Creatine kinase elevations in marathon runners: relationship to training and competition

Yale J Biol Med. 1980 Jul-Aug;53(4):275-9.


Elevation of creatine kinase (CK) in serum after exertion is a reliable marker of skeletal muscle injury. Limited data exist on CK levels in conditioned athletes after endurance training and competition. Serum CK was measured by a kinetic UV method (normal < 100 U/L) in 15 long distance runners before (pre-race), 24 hours after (post-race) and four weeks following (post-race) the 1979 Boston Marathon. CK levels were elevated throughout the study. Mean values for all runners and for those finishing before and after three hours and 30 minutes are as follows: Post-race CK was significantly elevated among the ten faster as compared to the five slower runners (p = 0.025). Elevations of creatine kinase drawn 24 hours post-marathon are inversely related to finishing times among the runners tested.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis
  • Competitive Behavior / physiology
  • Creatine Kinase / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / injuries
  • Physical Endurance
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Risk
  • Running*


  • Creatine Kinase