Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How does an ULTRA-MARATHON sound to you?

A new and growing challenge for extreme sports is the  ultramarathon.  A normal marathon which is just over 26 miles long is a piddling distance compared to the ultramarathon, that is four times as long. The most common distances are 50 kilometres (31.069 mi), 100 kilometres (62.137 mi), 50 miles (80.4672 km), and 100 miles (160.9344 km), although many races have other distances. The 100 kilometers is recognized as an official world record event by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)

A recent ultramarathon which attracted about a dozen runners lasted 24 to 48 hours as well as an elevation change of 17,000 feet.

A standard typical marathon presents some dangers to unconditioned athletes. Extending the distance increases the liklihood of serious complications. These include  hyponatremia, edema of the extremities and life threatening pulmonary edema.  These are caused by a fluid shift from the extracellular space to the cell resulting in swelling of the cells.

There is some evidence that extreme runs can produce some heart scarring, however suprisingly joints seem to do well. Each runner must develop their skill carefully and tailored to the feedback they receive from their body.  Fluid balance and caloric intake are critical. Some runners experience gastrointestinal cramping during runs.

Science Friday Podcast:

There have been no long term studies on the effects of these extreme runs.  So if you are bored with it all, ramp things up after studying the longer events. However, extend your distances gradually, allowing your physiology to condition itself .

Try to keep up with me.....hehehe

                                                                                                  Pedal Edema= Swelling of Ankles

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