Chest Pain While Marathon Running

I am an elite distance runner and competed for England in the Toronto marathon on Sunday. During the last 3-4 miles I developed a pain in the centre of my chest, this disappeared as soon as I stopped running at the end of the race.

I also felt a bit light headed and had black spots in my vision. Could you please give me some advice on this matter.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Julie,
Thanks for your question about chest pain while running.

I am by no means an elite distance runner, nor a doctor. When it comes to running injuries and pain while running there is one big rule I try to follow: better safe than sorry.

Especially when it comes to chest pain. Look, the end of the marathon is a crazy stage. Your body is completely exhausted, you are running on empty. There are plenty of people who need to stop running and start walking, who faint etc. As a top athlete you just keep on going. So it can very well be just a sign of complete exhaustion.

After all, Emil Zatopek, the legendary long distance runner, once said:
"We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon."

But because it is chest pain, I would encourage you to go see a doctor about it, see what the doctor says, maybe get a few tests done.

When the doctor says it is nothing, great, you'll get that confidence back in yout body and can move on. And in case something is up, at least you can then start working on treatment and prevention.

Good luck with this issue and with your further career.
Kind regards,

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Running Injury Helpline.

Like this page:

Share this page:

Like this site:

[?] Subscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!


  • Beginner Running Tips

    Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.

  • Running for Weight Loss

    Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.

  • Running Training

    The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.

  • 5k Running Tips

    The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.

  • 10k Running Tips

    The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!

  • Marathon Running Tips

    The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!

What's New?

  1. Pyramid Training - What's the Deal?

    Could you please explain pyramid training for different zones? I have seen it in running programs before and I actually didn't understand the method described

    Read more

  2. Best Tips to Start Running - Six Beginner Running Tips That Will Help You Get Started With Running

    Want to start running but wonder how? Check out these six best tips to start running and get off with a running start!

    Read more

  3. Running in the Morning and Bike in the Afternoon

    I am currently trying to work-up to running a 5k but also lose weight. I run 3 times a week and bike 3 times a week. I want to increase that so I do

    Read more

  4. Improve Running When Over 50 Years Old

    Hello, My name is Roger age 56, I have been running for over 25 years and before this I played local footbal Saturday and Sundays in the season. 20

    Read more

  5. How Many Kilometers Can I Run With My Running Shoes?

    Hello, there is one question I'd like to know. I run three to four times a week and my actual shoes are Nike Vomero which I really like. Is there any

    Read more