Substrate and hormone responses to exercise following a marathon run

C. M. Maresh, T. G. Allison, B. J. Noble, A. Drash, W. J. Kraemer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to examine selected substrate and hormone responses to 30-min treadmill runs performed several days before and after a competitive marathon (42.2 km) to determine the time course for return of altered responses to pre-race levels. Six experienced male runners (30.8 ± 9.1 years) ran at their predicted race pace (77.1% ± 4.1% of V̇O2max) 8-7 days prior (S-1) to the Boston Marathon and 2-3 (S-2), 6-7 (S-3), and 13-14 days (S-4) post-marathon. All 30-min runs were performed in the morning at a constant time for each subject following a 12-h fast. Blood samples were drawn immediately before and immediately after (within 1 min) the 30-min runs. Post-exercise glucose responses were higher (P < 0.05) during S-2 and S-3 compared with S-1 values. S-2 post-exercise lactate concentrations were also higher than the corresponding S-1 value. Pre-exercise free fatty acid (FFA) levels during S-4, and the post-exercise FFA values during S-2, S-3, and S-4, were lower (P < 0.05) than the corresponding S-1 concentrations. Pre- and post-exercise alanine levels during S-2 were higher (P < 0.05) than the S-1 values. Both pre- and post-exercise insulin levels during S-2, S-3, and S-4 were greater (P < 0.05) than corresponding S-1 concentrations. Glucagon concentrations were unchanged across all sessions. Pre- and post-exercise creatine phosphokinase levels during S-2 were higher (P < 0.05) than the S-1 levels. These results suggest that the time course for overall recovery from a marathon run requires more than 2 weeks. Furthermore, it is possible that there is an increased contribution of glucose to muscle metabolism during exercise, performed during the 1st week after the marathon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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