Mr CPK asks: "I know friend who is a very good marathon runner but ended up in the hospital after his first WS due to rhabdomyolysis. I'm running my first WS this year and wondering what I need to do to keep this from happening to me?"
I'd start by not eating so many rhododendrons. I believe goatee's should be shaved as well before competing in an ultra. If that cannot be done, then more drastic measures should be taken to avoid such catastrophic results.
Since Rhododendrons are found almost everywhere but dry areas, I suggest spending a lot of time there. I think it is imperative for one to get the body used to flushing out toxins while performing other tasks necessary to keep kidneys filtering while traveling a 100 miles. Saunas are excellent for mimicking heat and stabilizing the bodies electrolyte levels. Over time, usually 6 weeks, the amount of sodium loss for those exposed to extreme heat begins to drop substantially. This is because the cortex of the adrenal glands secretes more of the hormone aldosterone, which causes the sweat glands to reabsorb sodium from the kidneys before the sweat is released through the skin. This just eliminates one more kidney clogging factor. I am no doctor, but excessive amounts of protein can also stymie the kidney's, but what the heck, you've got two and this guy only has one.
He also went to school in Arizona, hot and dry so there are no guarantees, and is an NBA champion.
The most influential factor I would imagine for limiting muscle damage and strain is to parallel your training surface and conditions as much as possible to that which you will be running on race day. If you live Idaho where the trails are paved with roses for all the movie stars and you constantly are encouraging yourself because you work with kids and that's all you know how to do even when the results and standards are sub par, then you really need a gut check. You might not even know you'll end up looking like this guy.
What I am really getting at is you have to prepare yourself for the conditions you will be facing when you are racing and running your hardest. I wouldn't want to train for a road marathon by running the nice cushy, steep trails of say Ashland, OR. I would test my legs on the pavement for hours on end so they would be hardened, ah what am I saying, I would never do that. What I would do however is find suitable sustained downhills that would strengthen my quads for hours. I typically run for an hour downhill, and I mean downhill for an hour, each day for two months leading up to WS. I have been know to hit the weight room to work on eccentric quad extensions. Holding the weight til fatigue and repeating with more weight. Again, the best offense is a good defense and when competing in something as daunting as a 100 miler, everything has to go as planned.
If all else fails, then you should run behind this or you just might end up looking like this ;
This certainly sounds like a self image issue to me. The self image creates an emotional set point in terms of body image and the belief in one's power to regulate body weight. Boiled down however, it really translates to low-self esteem. First things first, I would say it's time to start winning a few of theses ultras. I might even suggest picking a few of the easier ones on the circuit that you know might coincide with other more prominent ones that better participants will be at. It's, ok, to run your own events sometimes where no one else shows up but you, and you know of a cool course where you cam run an ultra distance and, "win it." Perhaps you might even travel to regions of the country that you know are "soft" with competition and participation. I mean, I've been told before that the only reason I win ultras is because I am financially able to do so.
As a last resort one might consider running in this as I'm sure it also aids in prolonged postural positioning;
Wouldn't you agree Meghan?