Giving Birth v Running Marathon

To the ladies of the forum

How much more painful / exhausting was giving birth/labour compared to running a marathon.??



  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    I'll tell you in June.

    I've run 10 marathons, so I have some comparison.

  • I've only done a half marathon, so can only compare to that. Let's just say, they don't call it LABOUR for nothing. The half was a cinch, and you have a rough idea of when it's going to end.

    But the result is far better than a medal and a goodie bag!

  • SunluvvaSunluvva ✭✭✭

    Different kinds of pain Corleone and hard to compare.  If you're not injured then marathon pain equates to complete knackerdness and sore muscles.   Labour pain comes in excrutiating bursts but you get a bit of rest between.

    On second thoughts, labour has to be worse as we know men couldn't cope with it yet they manage  marathons image.

  • Running a marathon must be much harder.

    Everyone knows that women make a big fuss out of nothing when it comes to giving birth! 

  • Looks like you were a problem birth judging by the shape of your head Kryten! imageimage

    I'd rather run a marathon. Haven't done one yet but I know I don't want to go through with that again! image

  • Having done neither I'd opt for whatever is over quicker..., which I'm reliably informed is a marathon... unless you're a bit 'slack'...  image
  • small wrote (see)

    Looks like you were a problem birth judging by the shape of your head Kryten! imageimage

    image LOL

  • SunluvvaSunluvva ✭✭✭

    Sorry nam, I'm not a 'slack alice' in that dept, I do my exercises every day if you get my meaning but I still managed the labour bit from start to end in 58 minutes, my fastest marathon was 4:02!!!!!

    I'd still say the marathon is easier though

  • Sunluvva wrote (see)

    Sorry nam, I'm not a 'slack alice' in that dept, I do my exercises every day if you get my meaning but I still managed the labour bit from start to end in 58 minutes, my fastest marathon was 4:02!!!!!

    I'd still say the marathon is easier though

    58 mins...  is that a PB?  Did you train for that?

    My friend did it for 36 hours...  bit of an Ultra... the distance did not appeal...

  • Why don't more women give birth in fancy dress and raise some money for charity?
  • Who gets a 58 minute labour? My little swines both took well over 20 hours.....image

    I gave birth in a Tommy Hilfiger T-shirt. Got to look the part you know, but I didn't want to spoil the Prada by getting it covered in baby goo.....image

    The last time I checked, running a marathon doesn't often leave you with 24 stitches in your nether regions sitting on an inflatable ring....image

  • running marathon SOOOO much harder than giving birth.  labour did take longer from start to finish, but i got nice little breaks of ... oo 30 seconds at a time between contractions.  bit like lots of walk breaks really image

    the day after the birth the only thing that hurt were my biceps (from holding on to the headrests on the rear seats of the car for dear life while kneeling in the rear passenger footwell while my husband drove at stupid speeds to reach the maternity unit with me trying not to push and trying also not to throw up all over the back seats of the car). 

    the day after the marathon i could hardly walk, and could only go down stairs sideways.  i'd MUCH rather give birth again than run another marathon!!!

  • I felt like I'd run a marathon after giving birth!
    Maybe if you add up how many contractions and how long they last then maybe it's less than a marathon... the pushing bit was definitely easier than a marathon IMO although I did end up with 2 stitches which I agree you don't get after a marathon - in fact the week after giving birth is far worse than running a marathon - the sore nipples are something else!
  • completely agree with you kinsey.  and i have always said that the giving birth bit was the easy part!  the first few weeks after the birth were far harder than any training regime i've ever done.  having a small being chomping on your boobs day and night - no time to eat, sleep or even pee in peace!  and then the hormones.  yuck yuck yuck!

  • Yep, think the marathon is easier, though they do both have something in common - the immediate feeling afterwards of "I'll NEVER do that again", then starting to think "It wasn't THAT bad", so you find yourself doing it again, and realising it was.
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    Kryten's right. The reason we chaps are always sent out of the room to fetch hot water or on some other pointless errand is to get us out of the way ... Childbirth is just a matter of take a deep breath, one quick push and hey presto, all done. It's all a conspiracy among the sistaz to extract goodwill and chocolate out of us gullible blokes, and it usually happens when there's footie on the box!

