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Running your first marathon

Preparing for your first marathon

According to various researches, individuals should engage in at least 150 minutes per week of aerobic activity at a moderate to vigorous intensity, or an equivalent combination of the two. Following these recommendations can improve general health and lower the risk of developing chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer, or heart disease.1

Running a marathon has many benefits and all it requires is some time and consistency! So, let us look at the various physical, mental, and social benefits.2,3,4

So, why should you run a marathon?

Physical Benefits:

Running a Marathon has many physical benefits such as:

Mental Health Benefits5

Running regularly at a moderate level can improve mental health significantly by

Social Benefits6

Running a marathon has a number of social benefits as well. A few are listed below.

Factors Affecting The Marathon Time7


There are various factors that affect the marathon time, some internal and personalized while a few are external factors such as:

Nutritional Tips for Running a Marathon8,9


It is crucial to provide our bodies with the nutrition they require to power through the distances. The keys to a marathon runner's diet are knowing what to eat and when to eat it. Here are some tips for long-distance runners on how to properly hydrate and prepare for a marathon.

Are there any Side effects to Marathon Running?

A growing body of research suggests that long-term training for a marathon can cause the heart's chambers to enlarge and stretch. Within a week or so, these alterations normally go back to normal. Chronic training, on the other hand, may cause scarring, cardiac enlargement, and rigidity. Few studies have also shown that excessive running may affect bone and joint health.

Chronic high-intensity exercise may come with a cost. But, there are safe upper dose limitations for everything in life, including running.

Running a marathon needs to be a gradual transition rather than an abrupt occurrence. It should be preceded by adequate preparation, a medical examination, and should be practiced in moderation.10


Various published evidences about running and the related health effects suggest that the right amount of nourishment and exercise is safest & easiest way to good health.11

The ability to complete a marathon may aid in promoting and encouraging healthy lives. The development of strategies to support enhanced physical and psychological wellbeing, healthy ageing, and the decline in obesity has the potential to be enhanced by regular running.12


  1. CDC. Walking [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019. Available from:
  2. Contributors WE. Health Benefits of Running [Internet]. WebMD. 2021. Available from:
  3. View Image [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 12]. Available from:
  4. Simpson RJ, Kunz H, Agha N, Graff R. Chapter Fifteen - Exercise and the Regulation of Immune Functions [Internet]. Bouchard C, editor. Vol. 135, ScienceDirect. Academic Press; 2015. p. 355–80. Available from:
  5. Linden D. The Truth Behind “Runner’s High” and Other Mental Benefits of Running [Internet]. 2022. Available from: Accessed on 12 October 2022.
  6. Malchrowicz-Mośko E, Poczta J. Running as a Form of Therapy Socio-Psychological Functions of Mass Running Events for Men and Women. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018 Oct 16;15(10):2262.
  7. Jones AM, Kirby BS, Clark IE, Rice HM, Fulkerson E, Wylie LJ, et al. Physiological demands of running at 2-hour marathon race pace. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2020 Nov 5;130(2).
  8. This is a sports nutrition publication of Sports Dietitians Australia. Marathon Nutrition [Internet]. 2010 Jun. Available from:
  9. Loconti C. What to Know About Nutrition for Long Distance Running [Internet]. WebMD. Available from:
  10. Doheny K. Can Too Much Exercise Be Harmful? [Internet]. WebMD. Available from:
  11. Burkule N. Marathon running for amateurs: Benefits and risks. Journal of Clinical and Preventive Cardiology. 2016;5(4):113.
  12. Shipway R, Holloway I. Running free: Embracing a healthy lifestyle through distance running. Perspectives in Public Health. 2010 Aug 26;130(6):270–6.