The body seems to hold up surprisingly well when it’s constantly running.
According to a recently published study in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, multi-day ultra marathons may not be that harmful to the body. The races, where participants log over 150 miles split across several days, have been gaining in popularity in recent years.
In the study, researchers from the University of Washington and the UC Davis Sports Medicine program tracked 396 ultra marathoners in several races. They found that the rate of injury was 3.98 per runner. However, an overwhelming amount of the injuries (95%) were minor in nature and were mostly skin-related like blisters.
According to the study’s authors: “Serious injuries / illnesses are relatively rare, but when they do occur they are often related to dehydration.”
However, as with most studies, there are caveats.
The races examined were mostly off-road, so the high rate of skin injuries could be related to the terrain. And, since the races were across multiple days, runners were encouraged to report issues early in the race, which may have skewed the results.
For More: LA Times