Advertisement

Can training for a marathon actually damage your bones and joints?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Finishing a marathon will earn you many things: a medal, increased cardiovascular stamina, and blisters the size of Australia. While I respect marathoners and admire their passion, dedication, and athleticism, I can't endorse the training it takes to complete one.

The constant pounding your joints take with every step increases the likelihood that you'll suffer from joint problems and osteoarthritis down the road. And once your run exceeds more than 18 to 20 miles, you are likely to be consuming your own muscle proteins to provide energy.

Sure, I'd love to see you cross the finish line, but I'd also like to see you finish the race of life in the best-and youngest-shape possible. To live long and young, you need to be physically active. But too much activity can actually put the accelerator on aging, instead of the brakes.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

More About this Book

YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

Continue Learning about Running

Why Might I Have Pain In My Back When I Am Running?
Why Might I Have Pain In My Back When I Am Running?
How Can Runners Prevent Injury?
How Can Runners Prevent Injury?
What Is the Most Common Injury in Runners?
What Is the Most Common Injury in Runners?
How to Heal Shin Splints
How to Heal Shin Splints

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.