Kõik postitused
14. May 2024

Comparing 2 marathons in blood markers

For the challenge of 20 marathons in 10 days all under 3 hours, which is about to start, I have been training for the last 6 months to improve my recovery speed. The Barcelona Marathon in March and the Tartu Forest Marathon on last Sunday tested how I coped with this task. Both my well-being and blood test results confirm that my body recovers very quickly from long and intense effort.

Barcelona Marathon 

  • Finish time: 2:28:52
  • Average heart rate: 165 
  • Max heart rate: 174 
  • Elevation gain: 92 meters 
  • Surface: asphalt 
  • Weather: sunny and warm, around 10-16 degrees Celsius

Tartu Forest Marathon 

  • Finish time: 2:37:47 
  • Average heart rate: 162 
  • Max heart rate: 175 
  • Elevation gain: 384 meters 
  • Surface: mostly forest trails + gravel roads 
  • Weather: sunny and around 10 degrees Celsius
Photo: Imre Avaste

After both marathons, the same analyzes were given at exactly the same time window (i.e. 45 hours after finishing). As shown in the accompanying table, neither marathon left a long-lasting impact on my body. After the Barcelona Marathon, creatine kinase was slightly above normal, but other indicators remained within the normal range. After the Tartu Forest Marathon, all indicators were within the normal range. 

In Barcelona I made a stronger effort than in the Forest Marathon, but then I also recovered from the corona virus I suffered at the end of February. So the virus may have left its own small mark as well. The goal of the Forest Marathon, however, was to make one final strong effort before the challenge of running 20 marathons in 10 days. So, I didn't push myself to the maximum and this reflected well in my after run well-being, good muscle condition, and overall great blood picture. The reason why C-reactive protein was slightly higher after the Forest Marathon than after the Barcelona Marathon may be due to the fact that during the Forest Marathon, I got a bruise under one toenail from running downhill, which could have caused a slight increase in the inflammation marker. Fortunately, it subsided quickly, and apart from losing the toenail, it shouldn't cause any other concerns.

For comparison, you can see from the blog post on February 26 how much higher the aforementioned blood markers rose during some of my previous challenges. It will be interesting to see what my blood picture will be during and immediately after the challenge starting on May 21st.

In addition to the blood test, I also monitor the weight, specifically its change, in terms of the training effect and recovery speed. My weight on the morning of the marathon was essentially the same as on the two mornings following the marathon, which is a sign for me that the run was not too hard and didn't overly stress my body.