Apple health study proves anybody can run a marathon -- given enough time

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in Apple Watch

For five years, Apple has been running a Heart and Movement Study using the Apple Watch, and its researchers have now examined the training and cardio exercises that marathon runners do.

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The Apple Heart and Movement Study has been run in partnership with the American Heart Association and Brigham and Women's Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, since 2019. Ahead of Marathon Monday, April 15, 2024, and the Boston Marathon in particular, researchers have been examining health data of people who run and walk marathons.

Between its founding in November 2019 and January 1, 2024, the study's researchers say that there have been 201,471 participants. More than 1,500 ran an estimated 2,623 marathons in total, plus over 50% of participants had at least one single running workout of 5K or more.

For some 20% of participants, that longest single running workout was at least 10K. In the walking study, almost 54% of participants had a longest single workout of at least 5K -- and nearly 14% did at least 10K in one go.

The researchers also tracked how participants prepared for a marathon. They say that the top 10% of participants with the fastest finishing time, ran roughly 16 miles more per week than the middle 10%, leading up to marathon day.

Most participants did not run or walk marathons, but the researchers have the data on how much they did run or walk. So they've extrapolated how long it would take most people to run or walk a marathon's 26.2 miles at their average exercising speed.

This time using specifically data from April 2023, they found that half of participants would run or walk 26.2 miles in 90 days or fewer.

The study notes that this may be an underestimate, though. Apple Watch can automatically detect a workout and begin timing it, but not all participants will have enabled that feature.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,781member
    The body is a remarkable feat of engineering. 

    Your heart can remodel due to sedentary lifestyle in an unhealthy way over enough time. 

    In a similar manner, you heart can improve with proper diet and exercise given enough time. 

    We are designed to adapt. 

    From muscles and endocrine to kidneys to cardiovascular and even the bones, it’s amazing what wise changes can do. 
    Japheybyronl
  • Reply 2 of 10
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,423member
    Too bad the "anyone can run a marathon -- given enough time" revelation came AFTER the "anyone can eat an entire large pizza or consume an entire half-gallon of ice cream by themselves -- given enough time" discovery. 
    byronl
  • Reply 3 of 10
    Less than 90 days to complete a marathon? S l o w
  • Reply 4 of 10
    Less than 90 days to complete a marathon? S l o w
    Article quote:
    “This time using specifically data from April 2023, they found that half of participants would run or walk 26.2 miles in 90 days or fewer.” [of training]

    I’m not sure if you’re serious in your statement or being facetious.   I’d agree that the article needs an edit to make clear meaning of what is done in 90 days. It sounds like what you said, it takes 90 days to complete the distance of a marathon.  In 90 days one has to sleep and eat every day among other bodily functions. 

    I believe the study actually showed that training vigorously nearly every day for 3 months produced results of the ability to complete a marathon event.  

    I wish the age and health of the cohort was revealed in the reporting.   I don’t think it would apply to folks in my late 70’s age group. In my age group it might take a year or more of training to be able to complete a marathon event.  

    I would not run that distance as it is too hard on the spine after aging with normal wear and tear and decline of protein repair at this age. Swimming is a better sport for less wear and tear on joints and connective tissue. 

    At a younger age of 55 yrs old, I did compete at a very fast pace.  Heck, we have professional athletes competing into their 40’s.  
    appleinsideruserbyronldjmalik
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Less than 90 days to complete a marathon? S l o w
    Article quote:
    “This time using specifically data from April 2023, they found that half of participants would run or walk 26.2 miles in 90 days or fewer.” [of training]

    I’m not sure if you’re serious in your statement or being facetious.   I’d agree that the article needs an edit to make clear meaning of what is done in 90 days. It sounds like what you said, it takes 90 days to complete the distance of a marathon.  In 90 days one has to sleep and eat every day among other bodily functions. 

    I believe the study actually showed that training vigorously nearly every day for 3 months produced results of the ability to complete a marathon event.  

    I wish the age and health of the cohort was revealed in the reporting.   I don’t think it would apply to folks in my late 70’s age group. In my age group it might take a year or more of training to be able to complete a marathon event.  

    I would not run that distance as it is too hard on the spine after aging with normal wear and tear and decline of protein repair at this age. Swimming is a better sport for less wear and tear on joints and connective tissue. 

    At a younger age of 55 yrs old, I did compete at a very fast pace.  Heck, we have professional athletes competing into their 40’s.  
    You're right, I was being flippant. You make good points @jellybelly
    byronljellybelly
  • Reply 6 of 10
    The body is a remarkable feat of engineering. 

    Your heart can remodel due to sedentary lifestyle in an unhealthy way over enough time. 

    In a similar manner, you heart can improve with proper diet and exercise given enough time. 

    We are designed to adapt. 

    From muscles and endocrine to kidneys to cardiovascular and even the bones, it’s amazing what wise changes can do. 
    We were neither designed nor engineered. Nature isn’t sentient and doesn’t  have intent. 
  • Reply 7 of 10
    djmalikdjmalik Posts: 14member
    Less than 90 days to complete a marathon? S l o w
    Article quote:
    “This time using specifically data from April 2023, they found that half of participants would run or walk 26.2 miles in 90 days or fewer.” [of training]

    I’m not sure if you’re serious in your statement or being facetious.   I’d agree that the article needs an edit to make clear meaning of what is done in 90 days. It sounds like what you said, it takes 90 days to complete the distance of a marathon.  In 90 days one has to sleep and eat every day among other bodily functions. 

    I believe the study actually showed that training vigorously nearly every day for 3 months produced results of the ability to complete a marathon event.  

    I wish the age and health of the cohort was revealed in the reporting.   I don’t think it would apply to folks in my late 70’s age group. In my age group it might take a year or more of training to be able to complete a marathon event.  

    I would not run that distance as it is too hard on the spine after aging with normal wear and tear and decline of protein repair at this age. Swimming is a better sport for less wear and tear on joints and connective tissue. 

    At a younger age of 55 yrs old, I did compete at a very fast pace.  Heck, we have professional athletes competing into their 40’s.  
    I agree age would be helpful. I am 79 and still can 20-25 miles a week without discomfort. I don't think a marthon is on the horizon. I gave up mini marathons a couple of years ago because I got neuromas. I have a VO2max around 40 which is decent for my age,but not so good for a marathon. So I am relegated to try and up my mileage to run a marathon a week. I like that... as long as people don't ask me my time. 
    appleinsideruser
  • Reply 8 of 10
    brianmbrianm Posts: 39member
    In my typical walking, I apparently average 9-10 days.  On particular busy weeks at work (which is a big building), it could be as little as 5 days.

    Wasn't something I really thought about, but is interesting.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    SislikSislik Posts: 2member
    “… at least one single running workout of 5K or more.” - what does “5K” stands for?
  • Reply 10 of 10
    Sislik said:
    “… at least one single running workout of 5K or more.” - what does “5K” stands for?
    It's the temperature you need to train at. Just above absolute zero and about warm enough to boil helium. 😝
    Whereas 5km (5000m), is probably about how far you'd get if you ran for half an hour. 🏃

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