Are runs of 50 or 100 miles good for your health and what about wear and tear on your body? The Fox News looks at Ultramarathoning


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Are runs of 50 or 100 miles good for your health and what about wear and tear on your body? Fox News looks at Ultramarathoning

A number of our patients are Ultra marathoners. What this means is that they run races in excess of 26.2 miles or the length of a marathon. While many of our patients have the goal of completing a marathon such as Philly or NYC, these folks want to go way beyond with a 50k, 100k and even more. In my experience, they enjoy the sport however, it is grueling on the body, resulting in many symptoms of bodies breaking down from the intensity of the runs as well as the length of the training.

Is Ultramarathoning a good idea? Some African tribes have been known to do runs such as these on a regular basis, since they did not have access to modern modes of transportation for hunting, etc. Are we even built to be able to complete ultramarathons?

Fox News recently looked into Ultra Marathons and examines if this is a good idea.

Ultramarathons: Is running 100 miles bad for your health?

Ultramarathons – races over 26.2 miles – have experienced an exponential surge in popularity over the past decade, as runners line up to push their bodies to the limit during races that sometimes boast 100-mile-long courses.

Now, a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE seeks to explore the health of ultramarathoners – and whether the extreme sport carries any dangerous consequences.

Lead study author Dr. Marty Hoffman is familiar with the trials – and joys – of ultramarathoning. After logging his first 50-mile race in 1985, Hoffman has gone on to complete numerous ultras over the years, including 10 100-mile races.

“The real key here is figuring out whether there’s an upper limit for the valuable effects from exercise…,” Hoffman, a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of California, Davis, told “We know that moderate exercise has considerable health benefits, so then the question is, what happens if you go beyond that?”

Ultramarathoners: The picture of good health? For his study, Hoffman and Dr. Eswar Krishnan, an assistant professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, recruited 1,200 ultrarunners to participate in an online questionnaire about their running history, training habits, general health and any running injuries incurred over the previous 12 months.

At a glance, ultramarathoners appear generally healthy, reporting few serious health problems and illnesses throughout the year-long study. They missed fewer days of work due to illness or injury compared to the general population and also reported visiting the doctor less frequently.

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