Reasons to run: Marathon myths debunked

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  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    I'm gonna have to disagree with some of that. Almost anyone CAN run a marathon without any serious health risks. Your example of the first marathon leaves a lot out...he probably did that in full armor, in the middle of the day, with few water/fuel stops, and probably with training on the shy end. That certainly is a recipe for potential problems, but it is NOT what most people who run marathons do.

    In 10 years of running, I've never seen anyone who trained PROPERLY experience serious knee problems or any other permanent injury due to running. I've been everywhere from being barely able to finish a 5k to winning or placing in every race I run (including ultramarathons), so I've seen it all. Yes, if you're 300 pounds, you probably shouldn't pop off and run a cold turkey marathon, but outside of that and maybe a few other conditions, pretty much anyone can train for, and complete at least one, if not multiple marathons. It's all in taking a patient approach to your training and allowing your body to become accustomed to the stress over time, but that doesn't mean one shouldn't do it.

  • David in New Mexico Rio Rancho, NM
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:28 p.m.

    The word "marathon" comes from Pheidippides (530 BC490 BC), an Athenian messenger was sent to Sparta to request help when the Persians landed at Marathon, Greece. He then ran the 40 km (25 miles) from the battlefield near Marathon to Athens to announce the victory.

    Then collapsed and died, literally.

    So in commemoration of that grim event we should all give it a shot? Rather odd conclusion don't you think?

  • David in New Mexico Rio Rancho, NM
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    Ligaments and muscles of the knees can be strengthened but they can also experience wear and tear faster than the body's ability to repair. It all depends on your body. Debate that if you wish but it's medical fact. Long-distance running can be a very real detriment to the articular surfaces of the knee. Everybody's knees are different. Running is not for everyone. Take it from someone who spends nearly every day in orthopedic surgery. Before considering taking up marathoning as a hobby one should really consult a physician to discuss risks, benefits and alternatives.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Aug. 1, 2011 2:32 p.m.

    i had an apache indian friend many years ago that used to run to get places---about twice each semester he would run "home" to Nephi from campus and back a few days later---i think that was about 90 miles round trip and he would do that in just a few hours each way (i think about 10-12 hrs)---

    running is not bad just boring---sometimes i wish i enjoyed it---

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    July 29, 2011 10:35 a.m.

    Not only is it not bad for humans to run, but out of all the animals around, if any of them was designed for distance running it is humans. We're bipedal, which makes us more efficient over long distances at a relatively slow pace, and which makes it so running doesn't interfere with breathing. We can thermoregulate through sweating better than any other animal. We're relatively lightweight but with massively overbuilt leg bones and muscles, and our feet are designed to absorb impact.

    Also, anyone can run a marathon. Unless you have some sort of condition that makes strenuous activity an impossiblity, you can run a marathon if you put in the miles to do it.

    Starting marathons young CAN actually be bad for you, contrary to the myth. It depends on how much effort you put into it, but it is something to be very cautious about. I have known people who did it successfully without side effect, but they barely "ran" it. Make no mistake, the marathon takes a lot out of you in ways that no shorter distance does. But, once your body is mature enough to recover properly, you will be just fine. Stronger, actually.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    July 27, 2011 4:32 p.m.

    Way to go! Get some good shoe advice from a reputable running store such as Runners Corner in Orem or Fleet Feet in AF, not some general sporting goods store. Then plan for another one that does not involve Salt Lake City.

    Toenails grow back, this we know. And go Cougars.

  • Kyle loves BYU/Jazz Provo, UT
    July 27, 2011 11:03 a.m.

    I ran the marathon on Monday. It was my first. It was fun and very interesting to see all the different people running it. I find it unbelievable that people like John Kotter can run that far that fast. Incredible.

    After 21 miles my feet hurt so bad I could not longer run. Apparently running down Big and Little mountains is much harder on your feet than running down provo canyon and hobble creek canyon where I trained. My shoes were definitely too worn out. So I took a pit stop at Rice-Eccles where my car was parked and walked the last five miles in my flip flops. I still finished before they took the finish line down!

    I'm not sure if I will run another one but despite the pain it was enjoyable and I am proud I finished. If I do run another one it won't be a course with so much steep downhill and I will wear better shoes!

    Anyone can do it if you put in the work.

  • oldrunner Ogden, UT
    July 27, 2011 9:53 a.m.

    You are right on, Kim. At 54 I attended my son's first marathon finish. I was amazed to se the variety of people who participate in marathons. I said to myself, 'You can do that', and a year later, I did. In my first one, I was disappointed to not qualify for Boston. I really thought that I could. I did qualify in my second marathon and have been getting faster ever since. My goal is to continue to get faster into my 60s. Old age may eventually win, but I am going to fight him all the way. I am 58 now and would love to keep running for the rest of my life. I have seen runners using canes and walking sticks. I have met a few running on prosthetic legs and knee/hip replacements. My wife has done a few halfs with RA. I believe that almost anyone can do it if the want to.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    July 27, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    Good article. Valid advice. I am one of those who never ran a marathon until I was in my 50s (still in my 50s). I had run a bunch of 5Ks, a few 10Ks and a couple of halfs but never had a desire to run a marathon. Finally I decided to at least do one before I got too old, or lost interest. I ran it with a knee injury but finished. Right after I thought, "Well, that's out of the way. I don't care if I ever do that again." The knee pain was pretty bad but a few days later I determined to cure the knee problem and do another marathon. I guess it was something akin to what women experience with childbirth; painful and some vow to never go through it again, but after a brief recovery realize it's not so bad and another time is a definite possibility.

    I'm now staring at my 4th marathon and barring injury will be my fastest. Great experience and accomplishment for anyone who dares face the challenge. I believe anyone who can walk without crutches or canes, dizziness or pains, can do a marathon.

    Go for it!

  • JFFR Salt Lake City, UT
    July 27, 2011 8:39 a.m.

    I moved to SLC three years ago and was surprised with how many people were preparing for a marathon. I'd never seen so many marathon runners in my life! A few friends invited me to join them in training for one...I found myself wondering if I could do it.

    Then I shuddered and realized how foolish that would be. I decided to make a list of "Thing I never want to do in life." Topping the list at #1 is: Run a Marathon.

    Interesting article though. Once again I felt a curiousity about whether or not I could actually run one... I hope that feeling goes away soon!