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The post-marathon body: What to expect

With hundreds of thousands of people running marathons this year, and with even more aspiring to do so, we thought it might be helpful to compile a list of things to expect to happen to your body after running the marathon.
Arianne Brown, KSL Modified: April 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm •  Published: April 28, 2014

Running a marathon is something thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of people complete each year, with even more having it on their list of goals. But why the marathon? Don’t these people know the history behind it?

As legend has it, the world's first marathon was run — unintentionally — in 490 B.C. by a Greek soldier, Pheidippides, who ran the 25 miles to Athens from the town of Marathon to announce a battleground victory over the Persians. "Greetings, we win!" he shouted — and then fell to the ground, dead.

The man died, for heaven's sake, and people all over the world desire to run this distance. Surely they don’t want the same fate as Pheidippides.

Granted, he was most likely running in suffocatingly heavy battle gear, not lightweight fit apparel. Chances are, there weren’t aid stations equipped with water, Gatorade, GU and Vaseline every three miles, along with spectators cheering him on. And I’m willing to bet that his training regimen — although rigorous — probably didn’t consist of running long distances daily. A Spartan race was probably more his cup of tea.

So, yes, things have improved slightly over the years, making the marathon distance not only bearable but even enjoyable.

However, even as enjoyable and sought after as the marathon is, there are some not-so-pleasant things that can happen to your body after having completed a marathon. And while they are a lot more pleasant than death, these things may just render you useless for a few days.

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