Uczestnictwo w biegach maratońskich a zdrowotność polskich biegaczy
Effect of long-distance running races on Polish participants’ health
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Background. In Poland, marathons are gaining in popularity among enthusiasts of running and healthy lifestyle in general. Universal participation of people in this extreme effort raises a number of questions about its effect on health, and consequently about the legitimacy to promote such events to the general public (to large sectors of society). The aim of this study was to identify the runners’ opinions based on their subjective feelings about the health aspects of participation in marathon races. Material and methods. This study included a group of 869 Polish amateur runners who declared at least one-year participation in running training. The research method was a diagnostic survey: a questionnaire developed by authors and implicit participant observation. Results and conclusions. Most of the runners claim that competing in marathon – and even longer distance runs – is a healthy way of spending leisure time, but skepticism is growing with the length of the training experience. Despite many injuries – arising from overload caused by exhausting trainings or competitions – the vast majority of runners believe that this form of activity is healthy. There is a need to inform about the negative health consequences of irrational training and participation in street runs.
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