Runners coping with the extreme heat - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Runners coping with the extreme heat

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

Some say running in this heat is dedication. Some say it's not all too smart. You make the call, but its hard to argue with someone like Callie Matthews.

"I want to improve my senior year and try to make it to state," said Matthews, cross country runner.

The Nashua-Plainfield senior is beating the heat alongside nearly 150 other runners at Wartburg College's High School Cross Country Camp. They're putting their bodies to the ultimate test when it comes to training in this heat.

"I'm used to it. I have been running all summer. We get a lot of water breaks so that's nice," said Matthews.

Heat is the number one killer of distance runners, making it a top priority for Wartburg head cross country coach and camp director Steve Johnson.

"We watch their faces. We all look pretty stressed when we get hot, but we watch their faces and we will watch their performance. If they start to wabble a bit or start to fall back, hunch over, get sick or dizzy," said Johnson.

Johnson says he alters the workouts due to the extreme temperatures. He makes sure these athletes have plenty of shade, breaks, and of course water to keep them hydrated.

"The evaporation of our sweat from our skin is what cools us and that is a very effective coolant. It is better than pouring cold water on our heads. It may feel good, but it's only good for a brief time. If you keep the fluid going in so you can keep sweating and evaporating it that's what helps the most," said Johnson.

In this extreme heat your body may produce two to three gallons of sweat. Experts suggest to drink enough to equal the amount of sweat produced.

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