365 Marathons in 365 Days

Stefaan Engels. I wonder how many pull ups he can do.



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.

–What about you, what are your thoughts?–
–Would you rather be the best at one thing or be good at everything?–



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2 thoughts on “365 Marathons in 365 Days

  1. Very cool!heard about this late last night while skimming a track and field newsletter. I think it's quite a feat for anyone at that level to do this, and the article I read had Engels speaking about how all he pretty much did was run during the day, then shower and eat and sleep, then do the same thing the next day, and the days just passes on by to form a year. I understand this is a huge feat, but also for a ultra-distance runner like Engels, 26 miles in a day is a do-able task —what makes it amazing is just the commitment and wear and tear on the body that makes this dude a beast for keeping it up that long, day after day. -Novarunner

  2. I agree this is an amazing feat but how boring in my eyes! I guess for some people, that is their thing just like we have our obsessions with crossfit and that "constant variety". I can't imagine running every day at the same old pace does any good for your body in the long run. Did his marathon get any faster by doing this? Will his ultra marathons suffer because he didn't run more than 26 miles per day for a year? Did he have any specific goals while doing this other than to do a marathon a day? I wonder if he actually gained weight. The task in itself is huge, I recognize that but from an athletes point of view, I am not sure if it was really beneficial. I don't know. I give those people a lot of credit and am impressed by his committment to do it but it seems more like torture to me!-Melanie

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