Central European Journal of Sport Sciences and Medicine (Jan 2016)

Long-distance Running and its Effects on Cardiorespiratory Adaptation and Physiological Strain in Marathon Runners

  • Beata Manowska,
  • Ilona Pokora,
  • Anna Posmysz,
  • Katarzyna Przybyła,
  • Agata Żak,
  • Aleksandra Żebrowska

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13


Read online

Popularity of long-distance running has increased as well as number of female and male marathon runners. Whilst research into physiological characteristics of endurance trained athletes has significantly increased there are only few studies on the risk factors for respiratory failure in marathon runners. Therefore, the aim of the study was to evaluate the differences in respiratory function and the physiological strain in the response to exercise stress in marathon runners. Twenty three subjects (aged 36.1 ±11.6 years) participated in a marathon running. Prior to the run and after its completion, body mass and composition, spirometry and body temperature were measured. Based on pre- and post-run temperature and changes in heart rate, the physiological strain index (PSI) was calculated. Long-distance running significantly decreased the temperature of body surfaces (p < 0.05); no significant effects were observed regarding aural canal temperature and physiological strain index (PSI). Compared to resting values, post-marathon spirometry revealed a significant decrease in post-marathon forced expiratory volume (p < 0.05), peak expiratory flow (p < 0.05) and maximal expiratory flow values (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the long-distance running results in functional changes within the respiratory system which may limit the adaptive potential and decrease exercise tolerance.