Category: Training

Foot Care for the Badwater Ultramarathon

(Badwater finishers) of (“Stuff For People Who Run”)

The biggest problem area for Badwater runners is the ball of the foot. Some runners we treated had blisters in this area that were large, painful and deep. There are two major factors contributing to this: people who run a lot tend to get very tough, thick skin in this area and the heat of the road is in contact with this area the most. When the skin is callused, blisters underneath cannot be lanced to relieve pressure and pain. The best solution during the event is to almost literally tape the skin back on the foot. We tend to use Elastikon tape for this because it is a very durable tape and sticks very well, especially with the additional use of an adherent, such as tincture of benzoin. Once it is stuck on, it will stay. Tincture of benzoin is used as an adherent to ensure the tape doesn’t slide or come loose. The tape must be applied in a single layer and brought up over the sides of the foot to be most effective.ZombieRunner is going to be out in the field again to provide mobile blister care for runners in the Kiehl’s Badwater Ultramarathon. While fixing many feet during Badwater last year, we saw some trends in the types of foot trouble that runners encountered. Also, we learned that some methods that work well for runners in 50 mile races, and even 100 milers, fail under the extreme conditions of Badwater.

Another problem area is toes. Toes are difficult to treat, but many runners have found success with Injinji toe socks. The individual gloves for the toes prevent toes from sticking together and curling underneath each other. The CoolMax fabric also helps keep feet a little drier. If you do need to tape your toes to prevent blisters, Use a stretchy tape and don’t apply it too tight or in too many layers. Toes that swell typically will blister underneath the toenail.

Additionally, runners who decided to tape their feet didn’t always use the best technique. Tape should be applied carefully and in a single layer. Extra layers (the mummified foot effect) provide no additional benefit. This will contribute to overheating of the feet and cause big problems when the feet swell. And, layers of tape are difficult to remove to treat blisters.

Here’s another thing to think about. If you tape your feet, you might run into a situation where you need to remove the tape. How does it come off? Make sure to pack some kind of de-adherent. There are specialty products you can purchase, or you can use rubbing alcohol or baby oil.

We noticed what socks runners were using. Many runners have heard the trick of bringing extra shoes that are sized one or two sizes larger than normal. But what about the socks? If your feet swell, your socks can be constricting as much as your shoes are. In particular, socks that contain a high percentage of spandex materials can be constricting. Also, consider that tape on your feet would require a larger sock. Socks that have a natural give to the fabric will work better.

Shoe surgery is another trademark of Badwater. Cutting pieces out of the shoe can relieve pressure spots. But have you ever tried this with normal scissors? You’ll need some good shears for the job. Bring some along, or consider getting some running sandals as an alternative. Make sure they have good cushioning because regular non-padded sandals will be tough on your feet during miles of pavement.

Can you train your feet for Badwater? There are two approaches to foot preparation: softening or toughening. As a blister care provider I recommend the method of keeping the feet soft. Use a callus reducer regularly, rub lotion on your feet every night, and trim away dead, tough skin. The skin will be smooth and supple by the start of Badwater, and much easier to treat should blisters occur. Runners who take this approach most likely will want to tape their feet, or at least experiment with taping before the race and be prepared to tape if hotspots occur.

The toughening method involves applying skin tougheners regularly and working on calluses as a good thing. Calluses shouldn’t be ragged, but the skin will be thick and tough by the start of the race. This may make the feet less prone to blisters, but should blisters occur, they are more painful and difficult to treat.

Finally, one of the most neglected areas is the toenails. The feet take a beating during training and so do your toenails. As some runners run farther and longer than ever before, they experience new toenail problems such as blisters under the nail, black toenails, and lost toenails. The initial advice is always larger shoes is. For some runners, this doesn’t solve the problem and it doesn’t mean you can ignore your toenails. With perseverance, you can greatly improve your chances of keeping your toenails. Keep toenails trimmed. Cut them straight across and file rough edges. File them as close as you can. Additionally, you can file across the top of the toenails to make them thinner. This way they’ll be less likely to catch of the roof of your shoe, one of the causes of blistering under toenails. Also, if you’ve lost toenails previously, the new nails often grow back thickened. Filing the top (when the nail is dry to avoid making the nails ragged) will help the nails fit better in your shoes and prevent them bumping the shoe and turning black again. Another solution that helps with this process is tea tree oil. Apply it to the toenails after soaking or after a shower. It works as a disinfectant and an antifungal. As a fixer of feet, one of the worst things to see is neglected toenails! If you can afford the time and money, a series of pedicures is a great idea for foot health and is a luxury you deserve after all your hard training.

Read their 2006 article, “Getting Your Feet to the Starting Line

Getting Your Feet to the Starting Line of the Badwater Ultramarathon

(Badwater finishers) of (“Stuff For People Who Run”)

Download this article as PDF – Reprint in your running club newsletter!

Read their 2007 follow-up article, based on their 2006 race experience.

When I worked on feet at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, I became very aware of how badly runners had treated their feet BEFORE the run. The damage I saw wasn’t a result of running the race through rugged canyons, it was typically the result of months of foot abuse, that then turned into a debilitating injury on race day. For example, a common problem is thick callus build-up on the ball of the foot. Under extreme conditions of technical trails, heat, and dehydration or electrolyte imbalance, the skin can easily become separated from the bottom of the foot, with large blisters forming under the callus. Treatment on the spot is practically impossible for this type of injury. Blisters can’t be drained through calluses, so the best that can be done is to tape over the foot to basically hold the skin on. It’s a painful way to finish, and even more painful if you can’t finish. While extreme endurance events, such as the Kiehl’s 2006 Badwater Ultramarathon, are tough, it’s the training that can really beat you up. And one body part that particularly suffers is your feet. Runners do all kinds of great things in training, focusing on distance, hills, speed, nutrition, but often forget their feet. By the time you reach the starting line, it’s too late to fix the mistakes you made in training. But if you spend some time taking care of your feet before the event, it can make a huge difference between finishing feeling good and a DNF.

Here are some key focus areas of foot care during training.

