Running Marathons . . . Are they safe?

First of all, I want to send my heart to the families of Daniel Langdon, Rick Brown and Jon Fenlon; the three Detroit Marathoners whom collapsed during the Detroit marathon October 18, 2009. When you are in any sport, particularly a marathon, you have more than just supports, everyone involved becomes family.

I am not a medical expert but I do read the released medical reports of those that lose their lives when running a marathon and I have learned that "the run" is not the cause. A couple of TEAM DIRTY RED runners have come to me with this concern because many of us go out for our long runs during the weekends or we are participating in a marathon, half marathon and even ultra marathon.

The one thing that I STRESS before starting any workout or running schedule, particularly marathon training is to get a check up and/or physical from your doctor. Let them know what your intentions are and what your workout will consist of before hitting the pavement. You know your body and so does your doctor. I know that co-pays can be high for some and others you may not have health insurance during these hard economic times, but your health is ALWAYS worth it. Not only for you, but for your family and friends who love to have you around.

Also, seek nutritional advise from a certified nutritionists and make sure that you stay hydrated through your training. Eating the right foods that will help compliment your workout is always a plus. While training, be aware of what you body can digest and what your body reacts to and make the necessary changes to keep your body up and running . . . literally!

Last, do NOT became Superman or Wonder Woman during the first 2 weeks of training! I know you are excited and have something to prove but LISTEN to your body and do what you can. You will have plenty of other opportunities to push yourself but NOT on the first day! You want to stay fit, healthy and prevent injuries by starting out nice and easy and working your way to a successful running event! For more information on marathon training and the benefits, go to!



If running is so good for you, why do people drop dead during marathons every year? A lifelong runner, with help from the experts, finds the encouraging truth behind the scary headlines.

By Amby Burfoot
Image by Matt Mahurin
From the December 2008 issue of Runner's World

Note: For more, including charts and useful tips, see the December 2008 issue of Runner's World magazine.

Most days, on my noontime run, I don't worry about dying.

Sure, my HDL ("good" cholesterol), which should be well over 50, is down in the basement (mid-30s), next to the late Tim Russert's. And my grandfather had his first heart attack in his 50s. And some people consider me a Type A personality. And I'm at an age, 62, where I've got decidedly fewer birthdays ahead of me than behind.
But my daily run offers so many pleasant distractions. I can check out my neighbors' gardens. Work through personal problems, consider a marathon, or simply enjoy the satisfaction of another workout in the bank. Running also taps deep into the brain's complex circuits-I never know what's going to pop into my head, the creative or the humdrum. (Notes to self: Start work on new book. Don't forget to pick up laundry.) (READ MORE)

Posted on October 19, 2009 .