What Happens To Your Body When You Run A Marathon?

Photographed by Ben Ritter.
You've trained harder than you thought possible. You've found the perfect sneakers. The theme song from Chariots of Fire is more than likely playing in your head. You're running a marathon and all you can think about is the next step. But, what's actually going on in your body on your way to the finish line?

Related: 17 Things To Expect When Running Your First Marathon

As anyone who has ever run ever knows, running affects your whole body. This only intensifies during a marathon — the amount you sweat on your morning jog will look like nothing compared to the gallon and a half you'll sweat out over those 26.2 miles. While we're still on the numbers, you'll take about 33,000 steps over the course of the marathon. The jury's still out on how many you can get up to before losing count.

Related: Your Brain Forgets The Pain Of Your First Marathon

There are also a few not-so-flattering outcomes from running a marathon: For example, 50% of runners report some kind of digestive distress during the big race, from heartburn to diarrhea. Maybe some of those water stations also provide Pepto?

Click through to Shape for more on the effects of running a marathon. (Shape)

Related: Step-By-Step Half-Marathon Training Schedule For First-Time Runners
Advertisement

More from Fitness

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.