Finding the Right Shoes (and Socks)

Poor shoe fit is the number one cause of blisters. Work on this well in advance of your event. Shoes need to have a roomy toebox, arches that line up with your arches and are not intrusive or cause pressure points, heels that fit securely and don’t rub, and laces that you can tie without them digging into your feet. Also check for the collar of the shoe hitting against your ankle bone. Small problems with fit will be magnified in endurance events. The heat will make your feet swell, so you’ll want to start in shoes that are slightly large. You may want an extra pair that’s even larger. Many Badwater entrants have extra shoes that are one or even two sizes bigger in their support van. The other entrants usually wish they’d done the same. An important part of wearing oversized shoes is that you use an insole that matches your feet. Going up a shoe size changes the alignment of the shoe with your arch, and can cause blister problems. Check for any rough patches in your shoes or insoles. One product you can use to fix this is Engo patches. They adhere to your shoe to reduce friction by covering up rough or lumpy spots.

Test the shoes for the distance and race surface. If you use after-market or custom insoles, make sure the combination works well together. In addition, you must find the right socks. For Badwater, you need materials with the best wicking capabilities possible. Your feet will sweat, so anything you can do to reduce moisture will help. Avoid cotton socks. Although some runners like wool, it’s a poor choice for these conditions. Socks made of synthetic fabrics tend to have more technical features built into them. Many Badwater runners use Injinji five-toe performance socks because they are comfortable and practically eliminate the chafing between toes that causes blisters. They allow your toes to work with the rest of your feet, like the difference between mittens and gloves for your hands.

Getting Rid of Calluses

As you keep pounding pavement over weeks and months of training, your feet naturally toughen up. Places that originally got blisters will no longer get them, and the skin will get rough. While the general effect is good, there is a component of this that is not so good—calluses. Callused skin is too rough and should be removed. Calluses in the heat can separate from your foot and blister underneath or even come off completely, leaving the foot raw underneath. The ball of the foot, heel, and toes, especially small toes, are all problem areas. For small toes, calluses can get so bad that the skin of the whole toe comes right off! Taking care of this problem requires perseverance, but the work will pay off. First, on dry feet, use a pumice stone or a callus reducer (kind of like a rasp) to file down the rough skin. This should be done in stages—do it too aggressively and your skin will be raw. Afterwards, moisturize the foot with a heavy duty cream. The Badwater title sponsor, Kiehl’s, makes an excellent product for this purpose, called Klaus Heidegger’s All-Sport Foot Cream. Apply the cream after you take a shower also. Work on getting rid of calluses every day that are already built up, then once a week to maintain your foot health. You can apply lotion as often as you like.

Trimming and Filing Toenails

Another mistake runners make is letting their toenails get too long. Use a toenail clipper regularly to keep the nails trimmed, and also use a nail file to keep the edges smooth. This will help avoid black toenails and blisters under nails, which can be caused by a shoe that’s too small in the toebox, toes that keep bumping against the end of the shoe, or toenails that catch on the top of the toebox. Toenails should be cut straight across to avoid irregular growth, such as ingrown toenails.

If you have previously lost toenails and new ones are growing back, or you have black toenails that are bumpy and ugly, you can fix them up by filing across the top of the nail. Do this when the nails are dry (not after a shower or bath). Your goal is to gradually file down the layers of the nail, so that it’s not raised up against your shoe. File the nail before your shower, and then after the shower you can apply tea tree oil. This helps keeps the nail healthy.

Learning Your Taping Techniques

Many runners never need to tape their feet for regular distance runs, or even for 100 milers. But Badwater is different. The heat of the road for 135 miles means you need more protection for your feet. For most people, it’s tough to simulate race conditions to test various tapes and techniques. But you can still get a good idea of how a tape holds up just by wearing it for a short run and throughout a normal work day. A key feature of any tape used for Badwater is that it must be breathable. Duct tape is an absolute no-no. Some tapes to consider are Elastikon, Medipore, and Kinesio. All three are stretchable, breathable and durable. They stick well, but in extreme heat will need an adherent to make sure they really hold. Tincture of benzoin comes in bottles and easy-to-apply swabs. Protective taping can be applied in a single layer over potential problem areas. Runners may want to tape the entire foot, covering the heel, all the way through the mid-foot to the ball of the foot. Wider width tapes work best for this, in 3-inch or 4-inch. For toes, it’s important to tape in a single layer and not too tightly. Your toes are guaranteed to swell during the run. Tape that doesn’t have enough give will constrict the toes and cause blisters. Practice as much as you can with these tapes so that you are prepared for race day.

Taking care of your feet involves dedication and thought, but it will pay off in the long run. Some people spend months and even years finding the solutions that work for them. Every person is different so this is something you need to work on for yourself. With preparation you can avoid race day troubles and finish the race with healthy feet, ready to run another day.

Badwater 135 Survival Tips

I have officially completed the 135-mile Badwater 135 Ultramarathon fourteen times. The following list covers everything that has worked best for me at this race. Some points may also help other runners, crews and pacers spend more time focusing on race goals instead of being distracted by lots of piled-on suffering and unnecessary down time.

1. Physical Training

I run 120-miles a week for three months. Half the mileage is on the flats and half in the hills. I do daily core strengthening and stretching workouts at a fitness center and cross-train with long bike rides. This stamina and confidence boosting training regimen may seem extreme, but so is Badwater or any ultra race.

2. Sauna Training*

After my daily mileage I bake in a 170-degree sauna for up to an hour. The sauna enhances performance by acclimating the body to the extreme 130-degree blast furnace-like desert heat (in cooler ultras it helps ratchet up the comfort level when dealing with our internal heating system) and also prepares the system to process (absorbing and sweating) the large quantities of liquids consumed during the race. This may be the most important tip.

*See the various sauna and heat training articles in the Training & Preparation section at in the Badwater University section here at, especially Arthur’s own article, “Heat Training in a Sauna.”

3. Skin Protection and Cooling*

The sun’s intense heat, the drying winds, and the 200-degree pavement sap exposed body parts – especially the back, hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscle groups – and your performance will really suffer.

I cover myself with a long sleeved Patagonia white shirt and matching pants, a shrouded hat and sun screen. When it is really hot my crew will soak me with cold water from a garden type sprayer or drape my shoulders with a cold water soaked towel. I carry an 8-ounce spritzer of ice water. The mist I spray on my face and other hot spots is a refreshing coolant.

*See the various “Foot Care and Skin Care” articles in the Training & Preparation section in the Badwater University section here at

4. Feet and Blisters*

Shoes: I usually wear my most comfy shoe the first day and change to another pair with the toe box cut out the second day. I have worn flip-flops for several miles for even more relief.

Socks:  I prefer a light cotton sock filled with Gold Bond foot powder but this year I will try the highly touted Injinji wicking toe sock.

