Heat Stroke and heat exhaustion are very serious conditions that need not to be taken lightly. If not treated soon enough they can be life threatening. With so much of the country experiencing heat issues, it is so important to take precautions and prevent a heat related issue.
Here in Florida we are hitting record highs. My car thermometer read 111 the other day. It is HOT. So as we approach training during the summer we need to watch for some of the signs and symptoms resulting from the heat. Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle cramps, and dizziness are all symptoms of heat exhaustion. And common symptoms of heat stroke are the above plus high body temperature, rapid pulse, lack of sweat, difficulty breathing, strange behavior, hallucinations, confusion, agitation and disorientation.
It is so important to run with someone in these conditions so you can each watch out for each other. We often try to deny that we are experiencing anything abnormal. Please take caution.
If you are running and experience these symptoms, tell someone. Get in the shade as soon as possible and do what you can to cool down. If these symptoms persist call 911.
Tips for keeping the body cooler:
Stay hydrated! Dehydration is one of the biggest factors in heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Water and sports drinks are the best choices. Remember that caffeine is a diuretic and may not be your best option in the heat we are experiencing. Remember that lots of gu’s, gels, and sports chews have caffeine in them.
Frozen water – The night before my runs I wet and freeze a small towel. I keep it with me on the run and once it defrosts some I wrap it around my neck to keep my neck cool.
Frozen water – I always suggest that my team run with fuel belts. These can be ordered from www.fuelbelt.com or from Track Shack if you are in the Orlando area. I have one with four bottles. I fill them with water then freeze two and refrigerate two then I have cooler water a little longer.
Ice – You can set coolers on the course with ice. Then as you pass take some ice and place it under the hat to help cool your head. But use common sense here and do not go crazy.
Time of Day – Do not be silly and run at noon. Try to run early or late. Early there is usually more humidity and later there is more pollution from cars. So pick you battle.
Please remember that I am not a doctor and these are just suggestions to try and keep you safe in your training.