our body also needs rest periods. Right now, my life has been pretty crazy with two little ones in the house. I’m very thankful that I can do a little body weight workout throughout the day and just play with the kids for my exercise.

  2. I really want to start running but my right knee is awful! And I want to add it purely for selfish reasons since the runners are usually thinner (SMH) I’ll def keep all your suggestions in mind as I try to get back on track with my fitness goals.

    • I totally hear you. Running for me was not sustainable. Obviously there are people who can be healthy and run marathons. For me and from what I was reading though, it really does stress the body. So, I will continue doing a mix of workouts and won’t feel guilty either that I’m not training for a marathon. : ) thanks for reading!

  3. I was 3/4 of the way finished training for a marathon before an injury and then an unexpected pregnancy. I think that for most serious runners, the health side doesn’t really matter – not enough to NOT run a marathon! It’s about the challenge, adventure, and pushing past beyond what seems possible. It’s a achieving a huge dream. Just as people are willing to take risks sky diving to get a thrill, I’m willing to take risks to accomplish that 26.2 dream. You might be right, but oh well! It’s SO worth it. 🙂

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