Even the youngest, healthiest runner can encounter some complications that can occur from training in certain extreme conditions. As we mentioned in the previous article, heat can provide a number of challenges to the runner, particularly if their body is not accustomed to these temperatures.
There are certain warning signs that one should look for to avoid problems caused by what is commonly called “heat disease.” In the most extreme cases, it has even resulted in death.
Heat disease is typified by an intense heat buildup in the head, resulting in a headache and general overheating of the entire body. It can cause confusion, loss of concentration and loss of muscle control.
It is followed often by intense sweating and the cessation of sweating, resulting in clammy skin and heavy breathing. Vomiting and faintness can occur.
True heat disease is not merely caused by overtraining or high temperatures. It is often a result of lack of sleep, infection, overweight, certain prescription and non-prescription medications or dehydration.
Dehydration is not only caused by insufficient water intake, but also by alcohol and caffeine. Medications for diarrhea and antihistamines are common medications that can contribute to heat disease.
Drinking water will help, but take care to avoid water intoxication. Though very rare, hyponatremia, or the excessive and sudden consumption of too much water can also cause serious medical problems and, though rare, is a condition all marathoners should be aware of. The symptoms are swelling of the significant hands and feet, nausea, repetitive diarrhea, confusion and disorientation and muscle cramping. Avoid it by drinking water in six ounce doses only every 25 minutes and don’t drink more if you hear a sloshing sound in your stomach.
Running is an enjoyable hobby that is good for your health. By being aware of the potential pitfalls, you can ensure to continue to get pleasure and benefit from this great pastime. Come join us for one of our BOOTCAMP 619 running activities and experience our team spirit!