Did you know that the marathon is commemorating the long run (approximately 25 miles) took by the Greek soldier Pheidippides from a battlefield near the town of Marathon to Athens in 490 B.C?
He ran to Athens, to announce the defeat of the Persians in the war near Marathon town. As soon as he reached Athens, he shouted “Niki!” (Victory!) and then collapsed and died!
Why do so many people want to run a distance that would kill someone!?
There are many reasons for it – a few want to improve their health or lose some weight, a few others want to improve their strength and endurance..a few others want to enjoy the thrill and satisfaction of running such long distance and reaching the finish line.
The medical community is divided between the advantages & disadvantages of running a marathon.
Our take is this – cardiovascular activity is important for a healthy heart and lung apart from overall well being. However excessive cardiovascular activity can be injurious to health for a few reasons –
- Excessive cardiovascular activity can cause wear and tear, thereby causing injury and associated issues. Such people are more prone to osteoarthritis and can have pain in knee joins, ankle, etc. Some of them may even get a lower disc prolapse or injury, due to excessive jerk on the lower areas of the spine (lumbar) during the run
- Excessive cardio can also deplete muscles, especially if the nutrition is not commensurate. It is hence imperative that a marathon runner should do resistance training to build some muscles
- There are also reported cases of cardiac arrests during running – especially those who are 40 years or older or those with a family history of heart diseases, high cholesterol etc
In a nutshell, running has profound benefits. However, excessive running is not healthy for everyone. If you are running for a marathon, make sure you are well prepared for it with the right nutrition & weight training!