Runners cross Tower Bridge at the TCS London Marathon




The health benefits of running explained

runner wearing the New Balance TCS London Marathon kit

Official kit by New Balance

Check out the official TCS London Marathon clothing and footwear range from our partner New Balance – it's ideal for both your training runs and the big event itself.

Your body produces energy more efficiently

What happens?

As you get fitter, the number of mitochondria (energy-producing cells) in your muscles increases.

Exercise can also increase the amount of red blood cells in your body – improving the flow of oxygen to your mitochondria and helping them produce energy more efficiently.

How does this help me?

Mitochondria release energy from the breakdown of a substance called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). If there isn’t enough oxygen in your bloodstream the mitochondria can’t work at their best, so ATP has to be broken down without using oxygen. This can cause a build-up of lactic acid in your muscles when you exercise.

If lactic acid is produced more quickly than it can be removed from your muscles, you cross your ‘lactic threshold’. At this point, your legs will start to feel stiff and heavy, your stomach will churn and you’ll probably be telling yourself you can’t go on.

So, in summary, the more you train the better your body becomes at producing energy, which means you can train harder and for longer before you feel like you have to stop.

Your body starts to burn fat

What happens?

Regular exercise conditions your body to use fat as an energy source instead of carbohydrate.

How does this help me?

Because your body starts burning fat for energy, you’ll have less of it on your body. Not only will you start to feel better, having less fat internally around your heart can improve your overall health and life expectancy.

And while your body’s using fat for energy, it isn’t using the carbohydrate you’ve stored as glycogen. This is more efficient because your body can only store a limited supply of glycogen, while fat is more readily available.