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Healthy Marathons

November 16, 2010

New research into the heart health of runners underscores why it’s more important to train for a marathon than to actually complete one.


Running a healthy marathon…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Many people run marathons for a charity cause, or to prove they can do it. But according to cardiologist Eric Larose, of Laval University, inadequate training can be harmful to the heart. He and his colleagues studied the hearts of 20 amateur runners before and after the 2008 Quebec City marathon. He says runners who were less fit going into the race got more dehydrated and suffered more damage to their hearts. He says that while their hearts healed themselves within three months, it’s another reminder that good training is just as important as the goal.

ERIC LAROSE (Laval University):
I encourage people to keep on training for them, because training is good for your heart and it will decrease your risk, but, if you push yourself, beyond the limits of what the training has prepared you for, then you increase your risk.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.