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This Woman Ran a Marathon In Heels to Set a Guinness World Record

Hold on to your running shoes: A 27-year-old former ballroom dancer just set a Guinness World Record by finishing the 7 Bridges Marathon in Tennessee wearing 3-inch heels, reports Runner's World. (We would have suggested these sneakers that will change the way you work out.)

Though it was her first race in heels, it was Sewell's third marathon, and she finished with a time of 7:27:53. "I did most of my runs in tennis shoes, and then I would do a 3- to 7-mile run in my heels every once in a while," runner Irene Sewell told Runner's World. "But I'd also wear heels a lot throughout the day just to create calluses and get my feet ready."

If this sounds like a terrible idea, it is. "Obviously, this isn't something I'd recommend," says Rebecca Pruthi, D.P.M., a board-certified podiatrist and foot surgeon in New York. "Wearing any high heel over extended periods of time will damage your body."

That's because high heels shift the mechanics of your foot so there's less stability in your ankle joints and most of the pressure from your bodyweight is on the balls of your feet. "This can lead to stress fractures and soft tissue injuries such as ankle sprains and tendonitis."

And the problems don't stop at your ankles, especially as you clock miles. "Running in heels would keep your calf in a shortened position, which creates tension in the muscle," says Noam Tamir, C.S.C.S., founder of TS Fitness in New York. It also changes your foot strike—you'd need to run on your toes, which isn't the most efficient way to run, Tamir adds. Less efficiency means tiring out your muscles faster.

Then, to make up for the compromised balance and biomechanics in your feet and ankles, your knees and hips pick up the slack. "Wearing heels changes the position of the femur bone, putting more pressure on the knee, while also causing other muscles and tendons that surround and support the knee to be misaligned," Tamir says. In the long run, that's a recipe for tendonitis—an inflamed tendon that causes chronic pain. If that's not convincing enough, "you can throw your entire spine out of alignment leading to back and neck injuries," Dr. Pruthi adds.

Bottom line: Breaking records is fun, but it's not always good for your body. Save the heels for your post-run celebration, K?

 

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