Blisters: Against conventional wisdom, I never tape my feet. For the ugly blistering (that will never stop me), it’s simply cut, drain and go. Besides, they all heal in a few weeks.

*See the various “Foot Care and Skin Care” articles in the Training & Preparation section in the Badwater University section here at

5. “Speed Kills”

Since I am not an elite runner (though they can also crash) my mantra is to run the easy parts easy and power walk the hard parts. This is a difficult proposition, especially as you watch other runners disappear into the horizon, but it is effective. My two best times were a direct result of sticking to this discipline.

6. Support Van Supplies

Contains a large chest filled with dry ice, cubes and blocks (dry ice on the bottom of the chest helps slow down the melting process of the regular ice). The cubes and blocks are used to top off four smaller chests containing liquids of choice and two five-gallon coolers of water for drinking and spraying. If overheated, I will climb inside the large cooler to cool off. Sizzle!

7. Rest Stops

If one paces properly, a ten minute or less respite at the time stations is more than sufficient. Use the time to change shoes, socks, clothing, gorge on liquids and electrolytes and possibly take a short cooling dip in the pool at Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells and Lone Pine. Then get going.

8. Beware of the Chair

It is comfy to sit in a chair for long periods, but more than a few minutes is counter-productive. Based on experience I know that lots of time, which can easily amount to hours is wasted (attempting to recover, socializing, eating, etc.) at the check-in stations.

Skip the chair. It takes too many miles to get the body fluid and back up to speed again. It is more advantageous to continue to move forward at a more relaxed pace (amazingly, the body seems to recover faster on the move).

9. “Shortening” the Race Route

I had a tendency to run Badwater from time station to time station, but they are about 20-miles apart. Long desolate and arid stretches of desert in 120/130-degree temperatures was hard to mentally grapple with. Whew! There is nothing worse than concentrating on a time station that is ten-miles in the distance and never seems to get closer.

To chop up the Badwater course into shorter and mentally comforting running zones, I began concentrating on the landmark and other signage that are three to four-miles apart. If I want to shorten the course even more (especially during the second day when I get extremely tired) I use the mile-marked posts or the alternately (on the other side of the highway) marked one half mile posts. Yes, it really, really helps!

10. Music

At times, music soothes the soul and at times it is distracting. Still, a useful tool; wherever I go, my iPod goes.

11. Nutrition

The body can only process about 350-calories an hour. I drink one cold Ensure Plus every hour and an occasional Power Gel or GU. At times Sustained Energy, Perpetuem, peanut butter, soup or turkey slices are used to provide a good change of pace. Liquid meals are best in extreme conditions, because they are digested quickly and the blood used in the process is able to return to the extremities to help cool the body surface.

12. Electrolytes*

To help prevent cramping and dehydration I will take Endurolytes or S!Caps. They contain the proper mix of potassium, sodium and magnesium. In extreme heat I will take the recommended dosage (experiment during training runs). Previously, salt replacement was guesswork and I had incredible cramping episodes. I started using these products at Badwater after about five years and the cramping has stopped. They work.

13. Hydration*

Every few miles I drink 16-ounces of cold Crystal Geyser water, PowerAde or a Starbucks Frappuccino (my preferred drinks). The body can only process about 32-ounces of liquids an hour (maybe a bit more in extreme temperatures, but not much more!) so it is important not to over-hydrate.

To eliminate the water loss or gain guesswork we frequently check my weight using an electronic scale. Your weight the day before the race is a good baseline. Be careful: Starting line weight can be misleading because most runners are already a tad over-hydrated. A constant weight or a few pounds either way is preferred; any more leads to the troubles below.

The following five points are hydration and electrolyte problems (Karl King, Ultrarunning Magazine, 2007) that I have personally experienced. Yuck! Beware! Medical assistance may be required to correct any of these conditions. Finishing the race is probable, but you will be red-lining in the danger zone.

A)    Low on Fluids and Possibly Electrolytes

Symptoms: Plunging weight, lightheaded, shortness of breath, stop and go slower and wobbly pace, urine is yellow and sparse. Hint: Severe dehydration; the worst case scenario.

Solution: Consume liquids immediately. Further deterioration leads to dizzy spells, rust colored urine, fainting and hours of down time, which could lead to the ugly DNF; and will if an IV is used.

***  Immediate indication of dehydration: Squeeze all your toes together for five seconds. If they spring back you are OK. If they stay curled or curl up more you are dehydrating and need to remedy ASAP.

B)    Low on Electrolytes but Fluids are OK

Symptoms: Horrible cramping begins. Wham! They strike incredibly fast and are generally severe. You wind up on the ground curled up like a pretzel. Weight, urine output and color had been okay?  Hint: You need electrolytes.

Solution: Immediately start replacing with S!Caps, Endurolytes, salt tablets, etc. Don’t lay there. Get up and start moving at an easy pace. In less than an hour the sodium level will balance and the cramping will subside. Yeah!

C)    Too Much Water and Electrolytes are OK

Symptoms: The stomach begins to bloat (easy to spot as you begin to look pregnant) and urine output is normal and clear. Weight is up a few pounds and you feel a bit sluggish. Oops, I have gone to the starting line in this condition!

Solution: Correct this very common over-hydration condition by drinking less (until weight is normal). Drinking more fluids may lead to the next problem.

D)    Too Much Water and Low Electrolytes

Symptoms: The stomach looks like a water-filled balloon, there if puffiness in your extremities, your weight is way up, and at times there is excessive clear urination. You are sluggish and performance suffers because you have to stop to water the cactus every five minutes. Hint: You are super-hydrated.

Solution: Boost electrolytes and forget the fluids until your weight is normal. This may take several hours or more!

E)    Too Much Water and High Electrolytes

Symptoms: You look and feel like the Pillsbury doughboy.  Weight is much too high, the stomach is bloated and all the extremities are really swollen. Urine output is clear and sparse. You are sluggish and your performance is suffering dramatically. Hint: You are maxed out with water and sodium.

Solution: Stop fluid and electrolyte intake until you’re weight normalizes, which may take hours or days.

14. Pacers

My top three points if a pacer is used:

  1. “Pace” behind the runner: (Badwater race rule). It’s easier to monitor from behind and it gives the runner a clearer view of any immediate footing or tripping problems on the trail/road.
  2. No unsolicited chatter: Distracts a tired and focused runner.
  3. Aid stations: Get your runner in and out quickly. Prod them. Make sure they drink soups, take electrolytes and don’t get comfy sitting down. Remind them that they will feel better if they continue to move forward. “Time waits for no man.”

