Are you ready to run the marathon?
The marathon bug may have bitten most couch potatoes in the city, but before you get carried away by your friends' stories of Herculean endurance and decide to join the race, take a moment to think through the repercussions.
Doctors have cautioned unprepared runners from jumping onto the sprinters' bandwagon, without first training long and hard for the physical exertion that comes along with it. In last year's marathon, eight sprinters had to be hospitalised, seven of them suffering from dehydration and low sugar levels.
53-year-old runner Shirish Dhande even suffered a heart attack after running a distance of 21 km. "More and more citizens are participating in the marathon every year, but the uninformed runners just do it to ape their friends, and end up running far beyond their capacity for physical exertion.
Different runners have different levels of stamina, and they should respect that," said Dr Hasmukh Ravat, senior interventional cardiologist and head of the department of Cardiology at Fortis Hospital, Mulund.
Meanwhile, Dr Deepak Shinde, cardiologist at Kohinoor Hospital said, "Marathon runners may suffer owing to strenuous physical activity, resulting in sudden cardiac death. The various risk factors are potentially silent and go unnoticed if not particularly looked for."
Doctors feel that running marathons has become the latest fad. Dr Nasir Fulara, senior physician, said, "When the marathon first began in Mumbai, we used to have orientation lectures at Jaslok hospital, to instruct the runners on how to prepare their bodies for marathons."
Did you know?
According to medical literature, more than 36 marathon runners have lost their lives from sudden heart attacks while running. This amounts to 1 in every 5,000 cases.