daily runningResearchers from the University of Copenhagen looked at a unique situation (that most of us don’t find ourselves us in) . . . namely, what happens when people run a marathon? Everyday. For seven straight days.

Surprisingly, not as much as you’d guess!

Ten participants in the¬†Bornholm Multiple-Marathon Race Event–consecutive daily marathons for 1 week, 7 marathons in total–agreed to undergo testing before and after the event. Testing consisted of, among other things:

  • Body composition
  • Plasma volume
  • Inflammatory, skeletal muscle and cardiac markers
  • Glucose
  • Lipids

Interesting significant findings:

  • Total cholesterol decreased while HDL’s increased
  • Decreased insulin
  • Fat mass decreased WHILE muscle mass increased

Researchers concluded that “daily marathon running for a week did not result in severe damage as indicated by a broad range of biochemical variables and that certain health-related parameters, such as fat percentage, total cholesterol, and HDL improved substantially . . . this implies that daily marathon running for a week does not impose any major health risk at the biochemical level. Based on this, and given that the subjects are experienced long-distance runners without any known diseases, only very minimal health risks arise when undertaking a multistage ultrarace event under temperate weather conditions.”

While I would have liked to see some more information on muscle, bone and joint damage, this is encouraging support for the health benefits of daily running.