EXTRA! Exercise Excess KOs Millions

Your Body's Annual Mannual

How much exercise can you handle in a year? "The answer comes down to muscle damage," says Tim Mickleborough, professor of exercise physiology at Indiana University. For example, he says, "eight weeks after completing a marathon, there's still muscle-cell regeneration going on. You haven't fully recovered, even though you might feel like you have."

Follow our guide to the number of yearly endurance tests a well-trained individual can manage and stay on the healthy side of the overtraining threshold.


EVENT NO. PER YEAR R&R AFTER EVENT TIME UNTIL NEXT RACE
Marathons 2 per year 8 weeks 6 months
Half Marathons 4 per year 4 weeks 3 months
Ironman Triathlons 2 per year 8 weeks 6 months
Adventure Races 3 per year 6 weeks 3 months
Century Rides 6 per year 1 week 2 months
Ultramarathons 1 every other year 8 weeks Cross-train during off-year
From Outside Magazine, Dec 2003 Get the Latest Issue

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