Recovery of Inflammation, Cardiac, and Muscle Damage Biomarkers After Running a Marathon

J Strength Cond Res. 2021 Mar 1;35(3):626-632. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003167.


Bernat-Adell, MD, Collado-Boira, EJ, Moles-Julio, P, Panizo-González, N, Martínez-Navarro, I, Hernando-Fuster, B, and Hernando-Domingo, C. Recovery of inflammation, cardiac and muscle damage biomarkers after running a marathon. J Strength Cond Res 35(3): 626-632, 2021-Physical endurance sports conditions the increase of blood biomarkers responsible for the acute inflammatory response. The purpose of this study was to observe the impact of intense physical exercise on these biomarkers and detect their recovery pattern. This is an experimental study of repeated measures (pre-post marathon). The biomarkers lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase (CK), high-sensitivity troponin T (hs-TNT), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were analyzed in a total of 86 runners, 24 hours before the marathon, immediately after finishing the race and at 24, 48, 96, and 144 postrace hours. The comparative analyses were performed using the Friedman and Wilcoxon tests. The correlations between dependent and independent variables were analyzed using Spearman correlations. The data were processed through the IBM SPSS package, version 23. Significant value was p ≤ 0.05. The LDH increased and showed significant differences (p ≤ 0.001) for all times, compared with the initial LDH value, normalizing after 192 hours (p = 0.667) (effect size [ES], r = 0.807). The CK increased and showed significant differences (p ≤ 0.001) (ES, r = 0.975) up to 96 hours afterward, normalizing after 144 hours. The hs-TNT presented an increase and showed significant differences (p ≤ 0.001) between the pre-post race times, 24 and 48 hours, normalizing after 96 hours, although it showed a new significant value at 192 hours (p ≤ 0.001) (ES, r = 0.519). The CRP increased and showed significant differences (p ≤ 0.001) between the pre-post race times, at 24, 48, 96, 144, and 192 hours after race. The recovery after alterations produced by the marathon varies according to the biomarker. Blood levels of biomarkers decrease with longer race times. Greater energy expenditure increases the blood levels of LDH, CK, and hs-TNT.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Humans
  • Inflammation*
  • Marathon Running*
  • Muscles
  • Physical Endurance


  • Biomarkers
  • Creatine Kinase