The prestigious media outlet The Washington Post has published a story about the new study by the School of Education and Health of University Camilo José Cela, which states that amateur athletes who run a marathon without proper preparation can significantly raise concentrations of several biomarkers for cardiac stress. This project has been published in Circulation , the American Heart Association journal and received the National Prize for Research in Sports Medicine last year.
To reach this conclusion, UCJC researchers conducted research at the last Rock’n’Roll Madrid Marathon&1/2, in which they selected twenty-one groups of three amateur runners who competed in the ten-kilometre, half-marathon and marathon. At the end of the competitions, blood samples were obtained, among other measures, to measure cardiac stress through the concentration of cardiotroponins.
The result revealed that the marathon runners finished the test with very high rates of cardiac stress, and significantly higher than the levels found in the ten kilometre and half marathon runners. This data set reveals acute stress during competitive running and cannot be extrapolated to long-term changes. The research findings reveal that the relationship between competitive distance running and cardiac stress is not linear, so the study argues that, when talking about exercise, “more does not have to be better”.
The authors of the study now consider measuring the causes that predispose to increased cardiac stress in marathon runners (race pace, age, heart rate), with the aim of making exercise, and in particular long-distance running, beneficial for health.
The research, led by Juan del Coso, has been carried out by a group of professors from the Department of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences at University Camilo José Cela, including Beatriz Lara, Juan José Salinero, César Gallo Salazar, Francisco Areces and Diana Ruiz-Vicente. The researchers note that “with the growing popularity of this type of races, and the exponential increase in the number of participants, it is increasingly common to find marathon runners who decide to participate in competitions without proper preparation. Our findings suggest that running shorter endurance races than the marathon could reduce cardiac stress and therefore would be more advisable for amateur runners”.