15. Crewing*

Ten Badwater helpful hints.

  1. Have several pre-race meetings to cover all the crew responsibilities and contingency plans.
  2. Crew must take turns sleeping/resting. A major objective is to have fresh people, especially during the second day. Crew should appear energized even if you are not. This keeps the runner positive.
  3. Leap-frog the runner in two-mile intervals, give or take, depending on the availability of parking spots, the terrain, the heat, and the runner’s condition.
  4. Attempt to park the support vehicle in the runner’s sight (except on winding mountain passes). A tired runner equates out of sight as not being there or not caring. It is a mental downer and performance really suffers.
  5. Cater to the runner’s needs on the up-slope of a hill. Runners usually run the down hills; no need to stop their momentum.
  6. Make sure runner doesn’t stay in a chair or rest stop too long.  (Unless medically necessary). Keep them moving forward.
  7. Use the scale to weigh and chart the runner’s fluid situation; especially when it is extremely hot. Correct imbalances immediately.
  8. Chart food, liquid and electrolyte intake at preplanned intervals. This should keep the tired runner – who has no ability to remember these details – balanced.
  9. Understand and follow all other race rules.
  10. Bonus points for runner and crew: Laugh and have some fun!

16. The Runner

Please, no groveling or whining. Treat your crew (and race staff) with due respect. They deserve tons of thanks for their volunteered time. A tired and pissed off crewmember / pacer will never enhance your effort. Their responsibility is to pamper and prod you through the event. Your responsibility is to stand tall and silently deal with the pain, misery and suffering and to finish the race. Don’t forget you were the one who filled out the race application.

Good luck to all.

Arthur Webb, Badwater 135 Finisher in 98, 99, 00, 01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, and 12

Heat Training in the Sauna

By Arthur Webb
Fifteen-Time Finisher: 1998 through 2012, including a Personal Record and new Age Group Record of 33:45:40 at age 70 at his final Badwater 135 in 2012. His stats.

The heat in Death Valley in July is extreme. The official weather station is located at Furnace Creek where it can reach 130 degrees (54C). But, in micro-climates, like the Stovepipe Wells area, it is always hotter. Since running in suffocating heat on 200 degree (93C) pavement presents health and safety issues, health officials and the race staff strongly recommend that all runners do some type of heat training. I rate its importance in the race survival equation equal to, and possibly greater than race pacing, food, and fluid intake.

Check the Badwater University section of this website for other heat-related articles and tips. Any single method or any combination of them will help you acclimate and contribute to a successful trek across Death Valley. For example:

A). Train in the desert (any desert) as presented by Doctor Ben Jones.

B). Simulate heat conditions by running in layers of clothing as suggested by Stephen Simmons.

C) Bake Yourself: Drive around with the windows rolled up and the heater on high. When time and availability was a problem, I used this method during my ½ hour drive home from work. It can get messy, but it does work.

D). Follow my Sauna Training plan outlined here, a key factor during fifteen Badwater finishes:

  1. The sauna serves two extremely essential functions: First, it prepares the body to deal with the blistering heat in Death Valley. Secondly, according to medical research, a runner acclimated to the heat loses fifty per cent less sweat and sodium.
  2. Train every day: Although you may have to take a day off to hydrate or rest, a daily blast works best. Dry saunas simulate Death Valley conditions, but if a steam sauna is available use it, at least, one day a week. Sometimes storms lash the Badwater area, and it becomes extremely hot and humid. Fortunately, I have rotated between dry and steam saunas and have been ready for anything. It was effective.
  3. The goal is to stay in the heat of the sauna for as long as possible: When I rigorously workout in the sauna I must leave it too soon, which defeats the purpose (Remember, at Badwater, you are in sauna-like heat all day with no doors to escape). I have better results sitting on the planks doing a light abdominal workout. I save my harder workout for the daily run, which I do first and then use the hot box. Running after a sauna session is extremely difficult. Save this time for hydrating.
  • Note: There are athletes that have favorable results using treadmills and stationary bikes inside the sauna. (The extremely elevated heart rate is a concern and may stress the body too much; what’s mainly necessary is heat adaptation, which can be done without exercise).
  • Also Note: Dr. Lisa Stranc-Bliss has had success (Women’s winner Badwater 2007) using an infrared sauna, which she says, “the lower temperatures penetrate deeper….and she can stay in much longer in the 130–145-degree range.”
  1. Be patient: Most saunas top out at the 160–180-degree range (71-82C). The first few days are the hardest and hottest. After fifteen minutes it becomes overbearing, and it is time to leave. But as time goes by you will be able to stay in longer. By the fourth week, you should be able to manage 30 minutes or more at 180 degrees (82C). I use the sauna at a more relaxed level throughout the year, which helps me ease into the extensive four-week regimen listed below.
  2. Drink: It is important to hydrate while inside the sauna.
  • Note: I usually take in three 2-liter bottles of ice water. One bottle is for replacing liquids copiously sweated out and two bottles are for rinsing the body (acts as a coolant for a minute or so), and together they help you stay in the sauna longer.
  1. Electrolyte Replacement: I take Endurolytes while in the sauna. (Choose your favorite sodium replacement, but make sure it has a proper balance of all electrolytes, not simply sodium; Ultra Salt by Pure Vitamin Club is also very popular.) Include taking them during your daily runs as well. They restore the potassium, magnesium and sodium that depletes through sweat. I would not run Badwater without them. They keep the system balanced and help prevent nasty cramping issues. They do work.
  2. Time element: Finding enough sauna time may be a problem because of all the training (and working). Anyway, weeks before the Badwater race everyone has run more than enough mileage, so skip a run or two and just bake in the box. Besides, as the race draws near, heat training becomes much more important.
  1. Recovery: After the sauna I lay on a bench for about ten minutes as the body continues to sweat. After the elevated heart rate returns to normal levels, it is time for a cool shower and an evening of hydrating. Liquid intake is essential to help keep urine color at optimum race day running levels (light to pale yellow).

   ***** Important note: I typically ran (and other runners, too) my daily training miles with urine color either in the yellower under saturated levels, and, at times, in the clear urine over saturated levels and rarely noticed a drop in performance. But, running Badwater or any ultra at these red-lining toxic levels for prolonged periods of time (without adjusting water intake) is a one-way guaranteed ticket to a major problems. For greater insight read my article “The Art of Finishing Badwater 135.”

