Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Marathons and a 20-Minute Treadmill Workout

Some days are better than others. And when you wake up to a cat who's been sick all night, all over your floor--Why?--you know it's going to take some serious work to make the sun shine. This bracelet helps a lot.

I got it from The Beaded Butterfly.
And it makes my heart smile.

Yesterday I rocked a 12 miler. But not every day can be a 12-mile day, can it? Nope. Today it's simply not going to happen. I'm too busy cleaning cat sickness off the floor. (Rolls eyes dramatically.) So today I'm going to have to push through and just get a quick run done.
Finish in a Flash!

My sister, Mindy, ran the Top of Utah marathon on Saturday. She's part of at least a half dozen pacing groups (not literally, but she is in a lot of pacing/running groups) and ran this one as a pacer. If you remember, she ran the Big Cottonwood marathon last weekend as a pacer as well. This time she was slated to run the five hour pace. Seriously, five hours of running??? That's a long time to be running/jogging.

To top that off, she's also running the St.George Marathon in less than two weeks! The girl loves her marathons.
Which leads me to ask a question: How much is too much?
It's a hard question to answer. Even experts don't agree. 
The Physiology of Marathon Running: Just What Does Running a Marathon Do to Your Body? by Jake Emmett, Ph.D. both posed and answered questions on what happens to the body during the 26.2 miles of a marathon.
Admittedly, I have never run a marathon (not yet, anyway), but after running two half marathons in one month at PR pace, I can tell you my body felt all of those miles and then some. My muscles were achy and sore following both races despite my training. And today, well today I'm fighting off a cold.
In his article, Dr. Emmett states, "Microscopic damage to the muscles from running a marathon can cause more than soreness. As part of the repair process, cytokines are released from the injured area to promote the influx of white blood cells from the immune system. In particular, neutrophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes are elevated after prolonged endurance events such as a marathon ... The muscle damage incurred from running a marathon can divert some immune cells for muscle repair and weaken others, leaving the immune system less able to protect against upper respiratory tract infections."

To counteract any negative physiological reactions to marathon running, the author gives these recommendations:

  • Keep other life stresses to a minimum.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Obtain adequate sleep.
  • Avoid putting hands to eyes and nose.
  • Avoid sick people and large crowds.
  • Avoid overtraining and rapid weight loss.
  • Use carbohydrate beverages before, during, and after marathon races and long training runs.

  • Seriously, people. I cannot stress enough how valuable a healthy body is. Never, ever take it for granted! In today's culture of ultra-endurance fitness, it's hard to know how much is too much. If running a marathon, ultra, or Ironman is on your bucket list, please do so with smart training, adequate nutrition, and under the care of a physician.

    How much do you think is too much?
    Are you gearing up for a marathon, ultra, or Ironman?

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Come on, radiate some sunshine over here.