This isn’t so much a blog post, but more of a musing — one that I hope will generate some interesting discussion in the comments section. Even before I came down with this hip thing, and actually before I ran Big Sur, I was telling the Gypsy Runner about a friend who was running a marathon despite a bad injury. He stopped me mid-story and said*, “You know, I used to think that running was healthy, and now with all of these stories you tell me about injured runners, I’m not so sure anymore.”
We then had a healthy debate about whether humans were indeed “Born to Run” and if so, were we made for marathon running or shorter distances? One could argue, as I did, that it’s not so much the running that’s the problem, it’s that 80-90% of our days are spent sitting or lying down, which have weakened our running muscles, making us more prone to injury. Maybe it’s a biomechanics or form issue. However, as I’ve been wrestling with my own running injuries of late, I can’t help but look around and notice that all of the injured runners I know also run marathons, whereas those who have NOT run a marathon in the past year are injury-free. A few caveats: I do know non-injured marathon runners and correlation does not equal causation, BUT it does make me wonder whether marathons are beneficial or detrimental to your health.
In my own experience, I never had any issues until I started training for my first marathon, and even then, they were relatively minor niggles. I made it through 4 marathons before finally capitulating to a running-related injury, but one that’s unlikely to sideline me for longer than 2 weeks. So maybe I’m lucky… or perhaps I’m pressing my luck, and it’s only a matter of time before I succumb to something a lot more serious down the road?
Your turn! What do you think? Do you run marathons or have you in the past? Did you get injured? Why do you think injury rates seem so high among marathoners?