We’ve all seen the 26.2 stickers on car bumpers – a badge of
honor and pride. But is that a good enough reason to run a marathon?
Dr. Andrew Gerken was recently participated in an article, “Just How Unhealthy is Running a Marathon?” While no one disputes, regular exercise can help keep you healthy, and
running is certainly a great form of cardiovascular exercise, the question
is if distance running, 26.2 miles specifically, going to cause more harm
While the article covers many different possible types of health concerns
associated with marathon running, we were more concerned with orthopedic
injuries and Dr. Gerken’s view on things.
Dr. Gerken works with many endurance runners and while it may seem like
simple advice, he says the key is to listen to your body. "Injury
history seems to be the biggest predictor of future issues," says
Dr.Gerken, “It makes sense: If you end your runs thinking, "Everything
hurts and I'm dying," you're likely pushing too hard, too
fast, or too far," Gerken says.
It's also okay not to buy into the hype. Your body may not be built
for distance running and marathons and that’s okay. There are plenty
of other running milestones or fitness goals you can achieve, to keep
yourself motivated and make fitness fun. "A marathon is more than
anybody needs for good health," Gerken says. "It's a nice
goal, but you need to ask yourself why that's your goal before blindly
flying into it."
To read the full article featured on Tonic, “Just How Unhealthy is
Running a Marathon?”
About Dr. Andrew Gerken:
Dr. Andrew Gerken is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports injuries
involving the foot & ankle. Dr. Gerken was part of the cross country
running team at Corona del Mar High School and initially got interested
in orthopedics from his own running injury back in high school. Dr. Gerken
lives in Newport Beach with his family and still enjoys running, playing
tennis and golf in his spare time.