Today marks the beginning of the 36th running of the Badwater Ultra Marathon. For those of you who have not heard about this very small, very elite race, let me give you some context.
It’s a three day race
Runners don’t really get to sleep at night – they just run with headlamps
It starts in Badwater, CA
It ends at the Mt. Whitney Portal in CA
It covers 135 miles of terrain
Runners will experience more than 13,000 feet of elevation gain
Oh, and the temperature will range from 70-120 degrees F
I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about heat preparedness. It’s been pretty hot across the rest of the country, but the fact that no one has died during this extreme race proves that adequate preparation for the heat will allow you to survive most conditions.
Let’s take a look at the start line:
These fine folks are wearing light colored, loose clothing, caps, etc. Loose clothing allows sweat to evaporate from your skin faster, while the light colors reflect most of the suns rays. Wearing a hat also helps keep the sun off of your face and head. And, of course, wear sunscreen!! (helps prevent cancer too!)
With the light colored clothing, let’s talk about sweat. Yes, sweating can be gross, but it’s vital to survival in the heat. Sweat is a very important part of your body’s cooling cycle. Sweat on your skin is your body’s way of trying to keep your core temperature in check. In order to allow your body to keep sweating and cooling your body down, you must be hydrating. Yes, drinking water or electrolyte drinks is very important. If it’s hot outside and your STOP sweating, you’re well down the road to trouble. With that said,you can actually drink too much water. Try to keep yourself in check.
If you plan on working out in the heat, be sure to use the buddy system. Keeping each other in check and away from danger is the best way to avoid harming yourself in the heat.
So to recap:
Loose, light colored clothing
Summer is a great time to be outside enjoying the sunshine, and we hope these tips will make it that much easier to do so. You can go check out additional heat safety tips on our website.