Millions of people compete in marathons and half-marathons in the United States each year. They are one of the ultimate tests of fitness and endurance. Unfortunately, we have heard many reports of cardiac arrests and deaths in marathons in recent years. Should we worry about them, and how can we prevent heart attacks in marathons?

Learn CPR.

Obviously, you can’t perform CPR on yourself, but you can save your running partner if he or she should collapse. One of the biggest determinants of survival from a cardiac arrest is the time elapsed before CPR is started. If you and your running partners know and can perform CPR, you might save a life.

Also read:
Have an AED on site at sporting events and practices

See your doctor and undergo a physical before running a marathon.

Some of the most common causes of death from cardiac causes are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis). Before the marathon, your doctor can examine you and order any necessary tests to assess your risk for a cardiac event.

Also read:
Prevent cardiac deaths at marathons

Your doctor can assess your risk to prevent heart attacks

See your doctor if you have any symptoms while training.

If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, or any other unusual symptom during your training runs, see your doctor immediately.

If you’re concerned about cardiac arrest and deaths in marathons, watch the video to learn the incidence of these events and how you could prevent them.