For extreme athletes, ‘slow and steady’ doesn’t just win the race; it also may cut your risk of developing blood poisoning. Researchers found that athletes who launched themselves into extreme athletic events (we’re talking 24-hour ultra-marathons, consecutive marathons or any physical activity that clocks in over four hours of rigorous exercise) with minimal training had intestinal bacteria leaking into their bloodstream. The scariest part is that this leakage leads to inflammation, which if not immediately treated, could be fatal, say researchers. Now, if your life’s goal is to complete that Ironman, don’t kick it from your bucket list just yet. So long as you get the 'OK' from your doctor and follow a training program (again, one that’s slow and steady), there’s no reason why you can’t cross that finish line with your health still intact. If you’re one of these extreme athletes, or you know one, share your training tips in the comments below!