Robert Lillegard December 28, 2011 TWEET COMMENTS 1

Turning Down the Heat - Page 3

In Badwater's 120-degree heat, Smith-Batchen stays at or below 80 percent of her maximum heart rate. "I've made the mistake of running too fast in the heat of the day, only to be exhausted later in the race when the sun goes down and I should be able to speed up," she says. "So my hot-weather race motto is, `Go slow to go fast!'"


Tips For Beating the Heat

:: Pre-hydrate before a hot run, consuming 16 ounces of electrolyte sports drink two hours before your run and another eight to 16 ounces 15 minutes before starting.

:: Place baggies of ice under your hat and inside your clothes near major arteries (jogbra and shorts).

:: Suck on an ice cube to prevent parched mouth.

:: Occasionally douse yourself with water (as long as it's not your drinking water). In a race, have a crew member spray you with water.

:: Wear a white or light-colored polyester or other sweat-wicking shirt [see Trail Tested, page 66 for a review of sun-protective shirts].

:: Wear an ice bandana and a light-colored, sweat-wicking hat with visor and neck flap.


Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke

HEAT EXHAUSTION is characterized by profuse sweating, nausea (and possibly vomiting), weak legs, fatigue, rapid pulse, cramps, lightheadedness and/or headache. You may also experience cold skin and goose bumps, though your body temperature is 100 to 104 degrees. Stop running immediately, seek shade and medical attention, elevate your feet above your heart, loosen any tight clothing and consume large amounts of electrolyte drinks. Avoid further heat exposure for at least 24 to 48 hours.

HEAT STROKE. If warning signs of heat exhaustion are ignored, the body eventually loses the ability to cool itself altogether and the condition evolves into heat stroke. The symptoms are similar to those of heat exhaustion but quickly progress to include bizarre behavior, fuzzy thinking, convulsions, seizures or even coma. At this stage, the body temperature is 104 or higher but sweating has stopped. Emergency treatment involves getting out of sun, immersion in cool water and receiving intravenous fluids. Further medical attention at a hospital is critical to preventing life-threatening and permanent muscle, liver and kidney damage.


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