9 Things That Might Happen to Your Body When You Run a Marathon
A lot goes down in 26.2 miles
OMG, you’re running a marathon. (We’re crazy impressed.) But are you ready take on 26.2 miles? And what the hell kind of toll does that even take on your body? Here, nine things that might happen as you cruise toward the finish line.
YOU’LL BURN MORE CALORIES THAN AN ENTIRE PIZZA
The average marathoner burns about 2,800 calories over the course of the 26.2-mile race. A large cheese typically clocks in at around 2,300 calories. You do the (pizza) math.
AND YOU’LL LOSE UP TO 10 POUNDS IN ONE DAY
Alright, so the weight loss is temporary, but runners tend to shed about 5 to 11 pounds in water weight alone on race day. As you replenish fluids in the coming days, the pounds come back, but whoa.
YOU’LL GET A LITTLE BIT SHORTER
Again, blame the fluid loss: Marathoners tend to shrink about half an inch during a race. Don’t worry--when you rehydrate, your usual height will be restored--but if your shirt hangs a wee bit longer on your hips, don’t freak out.
BUT YOUR HEARING WILL IMPROVE
There’s a reason Beyoncé sounds louder all of a sudden: When you run (or train) for a marathon, circulation actually increases to the ear, which can make you more sensitive to sound, according to research.
THERE’S A PRETTY GOOD CHANCE YOU’LL LOSE A TOENAIL
During a marathon, the average runner takes--wait for it--about 33,000 strides. Combine that with the many months of training leading up to the race and it makes sense that your toes won’t be in tip-top shape. You can take preventative measures (like keeping them properly manicured and clipped), but it’s kinda inevitable that they’ll turn black and fall off. It’s OK--a new one grows back quick.
AND YOUR SINUSES WILL RUN
Officially, it’s called exercise-induced rhinitis. Basically, it’s a nasal allergy that’s induced by running for long periods of time outdoors. Awesome.
YOU’LL FEEL LIKE YOU CAN SOLVE THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS
As you run, your brain isn’t just releasing energy to your muscles--it's also sending it to your brain, per science. Which means that, over the course of your run, you just might solve that nanny scheduling snafu that’s been plaguing you for days.
And you’ll feel like a total champ at mile 18
It’s called the runner’s stride--and it typically comes about two-thirds of the way through the race. Don’t let the energy burst fool you. You’ve still got 8.2 miles to go.
YOUR BODY WILL BE SORE FOR ABOUT 7 DAYS
You just ran 26.2 miles. If you need to take a sick day, you have our permission.