New study shows toll that ultramarathons take on the body

A recent study of ultramarathon runners shows how common injuries are among runners who race more than 26.2 miles.

The results, which come from the fittingly named ULTRA (Ultrarunners Longitudinal TRAcking) Study, include the health data and running experiences of 1212 ultramarathon runners who had recently completed an ultramarathon. Of that total, 933 reported some exercise-related injury in the past year. Of those runners, 783 (64.6 percent) say their injuries resulted in loss of at least one day of training. The median loss was 14 days.

Unfortunately, the study did not detail why some runners got injured and others didn’t.  One takeaway was that more experienced runners (with 7+ years of running) got injured less than newer runners.  Therefore, there is something to be said about sticking with running even if you seem to get hurt all the time.

The study should should also provide reassurance that nearly every serious runner will get hurt – you are not alone. By persevering through injuries, you will eventually develop a enough strength to lessening the likelihood of continually getting hurt.


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