In case you missed it, Belgian Stefaan Engels ran 365 marathons in 365 days this past Saturday. Yes, that’s one marathon a day for an entire year. Or, 9,569 miles. He ran through literally 7 countries, smashing the previous record of 52 consecutive marathons. Engels also holds the world record for swimming/biking/running 20 Ironmans in one year. (an Ironman is 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and marathon run of 26.2 miles) Engels’ goal was to show people that if he can do this, anyone can do a little bit of exercise to lose weight. Now, I’ve ran a marathon before, and even a half marathon without specifically training for it, but this is extreme from both a physical and health perspective. I have mixed feelings about something like this. On one hand, the guy had the capacity to do such a thing and it’s just an amazing feat. On the other, I can’t help but wonder what he ate and how it all affected his long-term health. Also, it is clear his specialty is ultra-endurance efforts. While he probably doesn’t care much what his Fran time is, I do like to be well-rounded and enjoy being able to say I’ve ran a marathon, but also can deadlift close to 3x bodyweight. Ultimately what Engels did is incredible and shows what the human body is capable of, but if the average person is looking to be healthy and strong, stick with weightlifting and sprinting for your exercise.
–Would you rather be the best at one thing or be good at everything?–