  1. Heat training in the sauna should take no more than four weeks and usually three are sufficient: When you get unexpected goose bumps at work/home or when it is one hundred degrees (38C) but feels like eighty (27C), you are acclimated. It is best to stop sauna training at least three days before the race. Do not worry; it takes weeks to lose the saunas heat benefits. The last days before are the time to hydrate properly (including electrolytes; don’t make the mistake of drinking excess plain water before – or during – the race.)

10.  Sample four-week sauna training:

in Sauna
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
110 / 43C (steam)
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
110F / 43C (steam)
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
160F / 71C
110F / 43C (steam)
160F / 71C
170F / 77C
170F / 77C
170F / 77C
180F / 82C
110F / 43C (steam)
180F / 82C
180F / 82C

11. Race Day: Wear white shrouded hat and light-colored wicking clothes (white arm and leg sleeves are a bonus). And keep the clothing wet. We use a super-soaker (water gun) and/or large handheld squirt bottles filled with chilly water. I always carry a small (4 oz) squirt bottle filled with icy water that I spray on my face to help cool and refresh (it works). If clothing dries out it may protect you from ultra-violet rays, but they tend to retain heat and you will start overcooking.

That’s my Sauna Training Plan, along with other heat training options. Regardless of the schedule or method you select, any heat training will make running Badwater 135 more tolerable.

Hopefully everyone will complete this incredible race, because crossing the finish line at Badwater 135 is as good as it gets.

Best of luck to all.

Life is Grand

– Arthur Webb (The Grinder)

15 x Badwater Finisher: 1998, 99, 00, 01, 02, 03*, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12

* Honorable mention

Age group (70-79) course record holder 33:45:40 (2012)

Badwater Hall of Fame (2013)

Any questions: or find me on Facebook.

Dangers of Running in the Heat

Originally published in Ultrarunning Magazine, September 2002. Reprinted with permission.

Running in hot weather can pose many dangers to ultrarunners. Although most runners are aware of the dangers of running for prolonged distances in hot and humid weather, many are also inadequately prepared for the intense stress placed on the body during these hot weather runs.

This past July, I participated in the 25th anniversary of the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile trek from the lowest place in the continental United States (Badwater Basin), through Death Valley National Park, and to the foot of Mount Whitney, the Whitney Portals, at an altitude of 8,360 feet (2,548 meters). The run was held in the middle of one of the most severe heat waves southern California has ever seen. In preparation for the run, I made sure my crew was aware of the signs and symptoms of heat illness, as well as how to treat me should problems occur. Here are some of the dangers of ultrarunning in the heat, and preventative measures that can be taken to avoid potential problems.

The Heat Index

The heat index is the apparent temperature felt by the body due to the combined effects of actual temperature and humidity. Most people understand that as the air temperature goes up, so does the heat index, but humidity also plays a role. As the humidity rises, the body is unable to efficiently evaporate the sweat it produces. Therefore, the perceived temperature is much higher than the actual air temperature. The loss of cooling efficiency thus makes exercise extremely dangerous.

Although it is convenient to use a single number to describe the apparent temperature your body feels, keep in mind that heat and humidity affect everybody differently. Several assumptions are made to calculate the heat index measurements in the table below. Specifically, the heat index assumes the body to be:

  • 5′ 7″ (170 cm) in height
  • 147 pounds (67 kg) in weight
  • Caucasian
  • A 98.6° F (37° C) body temperature
  • Clothed in long pants and a short-sleeved shirt
  • In shade
  • Walking at a speed of 3.1 mph (5 kph)
  • In a breeze of 6 mph (10 kph)
  • Not dripping with sweat

Changing any of these factors can either increase or decrease the heat index from those shown in the table. Be aware that heat index values of over 100 significantly increase your risk of heat-related illness.

Air Temperature (degrees Fahrenheit)
70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115 120

Heat Index
0% 64 68 73 78 83 87 91 95 99 103 107
10% 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 111 116
20% 66 72 77 82 87 93 99 105 112 120 130
30% 67 73 78 84 90 96 104 113 123 135 148
40% 68 74 79 86 93 101 110 123 137 151
50% 69 75 81 88 96 107 120 135 150
60% 70 76 82 90 100 114 132 149
70% 70 77 85 93 106 124 144
80% 71 78 86 97 113 136 157
90% 71 79 88 102 122 150 170
100% 72 80 91 108 133 166
Data from the US National Weather Service

Heat Illnesses

There are three major heat illnesses—and all of them can be exacerbated by ultra distance running and prematurely end an ultrarunner’s race. In all cases, the main reason that runners experience heat illness is dehydration. If you replace lost fluids and electrolytes and are able to train your body to process a high volume of fluid in a short period of time, you significantly decrease the risk of experiencing these race-ending medical emergencies.

Heat cramps: Exercising in hot weather can lead to muscle cramps, especially in the legs. This is usually caused by imbalances or deficiencies in your body’s electrolyte stores. A cramp is characterized by sharp, stabbing pain in the muscle and rarely works itself out on its own. On a training run earlier this year in Death Valley, many runners complained of cramps in their legs; I suffered from cramps in my diaphragm and had difficulty breathing for more than an hour! Cramps become less frequent with heat training, but for those of us unaccustomed to such extreme conditions, maintaining adequate hydration and electrolyte balance is critical to avoiding them. To eradicate cramps, you should stop running, drink fluids containing electrolytes, cool your body with wet towels, and immediately get out of the sun.

Heat exhaustion: Losing fluid and electrolytes through sweat leads to dizziness and weakness if the lost fluids are not replaced. Heat exhaustion is characterized by a moderate rise in body temperature, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and a headache. You might also experience weakness, lack of coordination, heat cramps, heavier than usual sweating accompanied by moist and cold skin, and “goose bumps.” Your heart rate may rise and you won’t be able to run as fast due to fatigue. Many runners – even those who are well trained – will suffer from mild heat exhaustion after running for several hours in hot and humid conditions. If you experience the signs of heat exhaustion, stop running immediately and drink fluids containing electrolytes, cool your body with wet towels, lie down and elevate your feet a few inches above your heart, and immediately get out of the sun. Since heat exhaustion can lead to the most severe form of heat-related illness, heat stroke, seeking prompt medical attention for heat exhaustion is also highly recommended.

