Running full marathon is seen as the ultimate goal in terms of fitness. While it may be enjoyable for some, distance running is not the healthiest or easiest sport for the average person to engage in, despite the sense of satisfaction that 42km race may bring. There are negative short term and long term consequences which arise as a direct result of distance running, many of which could be avoided by stopping the long, slow training and going for some shorter, high intensity bursts of activity instead. Here are the reasons why distance running is bad.
1) Bad for joint health
We have all felt the literal impact of running. As your foot collides with the ground, a shock wave rides up through your leg, past your ankle, knee and even hip joints. As well as the tears this impact creates in your muscles, the joints of your leg are also affected. With the muscles surrounding these joints weakened or even catabolised, the joints themselves are vulnerable and open to problems arising. This has short term effects or joint pain – sometimes to a crippling degree – but also long term effects. Studies have shown that the pressure distance runners put on their joints has many future implications. The cartilage around these joints is diminished, which is immediately painful, but it can also have devastating long term effects for an active person. Mobility and joint movement are both potentially affected by arthritis as a result of the stress placed on these leg joints during distance runs. It may take many years to arise, but arthritis is an unfortunate consequence of distance running that can take its toll in old age.