Yesterday – 4 difficult, hot miles outside (Apparently if you rarely run, it starts to get a bit unpleasant.)
Question for you all…
Story of my life.
But guess what… It’s Friday! Let’s all embrace our sloppiness and catch up on sleep. You in?
Besides lots of glorious sleep, Matt and I plan to not spend money (to recover from Vegas), go on some outdoor adventures (aka hiking if we’re motivated), and go shopping with the money we said we weren’t going to spend.
On a more serious note, I wanted to address a topic that was running through my brain on Saturday during Matt’s race:
What to Do if a Runner Passes Out from Heat Exhaustion
In Monday’s post, I mentioned someone on Matt’s relay race team passed out during his leg from heat exhaustion and dehydration (as well as a few other things). As part of the follow vehicle who supplied the runners with water, I witnessed him pass out, which was quite intense. He kept leaning farther and farther to the right every other stride, until he finally just fell, passing out. After it happened, I was so thankful he made it to the end of his leg before falling because I probably would have panicked and not known what to do—hence the reason for this post.
Although medics came to the rescue this time, I don’t want to assume there will always be help nearby. Basically, I want to know what to do if I’m faced with a situation like this again. This seemed like valuable information, so I’m turning it into a blog post to educate you guys as well. I’ve decided to focus on three points:
- Drink plenty of fluids: Avoid diuretics that deplete your body’s liquids much faster; think water or sports drinks with electrolytes.
- Run when it’s cooler outside: Consider early or late runs when the sun isn’t as harsh.
- Wear loose, light colored clothing: Allowing air to flow under your clothes will help keep you cool.
During a Run…
- Replenish fluids: A good rule of thumb is to drink 6 oz. of liquids every 15 minutes.
- Don’t push yourself too hard: Even if you’re in a race, risking heat exhaustion is not worth a few minutes shaved off your final time.
- Stay cool: Pour water on yourself, find some tall trees or buildings, or shed a layer–do whatever you can to help cool off your body.
If a Runner Passes Out…
- Get medical help: Chances are you can’t provide the kind of help that a medical professional can. Yell, call, or do whatever you need to to get emergency aid.
- Cool them down: If conscious, offer water. If not, the best way to help is to lower their body temperature fast. If you have a cold water bottle or ice, put it on their groin, armpits or neck. Make sure to not put something that cold on their heart though, as this can result in shock. Generally, it’s better to cool someone down gradually, rather than applying super cold temperatures.
- Protect them from hurting themselves: People who are unaware may be thrashing, hurting themselves in the process. Protect their head and try to hold them still while you wait on medical assistance. If they start to seize, cushion their head while you wait for help.
Basically, you want to start hydrating about 3 days before a major run. During a run, it’s crucial to stay hydrated and keep cool. And if, heaven forbid, you witness a runner pass out from heat exhaustion, get help and cool them down.
If you’re the one feeling all “loosey-goosey,” as Matt called it, stop, walk, find shade, and get water. Prevention is the best treatment – yes, I realize what I just said. Just go with it.
Hope you find this info useful!
Questions for you:
Have you ever witnessed someone pass out during a race?
How do you prepare for a run in really hot temperatures?
Do you have wild and crazy plans this weekend?