Heatstroke: In extreme cases heat can upset the body’s thermostat, causing body temperature to rise to105 degrees F or higher. This is a life-threatening situation that requires immediate medical attention. While it is common for untreated heat exhaustion to rapidly progress to heatstroke, heatstroke can (and does) occur without the signs of heat exhaustion being apparent. Symptoms of heatstroke include lethargy and extreme weakness, confusion and odd or bizarre behavior, disorientation and unconsciousness. Because heatstroke is a complete failure of the body’s temperature regulation system, sweating ceases and the skin becomes hot and dry. Convulsions or seizures can occur as the brain begins to shut down. Coma and death are also possible in extreme cases. Heatstroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Call the emergency response system immediately! Get the runner out of the sun, remove all clothing, and immediately rub their body with ice or immerse the runner in cold water.

By staying properly hydrated and recognizing the early warning signs of heat illness, as a runner you can prevent a heat-related problem from becoming a life-threatening situation. As a volunteer, recognizing these heat-related dangers may one day help you save the life of a runner who has underestimated the intensity of the surroundings.

Jay is a nationally Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) licensed to practice in Indiana. He holds Master’s degrees in Exercise Physiology and the Basic Medical Sciences, both from Purdue, with an emphasis on tissue repair and healing. Jay works full-time as the Clinical Affairs Manager for Cook Biotech Incorporated, a medical device company in Indiana. He has completed over 60 ultramarathons, including the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning and the 2006 Badwater Ultramarathon.

Badwater Ultramarathon: What to Bring

Badwater finishers and ZombieRunner proprietors

Plans for the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon typically include long lists of items for the runner. What people may overlook is that the crew needs to be outfitted, too. Everyone will be out there in the same heat, needing fuel, hydration, cooling, and some rest. Planning your gear list makes all the difference to your race. Take time to think through scenarios and have backup items in case other items fail or things don’t go as expected.


  • Badwater Race Magazine (You will receive this at the race.)
  • Waiver: Required for each runner and for each crew member
  • NPS Waiver: Required for each runner
  • Medical History Form: Required for each runner
  • Check-In Form: Required for each runner


  • Multiple coolers and large fluid containers. Dedicate one cooler to contain only ice and only touch that ice with a clean scoop – never your hands and never by scooping ice with a dirty water bottle. A cylindrical cooler / Igloo water dispenser filled with ice is great for refilling water bottles. Most crew typically bring three large coolers: one for ice only (with a scoop), one for food, and one for drinks. Some bring a small fourth cooler just for ice bandannas.
  • Jugs for mixing sports drink and refilling water bottles.
  • Folding chairs.
  • Cot, sleeping pad or air mattress.
  • Bucket or basin. You may want to soak your feet for cooling. One trick is to cool your shoes without having to take them off. Put plastic bags around the shoes and place them in ice and water in a basin. A cat litter box works well for this. Keep in mind that wet feet are prone to blistering.
  • Mechanical (non-electric) scale for weighing the runner during the race. This is to detect over- or under-hydration.
  • Thermometers for body and outside air temperatures.
  • Water sprayer.
  • Umbrella, tarp, and/or canopy to provide shade for the crew and for the runner when taking a break.
  • Handheld flashlights and headlamps for the runner and the pacers.
  • Blinky lights for the runner and pacers (bring at least eight total).
  • OSHA Class 3 garments for all support crew to wear at all times along the course
  • Excellent lighting for crew members, such a small headlamp to see for cooking, fixing runner feet and other tasks.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Garbage bags, plastic bags, baggies.
  • Utensils, plates, cups, etc. Can opener.
  • Clipboard, pens, pencils, notepaper. The crew should try to record runner activities, so there’s something to look at if the runner gets into trouble (how much fluids, food, electrolytes consumed; pace between time stations).
  • Race plan and crew schedule.
  • Duct tape, blue painters tape, rope, cord, string.
  • Towels of various sizes.
  • Paper towels and toilet paper.
  • Camera.
  • Cellular phone (often won’t work).
  • Satellite phone (recommended).
  • Small stove for boiling water.


  • Water and ice (lots and lots).
  • For food, plan to have a variety available, because it’s difficult for a runner in extreme conditions to eat any one thing over a long period of time. Certain products that taste fine in cool conditions can become nauseating in the heat.
  • Electrolytes: It’s easier to monitor electrolyte intake when using an electrolyte capsule, such as Ultra Salt by Pure Vitamin Club or Endurolytes by Hammer Nutrition. You also get sodium and other electrolytes from sports drinks, energy gels, salty snacks and regular food.
  • Fluids: carbohydrate/electrolyte drink such as HEED from Hammer.
  • Energy gel such as Hammer Gel which provided easy to digest calories.
  • Carbohydrate drink with added protein and supplements such as Hammer Nutrition Sustained Energy and/or Perpetuem. This is another way to get balanced calories. Be sure to keep protein drinks on ice, as they can go bad after extended periods in the heat.
  • Salty snacks to help with electrolyte management such as pretzels, peanuts, corn-nuts, potato chips, salt
  • Sweet snacks for additional carbohydrate: fig newtons, pop tarts, fruit, such as watermelon, cantaloupe, and oranges.
  • Caffeine: Soda, coffee, tea, cocoa, etc. Be aware of the pros and cons of caffeine. While it is great to help you stay alert through the night, it is also a diuretic.
  • Real food: Think of your favorite foods to eat that are easy to prepare and eat on the run. For example, peanut butter and jelly, tuna salad, ham and cheese sandwiches, oatmeal packets, and jerky. Take maximum advantage of the restaurants at Stovepipe Wells, Panamint Spring, and Lone Pine.
  • Soups work well at night, such as chicken noodle soup, cream of potato soup, tomato soup, or any Cup-of-Soup. If you bring cans, remember the can opener!
  • Other liquids for protein: chocolate milk, nutrition drinks, soy milk.


  • Protective products for your skin including sun screen, lip balm, and moisturizer.
  • First aid kit: medications for upset stomach, headache. If the runner is on any medication, be sure these are included.
  • Gauze, band-aids, anti-biotic ointment, alcohol wipes
  • Anti-chafing product such as Bodyglide, Sportslick, Sportshield.


Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. People who never get blisters can end up with serious foot issues during Badwater 135. Keep foot care items in a cool place. If possible, dedicate a small cooler to these types of items. Tapes can melt and become useless quickly if they get too warm.

