Have you been exercising and eating right? Are you in the best shape of your life and are now looking for that next big challenge? Is this the year that you have decided to test your limits and run a marathon? It is great that you are taking your health and fitness more seriously. It is also good that you have set your sights on becoming so fit that you can run and perhaps even run competitively in a marathon race, but you should be aware of the harmful affects of marathon running on your body.
Running does put more stress on your bones and joints. The prolonged length of time you will be stressing your body this way in a marathon race could cause bone and joint trouble later on. To reduce this risk, wear appropriate running shoes, ankle, knee, wrist, and elbow supports, and properly train for marathon running before the day of the race. Increased susceptibility to infections right after marathon running is another of the harmful effects of running a marathon. Wash your hands as often as possible and remember that mild exercise after a race will help you to rebuild your immune system.
Dehydration and over hydrating are two harmful effects of marathon running. Not drinking water when your body signals the need for it with thirst can lead to dehydration. Drinking water when you are not experiencing thirst, just because someone hands you a cup of water along the race route, can lead to the over hydration of your body. Both of these have serious medical complications that can occur. The solution is to drink when your body says you need to and pass up hand outs when you are not thirsty.
Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting are unpleasant and harmful effects that can occur with marathon running. Keeping yourself properly hydrated during the course of the race is the best way to avoid these unpleasant symptoms. If you do experience any of these side effects and they continue even after resting, seek medical attention.
Bladder tears are one of the harmful results of marathon running. This happens as the bladder is jolted up and down while running. You may experience some pain and see blood in your urine when relieving yourself after a race. If you continue to notice blood in your urine with subsequent urinations or your pain increases, then make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.
Hyperventilation is another harmful effect from marathon running. This is because you are taking quicker and larger spurts of oxygen into your body and your lungs may not be able to exchange the carbon dioxide for oxygen at such a rapid rate. Some say that breathing into a paper sack will help your lungs to catch up and then calm them so that you can breathe comfortably. Continuing to run while hyperventilating though could cause you to collapse.
Severe skin chafing is made possible by the continuous rubbing of your clothes against the surface of the skin while running, and sweating. Carry a small towel and run it under your armpits every so often. Shower as soon after the race as possible, pat yourself dry rather than rubbing with a towel and apply powder and lotion to relive the discomfort of chafing. Make sure your running shoes are the right size. Give your toes an inch to move and avoid being squashed. Toe cramps and toe nail loss are a common effect of marathon running when you do not have the right fit to your shoes.
Do not let the possibility of these harmful effects from marathon running deter you from your goal to run a marathon. As this article illustrated, there are ways to avoid many of these harmful side effects altogether and very effective measures to use should they happen.