Tech In Training: You Know You're Crazy When the Toenails Go

The ultrarunner's solution to a nagging problem

No Toenails

Matthew Staver/The New York Times

The first time I read that running can turn your toenails black or even make them fall off, I knew I'd found the limit to my dedication to the sport. I'll run through achey joints, sore muscles and most blisters, but toenails are sacrosanct, a permanent part of my body. Fortunately, mine have survived my handful of marathons entirely intact and properly colored.

Some, however, are being preempting the problem.

Ultramarathoners—anybody who runs more than 26.2—tend to get serious toenail issues. So the Times highlights one unorthodox solution: have them permanently removed. There are apparently no medical reasons to keep them, though they can actually grow back even after surgical removal. To me, that's sign enough that my body wants its nails and I don't intend to argue.