  • Dressings such as Compeed, Elastogel, Duoderm, Engo Pads, Blist-O-Ban, 2nd Skin QuikStik, 2nd Skin Blister Pads for pressure areas and blisters. You should have small sized ones for toes and large ones for heels and the balls of the feet.
  • Swabs, needles, razor blades, tweezers, scissors, etc.
  • Heavy duty scissors for cutting shoes if necessary.
  • Specialty tapes for pre-taping and repairs during the race: Elastikon, Kinesio, Medipore, Micropore. Tape should be breathable and applied in single layers.
  • Foot Lubricant: Hydropel, Bodyglide, Sportslick.
  • Foot Powder: BlisterShield, Zeasorb, Gold Bond powder.
  • Cooling foot spray.
  • Blister patches.


  • Both light-weight merino wool socks by Farm to Feet and Injinji Toesocks are favorites at Badwater races. Bring several pairs of socks so you can change whenever you like. You might want socks a size bigger to go with your bigger sized shoes.
  • Full coverage solar-protective clothing (white or very light colored from head to toe), such as those by Solumbra. Look for clothing with a SPF or UPF sun-protection rating and vents for cooling. Legs can burn just from the heat rising from the road. Covering your skin with protective fabrics and using sun screen gives you the protection you need. Remember that the crew needs protective clothing also!
  • Shorts and singlet or short sleeved tops, to change into after the sun goes down. It’s still hot at night, and you may be cooler in fewer clothes.
  • Race number, worn unmodified and unfolded at all times (not on head): for both runner and any crew member actively pacing.
  • Light-colored running shoes that you’ve tested over long distances on paved surfaces. Bring several pairs, including pairs one and two sizes larger. Remember to size up your socks, too, if you need to size up your shoes.
  • Footbeds, orthotics, arch supports or heel lifts, as necessary. These should all be tested before the race.
  • Hat with long-bill or wide brim plus neck shroud.
  • Arm sleeves to protect your arms from the sun and to help stay cool.
  • Compression leg sleeves to support your calf muscles and also to help block the intense heat radiating from the pavement.
  • Dark sunglasses. Polarized lenses are a good idea if you’re concerned about glare.
  • Summit goggles and or shields (for side-glare, but be aware of peripheral vision obstruction).
  • Cool-Off Bandana or regular bandana to put ice on your neck and head. Have at least two for the runner and more for the crew also.
  • Wicking undergarments.
  • Reflective gear (mandatory, see the race rules), strobe light, flashers, etc., for dusk till dawn. We highly recommend the amazing little strobe lights from, as well as their reflective gear and personal identification products.

Finally, bring along any other items that might make your journey more comfortable and enjoyable! Just remember to stay within the rules and be considerate of other people who are out there.

Blister Care

Running the Badwater Ultramarathon is the true test of an athlete’s endurance, training, tactics and proper body maintenance. One of the obstacles that seems to prevent many from finishing is problems with blistering. Before competing in my first Hi-Tec Badwater race in 1994, I had the privilege of Rhonda Provost teaching me foot-care techniques. (She’s the only woman to have done the double-crossing from Badwater to Whitney and back in 1995.) Since that time, I’ve taken advice from other runners as well, with the hopes that we could devise some way to prevent the inevitable blistering problems that develop during this event. When I competed the second time in 1996, I was able to finish the race with NO blisters at all by using the following techniques. My hope is that these tips will help you, the competitor, successfully travel this course in more comfort, due to sharing the techniques I have learned over the years.

I have seen and worked on feet so unbelievably blistered from this event it would make you think they have been boiled in oil. Often it has been a complete surprise to the athlete, as more often it seems many have taken it for granted that they won’t blister in Badwater because they don’t blister in other 100 milers. Please take the precautions, and maybe you can get through this event without them! Even with these measures I suggest, it’s not always the cure. In 1998 I spent significant time with Robert Thurber from Texas. By Panamint (72 miles) even with prior taping, his feet were so bad he had to be carried off the course. I tried everything to prevent this from happening to him, but his calluses were very thick, and he had blistered massively on his heels under them.

I also highly recommend the book advertised in UltraRunning Magazine, “Fixing Your Feet”, by John Vonhof. It is a very complete practical synthesis on proper foot care. He goes into a lot of specifics on every detail of foot care, and where things can be purchased. It’s just great and I believe every competitor would benefit form using it as a reference.

My booklet is specific to Badwater, therefore it might differ somewhat from the techniques that Vonhof recommends in his book.

Items for foot care box:

  • Swabs (for applying benzoin.)
  • Toe nail clippers, fingernail file, pedicure file.
  • Alcohol swipes.
  • Tincture of Benzoin (it also comes in spray.)
  • Sharp scissors (very pointed.)
  • Tweezers to pull blister out to cut a hole in it.
  • Tapes (Micropore and Elastikon.)
  • Foot powder (Zeasorb.)
  • Betadine (for cleansing.)
  • Extra Socks
  • Second Skin (A gel for burns and blisters.)

Preparation of Feet Prior to Competition.
File down any calluses with a pedicure file so that if a blister develops you can get to it so it can be treated. If thick calluses are allowed to remain, they are next to impossible to get underneath to fix the blister during this event. Many times it has caused an athlete to drop out. Make sure toenails are trimmed (square) and file them so no rough edges remain.

I recommend pre-taping the night before the race so the tape has time to conform to your feet. By taping the night before, it’s one less thing to get together on race day, and if anything comes unstuck it will take less time to fix. Micropore (by 3M) seems to work well (it is like paper) and conforms to the shape of the foot. Another tape that has been helpful is Elastikon (by Johnson&Johnson). It is slightly thicker and stretchy for the heels and balls of the foot and it is breathable. I DO NOT recommend duct tape. We have found that duct tape doesn’t breathe and causes the area that has been taped to become edematous, sometimes causing worse blisters underneath the tape. It also tears the skin that has been taped when it’s removed, causing a great deal of pain. Pre-tape any areas that has blistered before, or might be a friction point. Spread Tincture of Benzoin over the area to be taped. Allow the Tincture to become tacky, then tape as flatly and neatly as possible. Cut off any wrinkles or corners of the tape. Tincture of Benzoin can be purchased at a pharmacy.

Make sure you’ve tried your socks prior to the event. Everyone seems to have their own favorite. In recent years, runners such as Monica Scholz have had excellent results (blister-free) with Injinji toe socks (known as “Tsoks”) which feature individual toes. With regular socks, seams are sometimes a problem. Sometimes it helps to turn the seam-side out. Any sock needs to fit well, with no wrinkling. Cotton socks provide no wicking and tend to make balls (pills). Any amount of sand in a sock seems to cause blistering.

