The purpose of this study was to determine: (1) whether damage to liver and skeletal muscles occurs during a 100 km run; (2) whether the metabolic response to extreme exertion is related to the age or running speed of the participant; (3) whether it is possible to determine the optimal running speed and distance for long-distance runners’ health by examining biochemical parameters in venous blood. Fourteen experienced male amateur ultra-marathon runners, divided into two age groups, took part in a 100 km run. Blood samples for liver and skeletal muscle damage indexes were collected from the ulnar vein just before the run, after 25, 50, 75 and 100 km, and 24 hours after termination of the run. A considerable increase in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) was observed with the distance covered (p < 0.05), which continued during recovery. An increase in the mean values of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase (CK) and C-reactive protein (CRP) (p < 0.05) was observed with each sequential course. The biggest differences between the age groups were found for the activity of liver enzymes and LDH after completing 75 km as well as after 24 hours of recovery. It can be concluded that the response to extreme exertion deteriorates with age in terms of the active movement apparatus.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.