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The Health Risks Of Running A Marathon

Running a marathon is no stroll in the park: it is a physically demanding and emotionally challenging, slightly faster walk in the park. Running 26 miles puts considerable stress on the body and we are unsurprised every time we hear that someone who has put in little training gets into difficulty when attempting one.

The London Marathon has one of the biggest medical teams assembled, ready to treat any runner who gets into trouble; whether it is from a slip and fall, or something more serious like breathing problems or heart complications.

Thankfully, most of the casualties that do occur during a race are easily dealt with; the only downside being that the person is unable to finish the race. But what are the main health risks that runners need to be aware of on race day?


One of the biggest problems for runners on race day is getting enough fluids into their system. This year’s London Marathon was one of the hottest ever recorded and an average runner was expected to lose up to four litres of fluid through sweating and exhalation. All this fluid needs to be replaced during the race; which means the organising of water stops capable of supplying all runners is a vital component.


Most injuries are brought about by poor preparation for the marathon. It is vital that all runners follow a training plan in the months leading up to the race to get themselves in shape. A lot of muscle injuries that occur on the day happen through lack of a proper warm up and stretching before the race.


Although they are very rare, runners should be aware that they are a possibility. Most deaths that have occurred at the London Marathon have been linked to pre-existing heart conditions like blocked heart blood vessels or a structural congenital problem. Therefore, it is suggested you have a medical examination before you start training for any type of long-distance running events.



21st May 2018, 11:18
Page updated 21st May 2018, 11:19
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