How Risky is Long-Distance Running?

It is no secret that long-distance running offers a lot of benefits from mood elevation to long-term fitness. The truth is, finishing a marathon is an astounding experience, but when it comes to competition, most runners try to beat a record time which is always one of the hardest tasks. Even though long distance running is a challenge worth your time, it is important to understand that putting your body under much stress for an extended period can be risky.

How risky is long-distance running?

Increased risks of injuries

Injuries are common in long distance running. More often, marathoners end up spraining their ankles and bruising their skin from falling while running. According to Jim Wharton who is also a physical therapist, the effect of your stride on a rock-solid pavement is almost four times your body weight. Most people run on surfaces that are evenly paved while others choose jungles and rocky surfaces. People who run long distance on uneven surfaces such as forests are always at higher risks of getting an injury compared to those who run on even surfaces.

Inflammation and muscle damage

Studies have shown that inflammation and tissue damage that occurs after engaging in long-distance running can last one week after the marathon. On the other hand, for your muscles to repair, you will need up to 12 weeks. As we all know, inflammation is one of the common effects of vigorous workouts. Studies have also have shown that the body can get used to exercising after some time reducing the risks of inflammation and muscle swelling. It is, however, necessary for a continued inflammation to be checked before it worsens.

Heart complications

Long-distance running has been linked to several fatalities that occurred in the past. For example, Phidippides, a man from Greek spent three hours running to reach Athens to warn them of a possible attack. After completing his run, sources say that he succumbed to fatigue. But not only that. Another case was a 58 years old man who got a heart attack while trying to complete the New York Marathon that took place in the year 2008. Another report stated that up to 11 people died as a result of participating 2012’s London Marathon. Even though the risks of heart problems is not a common thing among marathoners as compared to other sports such as soccer, it is important that you see your doctor for advice before participating in a marathon.

Compromised immune system

There is no doubt that exercising will boost your immune system. However, running long distances have been proven to impact immune system putting it into overdrive. After a long run, your body will release higher levels of cortisol with the aim of reducing swelling. This reaction can interfere with your immune system in one way or another. Experts always advise that you take some vitamin C so as to improve your sleep as well as lower down external stressors that might harm your body.

Impact on your weight

Many of us engage in long-distance running to burn fat so has to achieve a healthy weight. However, marathoners are supposed to take more calories so as to survive throughout an intense workout routine. More often when they are training, they get used to eating more carbohydrates. After their body get used to more calories, they will still want to take more calories even when the marathon is over. Long-distance running and eating foods that are high in calories can encourage weight gain which is never healthy, especially for a person who has been engaging in a rigorous exercise routine.


Long distance running is one of the exercises that will without a doubt improve your physical fitness. It will not only help burn fat and shape your body, but it is also healthy for your lungs. Unfortunately, not every person who engages in long distance running gets to enjoy these benefits. Many end up with fatalities while those who are lucky enough, end up with minor injuries that range from ankle sprains to skin bruises. The point is, engaging in long distance running is great for your health, but this does not mean that anyone can do it. Alternatively, you can improve strength with Mi40X. Before you think of long-distance running, it is important that you seek approval from your doctor to reduce the risks.


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