British Liver Trust
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Can I run a half marathon with poor liver function?

Since December I have had diarrhoea/loose stools all of the time and my urine is dark. Finally I have had 2 blood tests and have an ulstrasound booked for April. My dr said my liver funtion was poorer this week than last and doesn't want me to run a half marathon this Sunday (my first and I'vee been training since October..) what are the risks??? I feel fine by the way apart from the loose stools...

4 Replies

Hi Saraht74

When I had very poor liver function, I was told that my liver could no longer produce the energy needed for previously enjoyable and achievable activities such as running, swimming, cycling. If you feel you can run the half marathon as normal, based on your training, then do so. If you think you will have to use will power, go through pain barrier etc, in other words get the energy from determination alone, then don't , as your liver will simply not be able to process the energy you need and you may get injured. Have a look at this site for the scientific explanation:

Good Luck,



please please please god willling n dont run the marathon - I haqd a liver transplant and I used to run before and its not worth it - build up your energy for something else - you can run a marathon anytime - but please please listen to your doctor - hes qualified to help



Hi Saraht74,

I agree with number1 Get you health problems sorted out first and despite the disappointment do not participate in the half marathon that you have mentioned.

About three years ago I decided to run in a half marathon knowing that for about one week I had been passing very dark urine. However being an old hand at marathon and half marathon running ( I had already done well over 350 in total) I brushed aside the dark urine as being nothing more than an indicator of being a little dehydrated but how wrong this turned out to be!. I completed the half but noted the urine had become even darker despite what I considered to be a good intake of fluids during the run and then the next day I turned yellow and jaundiced and ended up in hospital .Subsequently a chronic disease of the liver was diagnosed and a treatment plan implemented and it was not very long before I was able to start running again and still do so to this day .

Best to let your doctor conclude his/her investigations and find out what the problem is. You will probably have ample opportunities to take part in other half marathons but you do only have one life so take care of it. If it were me and knowing what I now know based on my own experience I would not do the race on Sunday.

Good luck .


Thanks for the replies. In the end my Dr gave permission for me to run based on the fact that I had trained the whole way through feeling like this.. so I ran in 2 hrs 52 minutes and then on Tuesday I had an U/S which showed gallstones... not sure what the treatment will be.

Thanks again



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