Heat stroke in the race: so you can prevent it and so you must react

This year the high temperatures are arriving sooner than expected and this can be a problem for those who practice outdoor sports and especially for runners. Without going any further, this Sunday, when the marathon and half marathon of Madrid is being held (for which we have been preparing for the last few months) we have a forecast of quite hot (about 21 degrees at noon) that can make a dent in participants.

When doing physical activity, the temperature of our body rises and our body puts into operation its cooling mechanisms, such as sweat. This rise in body temperature along with a hot environment, strenuous exercise (in this case, in addition, long-term) and other factors such as poor adaptation to heat can cause a heat stroke in the corridor that can be very dangerous. We give you the keys to prevent it and to treat it.

How to prevent a heat stroke during a race

Obviously, weather conditions are not something we can control the day of the race : if you touch a day with little heat, not much humidity and even a cool breeze to accompany, then phenomenal. But if the day of the race dawns already with a high temperature and also you do not see clouds in the sky, you can be almost sure that you will be suffering. Even more if you face a marathon and your intention is to complete it in more than three hours and a half (the output is these races is usually at 9:00, and from noon is when the sun begins to tighten).

The first thing you should do is make sure to hydrate yourself very well the days before the race : the amount of water to drink depends a lot on each runner, but I am, without exaggeration, about three liters or three and a half liters a day from two or three days before. I already dehydrated once in the middle of winter and it was not pleasant nor I want to repeat.

How we dress can also play in our favor or against us, since it can influence the evacuation of sweat. Choose technical clothes and not cotton garments , which are soaked and do not transpire. To protect your head, put on a hat or handkerchief and moisten it if necessary.

Use all the supplies of the race: it is not mandatory that you drink the entire bottle of water every time you take one, perhaps with a few small sips is enough. If people are going to see you at the race, tell them to bring a bottle of water just in case they can give it to you. And it is not a bad option, in case of a lot of heat, to cool yourself by throwing water over your head, your shoulders and your arms: it’s a quick way (faster than drinking water) to lower the temperature of your body.

Apart from the heat stroke and dehydration, do not forget to put on sunscreenbefore crossing the starting line: apply it to the areas of the body that you carry into the air, especially striking the shoulders, neck and ears.

What do I do if I get a heat stroke in the race?

First of all, how can I identify if I am suffering from a heat stroke? Generally the symptoms that accompany a heatstroke are headache, extreme muscular tiredness, dizziness and cold sweats. Sometimes we can also suffer from vomiting and changes in vision, such as blurred vision. If you notice any of these symptoms, do not hesitate: stop immediately and seek assistance.

The most important thing when dealing with a heat stroke is to lower the body temperature of the corridor . For this we will look for a shaded area where you can fall and begin to lower its temperature by applying cold compresses (if we are in a race, a handkerchief or a wet shirt with water can serve us) in key areas such as the neck, armpits, head and groin

We can give small sips of fresh water to the affected person , but it is not convenient to make them drink a lot of water or very cold.

The most important thing in a situation like this is to stay calm and immediately notify the medical services of the race so that they can treat the runner properly.

If you run this weekend, make sure you hydrate well the days before and protect yourself as much as possible from the sun: that our only concern during the race is to enjoy the miles .

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