Vital Health Checks Before Training for a Marathon

Vital Health Checks Before Training for a Marathon


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Fitness is one of my passions, and I especially love to run. It’s something that’s a big part of my life, and I try to work out as much as I can. The recent charity half marathon I did was a highlight of my running “career”. Some people are enthusiastic about staying fit for their whole lives. But others start to get into it at a later age. If you want to start taking your fitness seriously, there’s one thing I think everyone should do. Health checks can make sure that you catch any potential problems before you begin training. They will help you tailor your training schedule to a pace that suits you too. Here’s what you should do before you start running.

Blood Pressure Check

You might think of blood pressure problems as something only middle-aged get. But health and running experts will recommend that any adult gets it checked out. Hypertension (high blood pressure) could affect as many as one in three people. And a lot of people don’t realize they have it. As you get older, your risk increases, and it can cause lots of problems. Your blood pressure can be affected by your diet and also by some medications. You might also just be predisposed to having high or low blood pressure. If you want to become a serious runner, getting it checked by a doctor every year is important.


Image from Mike Baird

STD Check

Wait, what? Why would you need to check for sexually transmitted diseases before running? Well, it can’t hurt to cover all your bases. If you want to have a thorough health check, you should include all the major tests. Having an STD might not directly affect your ability to run. But it does influence your overall health. For one thing, any symptoms could be disruptive to your training. What’s more, they could lead to further problems. For example, women who contract gonorrhea are at risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease. You can learn more at, where you can read about the risks and tests available.

Heart and Lungs

We’ve all heard stories about seemingly healthy people just dropping dead. Sometimes they were running a marathon or something similar. And sometimes they were just going about their day. It’s not always possible to pick up on heart problems before they cause a crisis, but a health check can help. It’s especially important to get your heart and lungs checked if you know you have an existing condition. For example, anyone with asthma should see their doctor before they start training. Read about running with asthma at

Cholesterol and Blood Sugar

These two diet-related checks are especially important for anyone in their 40s or older. However, they can be useful for younger runners too. There are different measurements of cholesterol. You need to make sure you have the right amount of the “good” and “bad” types of cholesterol. It’s essential to watch your blood sugar too, particularly if you know you have a condition such as diabetes.

Talking to your doctor before you start running is a sensible idea. It helps you to work out a training program that’s suited to your needs.

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