How Many (Marathon) Is Too Many?

Fellow SRC runner, Sang, forwarded me a Wall Street Journal article on how increasingly people are running more marathons to get ready for marathons.

No doubt there are trends supporting such “more the merrier” school of marathon training.  The WSJ article cites Olympian Jeff Galloway, as one of the converts to this philosophy. Not just run more marathons but also longer distances.

Olympian, I am not.  But I consider myself an experienced marathoner (17 marathons and 2 BQs).  I understand the importance of distance and intensity being key components to marathon trainings.  Yes, I get that.  What I am concerned about are the other aspects of marathon running that the article left out.

Albeit articles like this promote the sport of marathon running, I could not help but cringe after I read the WSJ article.  It leaves a lot of room for mis-interpretations.  Reading between the lines, there are caveats such as one’s fitness level, experience factor, and/or age all play into the equation.  It is not one size fits all.

Not to mention, marathon running causes damages to one’s body.  Marathoner’s body needs time to recovery from the grueling 26.2 mile race. The body needs time to heal.  Too many marathons, too soon can be detrimental to one’s health.  Promoting something without a full disclosure is dangerous.

Case in point – the article gives example of the Marathon Maniacs in Tacoma, Wash. a club founded in 2003 that requires members to complete two marathons within 16 days or three marathons within 90 days. It now has nearly 12,000 members and is gaining roughly 1,000 a year.  That is just incredible (I wonder how many injuries do the club members sustained as a result).

More is not always merrier.

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