Ironman Info of Interest to Ultrarunners


Experience From - Unknown ,


Having just returned from the Ironman Triathalon in Kona Hawaii, I should strike while the "iron" is hot (so to speak) and relate some interesting medical news as it pertains to we ultrarunners. The info is derived from lectures at the annual "Ironman Sportsmedicine Program", which lasted for 5 days preceding the event. A synopsis of some of the pertinent info:

  1. Ergogenic (performance enhancing) Aids:

  2. Overuse Injuries: Newest clinical work by Warren Scott, M.D., recommends the following treatment for inflammed soft tissues:

    He also recommends nighttime bracing of the affected area. For example, in plantar fasciitis or achilles tendonitis, the foot should be wrapped with an ace wrap so the foot is supported in a "flexed-up" (dorsiflexed) position. This should be worn all night to prevent shortening of the tissues and the resultant pain and stiffness when first arising from bed. Treatment takes 4-6 weeks usually, and traing can resume using the REST formula: R esume Exercise below Soreness Threshold . In other words, cause no pain.

  3. Altitude Training (7,000-10,000 ft):

  4. Acclimation to Altitude results in the following changes:

  5. Circadian Rhythms: recent studies show that both anaerobic and aerobic capacity/performance peaks in late afternoon/early evening. Also, training should duplicate, as much as possible, the same time of day as the event you are running.

  6. Athlete's Blood:

  7. Strength Training:

That's it, except for a short commentaryu on the Ironman event, an event that worked as a medical support person. At the various transition/aid stations thruout this event, never did I see any any salt-containing food/rock salt. Imagine performing for 8 to 17 hrs in 50-70% humidity at 78-90 degrees without any sodium replenishment. Imagine the amount of IV's required at the end of the race. I saw 100 cots full at all times with athletes receiving IV's when I observed the finish-line medical tent. I followed Sally Edward's 12 1/2 hr performance--she was one of the few (maybe the only) who used rock salt thruout the race. I counseled many of the "fallen" on the benefits of salt intake during this type of ultra event. The typical aid station had MET-RX to drink, and I'm not sure there was much in the way of plain water. The transition areas (bike-to-run for example) had tables full of oranges, apples, bananas, and M&M's. Succeed could find a good market in triatheletes me thinks.

The opinions are mine, the symposium report is a synopsis edited by me.

What is essential is invisible to the eye.....