Why is this runner sitting down?
This is called competitive advantage. Click here to read my guest post on John Vonhof's blog:
John Vonhof's latest blogpost
If you're a runner or just spend a lot of time outdoors on your feet, the biggest favor you could do for yourself right now is to get yourself a copy of John's book, Fixing Your Feet, 5th edition.
Yesterday I watched a good-sized group of runners doing a low-key, ultra "fun run" locally here. The temperatures reached the mid-90s. I rode my bike up to watch for about an hour. It was noon and getting hotter by the minute. Many of the runners in this group are new to ultras, and they were challenging themselves to this event. I went up to cheer for a few people I know, and was observing as the runners came down the hill to their turnaround point.
I heard the runners commenting about how hot it was and how they'd just like to chew on some ice, but none of them were wearing ice on their necks or heads, a few were not carrying enough water, and some didn't have hats on. I suggested these things to a few of them, and at their aid station I saw some wisely take breaks to sit in the shade in between repeats of the hill they were running.
I saw a few who were obviously feeling pretty miserable. Running is supposed to be fun, especially in an event like this, but being unprepared for what were predictable conditions was the number one mistake these few made.
It's a good thing to challenge yourself, and when you get a group of young, new ultrarunners together they push each other to see who can be the "craziest", but some common sense and sanity are in order here.
The problem is that heat exhaustion can rapidly progress to something more serious, and when you don't routinely run in those conditions, it's even more dangerous. Being prepared can save your life, or someone else's. Be careful out there.