  • I've never done a marathon (first one is Edinburgh in may) but I have given birth 3 times. First one lasted 2 1/2 days and I had a similar 'comedy walk' that marathon runners get the day after.

    I have done a half mara and it was nothing like as horrible/painful as giving birth.

    I'd much rather train for a marathon than suffer pregnancy though - the feelings of fatigue haven't been as bad (I have been known to fall asleep on the loo whilst pregnant) and the diet is better (spent the first 16 weeks of each pregnancy throwing up and surviving on petit filous yogs) - carb loading and even those horrid gels are much better than that. 

  • Giving birth is much much harder than running a mara... I've had 3 kids now and done 1 mara...much more exhausted and in pain after having the kids... stitches, breast feeding, after pains, lochia, night time feeds and then post natal depression, getting your figure back - urgh, god only knows why I did it 3 times???
  • After I'd given birth, my midwife told me that it was the equivalent of running a marathon and that I should eat my sandwich. However, I doubt she was also an expert sports scientist, so maybe don't take that as gospel.

    However, you are allowed to take better drugs during childbirth and I can't imagine that running 26 miles with a TENS machine on is very easy.  

  • and the exhaustion lasts months or years not days or weeks after child birth ..... image
  • Michel Odent (French childbirth "expert") says that labour is like running a marathon in terms of the amount of calories burned but as far as I remember, the theory has been disproved for the "average" labour.

    As a midwife, I have seen a few hundred women in labour...I have also seen marathon runners finish.  I have cried at both.  I have done neither personally.  From a euphoria POV, I would say that they look similar - but surely the run-up to birthing makes the reward all the more sweet?

    Mrs F

  • hoping not to need stitches after my first marathon (coming up soon!)

    or to have to take care of it for the next 19 (so far and counting) years


  • SunluvvaSunluvva ✭✭✭

    Mrs F - The run up to childbirth involves some or all of the following: getting stretch marks, becoming the size of a small whale, needing to pee every 5 mins, lack of any useful sleep in the last weeks, back ache,piles, varicose veins, painful boobs, extreme fatigue, pretend contractions, real contractions, splits or cuts where you really dont want them,  and many many more which have slipped my mind right now. 

    There is a seperate list for post birth which starts with stiches where you dont want them and is just as extensive.

    The run up to a marathon involves lots of running, sore muscles, picking up an injury if you're very unlucky, eating loads and not getting fat, tiredness etc.

    Now which one is easier image?????

  • SunluvvaSunluvva ✭✭✭
    I have to admit that in addition to having a 58min labour (and a 6hr one) I've never had stitches and have no stretch marks image.  But I'd still prefer to run a marathon.
  • Exactly, sunluvva, which is why I think the reward is sweeter...

    If they're the only antenatal problems you had, you got off lightly image 

    Mrs F

  • After 3 marathons and 2 (admittedly quick and easy) labours I've come to the conclusion that marathon is harder. Not necessarily from a physical pain point of view, but from the mental toughness required. Once labour has started, there is no stopping and you have to go with it. In a marathon, when it really starts to hurt, you have to fight the urge to stop and quit (which is always an option in a marathon - unlike in childbirth).

    But overall, both have been positive experiences in my life!

  • BUT if asked, I'd rather run another marathon than have another child ...image
  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭
    Mmm, toughie.  Little man popped out 3 months ago quite literally in an hour and no pain relief so not sure which was worse.  Breaking my leg was more painful than either birth/mara though!
  • Definitely would rather run a marathon than give birth! 3 times plenty thank you very much. Mind you, not actually run a marathon so difficult to comment. At least after a marathon you get to go home to your bed and stay there in relative peace for a few days. Having had no.3 at home, I had 1 hour sleep after, and spent the rest of the day 'entertaining' and playing pass the baby. Yeah, rather do a marathon!
  • Making babies is more fun than marathon training though.....

    And you don't have to do it five times a weekimage

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