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Update: Heat Related Illnesses and Running

A friend of mine is also reading The Lore of Running and he offered some insight that is definitely worth adding to my post about heat related illnesses.

First, I want to emphasize that Noakes does not say muscle cramps and heat exhaustion do not occur.  Instead, science has not proven dehydration to be the cause.   Also, and I did not mention this is my previous post, but exercise related collapse is a very real thing, although different than heat exhaustion or heat syncope.  EAC, which often occurs after completing a marathon or longer distance, happens when an athletes suffers little discomfort during the race but then, upon completing the event, passes out.  It is characterized by low blood pressure and a heartbeat less than 110 beats per minute.   EAC can be treated by the athlete laying “supine with legs and pelvis elevated above the level of the heart.”  Also, there is no need for intravenous fluid.  A sports drink taken by the athlete should be sufficient.

Noakes also discusses that heatstroke is a very real thing as well.  When the body temperature soars above 41 degrees Celsius (105.9 degrees Fahrenheit) accompanied by the athlete experiencing irritability, agression, and/or convulsions, it is heatstroke.   During the next 48 hours the athlete will experience a “rise in blood levels of certain enzymes that leak from the muscles into the blood as a result of heat damage. ”

There is still so much to read in this book, but these things are worth noting along with the discussion on heat related illnesses.  This book is also incredibly dense so I think today  my question will be about the foam roller.  Perhaps a little less complex!

Thanks Mark for the input!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


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