Make sure shoes aren’t black, they absorb too much heat. Make sure insoles are insulating. I wear very padded orthotics that also provide insulation against the heat. Consider extra cushioning but don’t try something you haven’t trained with. Anklet nylons have been used to provide the innermost layer, then ultrathin socks. Personally, I found them too slippery. They caused my feet to move around too much in the shoe, which can also cause blisters. Have an extra pair of shoes available in case your feet swell. It also helps to keep them in a zip-lock bag in the ice chest, if you have room, to keep them cool. I’ve been able to complete the race in the same pair of shoes, however.

Treating Blisters After They Develop:
Clean the area with alcohol. Drain blister by cutting a hole in it, (a small hole not a pin prick.) This prevents the blister from refilling. Place Second Skin over the blister. Try to leave skin intact over the blister. Treat the area with Tincture of Benzoin, once again, so that the tape will stick. Tape over Second Skin. Once the skin is moist from sweat, it’s harder to get the tape to stick. I use foot powder (Zsasorb) to dry the feet after the benzoin and before the taping.

Lanolin or Vaseline:
Some runners like to use these preparations to prevent blistering. I have found that they don’t work for me. The drier I can keep my feet, the better. However, if using such a preparation has worked for you and you’ve trained in the desert with it, then by all means use it!

I have had no success using Compeed for Badwater. Others have used it to alleviate the pain of a blister quickly. The problem seems to be that it might help at the immediate time, but trying to get it off is a nightmare. It sticks to the skin and shifts. I treated three athletes last year that were in terrible pain from Duct Tape and Compeed. They wanted to climb Whitney after the race and their feet were in such bad shape they could hardly walk. In trying to remove it, the skin over the blister and the tissue underneath often comes off. The raw flesh is very tender and susceptible to infection. You might try it as a last ditch resort, but I’ve treated some very painful feet due to it’s use.

Comments from John Vonhof, author of “Fixing Your Feet”
The number one factor is knowing what your feet need, and how to do it, before you have to do it. I have patched many feet at ultras and adventure races and have found that most racers have a fairly good knowledge base of what they should be doing. They know it’s smart to wear the right kind of socks and to have footwear that fits well. Many have also made footcare kits for their crews. I would make a rough guess and say about 30-40% are well versed in what their feet need and how to do it. The other 60-70% kind of wing it. They’ve read about footcare but somehow it falls lower on the priority list than does training, finding foods they can tolerate, the right flashlight for night running, and other choices. So they start their race and manage well for a while-until problems develop.

To have and keep healthy feet, you have to know what works for them in the sports in which you participate. You also have to know what to do when what worked no longer works. In other words, a fallback plan with the equipment to back it up and the knowledge of how to use it. Let me give some examples.

  • Learn what lubricant works but have a container of powder handy.
  • Learn what socks work but have one or two extra pair of other types.
  • Learn how to tape the hot spots that might develop.
  • Learn how to tape your toes, heels, and every other part of your feet just in case blisters form.
  • Learn how to tape like a pro and then practice taping and then practice some more, and then start over until your taping is perfect.
  • Learn that if you tape one toe, it may require a bit of tape on the next toe.
  • Learn how to lance blisters and patch over them.
  • Learn what happens to your feet when you don’t change wet socks and your feet become macerated and feels like there is one humongous blister on the bottom of each foot.
  • Learn that something simple like properly trimming and filing your toenails can prevent toe blisters and even black toenails.
  • Learn that in a 135-mile race, if you don’t control your feet, they will control you.
  • Learn that you may know how to patch your feet, but you crew may not unless you teach them.
  • Learn that an inexpensive shoehorn can prevent the formation of heel blisters when you try to shove your foot into your shoe because you are in a hurry to get out of the aid station.

The bottom line is that if you don’t learn what works for your feet, intentionally, you will learn the hard way.

Endurance Athletes’ Secrets on Sun Safety for the Badwater Ultramarathon

The biggest challenge for endurance athletes isn’t the competition—it’s sun exposure, according to the latest Sun & Skin News, a publication of The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Triathletes, for example, compete outdoors in three endurance sports back-to-back—swimming, bicycling, and running. If racers don’t carefully protect themselves, notes Scott B. Phillips, MD, the result could be premature skin aging and skin cancers, including melanomas.

About half of the triathletes recently surveyed by Dr. Phillips had skin problems, and 55 percent of those with problems reported sunburns – almost the same results obtained from 259 marathoners.

“One problem for endurance athletes is that they wear less clothing in races than they do in workouts, exposing more sin to the sun,” says Dr. Phillips, in the Department of Dermatology at the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Chicago, IL. “But the greatest about of exposure occurs during training, since athletes may work out several hours daily.”

Experienced competitors, however, learn many methods to avoid such threats. These strategies are advised for anyone exercising in the sun:

  • Train early and/or late in the day, even if it means breaking workouts into two sessions. From 10 to 4, stay out of the sun. “People with jobs typically train before and after work, or during lunch hour,” says Dr. Phillips. “I’m less likely to train at lunch because of the high sun.”
  • During training, cover as much skin as possible, wearing sweatpants or long shorts, and a long-sleeved shirt or sweatshirt. Wear socks to soak up sweat and absorb impact as well as block the sun. And shield your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Wide-brimmed hats are too unwieldy for endurance sports, but wear a baseball-type cap to protect the forehead and front of the face.
  • Use an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen on all exposed skin, up to 6:30pm or later on a summer’s day, even when it’s cloudy. Dr. Phillips also recommends lip balm, and stick sunscreens around the eyes, because these sunscreens are more resistant to sweating. Badwater recommends the prducts by Kiehl’s Since 1851.
  • Even if a sunscreen is labeled “waterproof” or “water-resistant,” replenish it every two hours after.

“These few moments make a big difference in sun safety, and little difference in your competitiveness,” says Dr. Phillips.

The Skin Cancer Foundation, the only national and international organization concerned solely with cancers of the skin, conducts public and medical education  programs and provides support for research and professional training to reduce the incidence, morbidity, and mortality of skin cancers. Sun & Skin News, a quarterly publication of the Foundation, provides information on a broad range of topics related to skin health, including prevention and treatment of skin cancers, the effectiveness of new sunscreen formulas and sunglasses, prevention and treatment of photoaging, and the danger of tanning parlors.

For additional information, contact:

The Skin Cancer Foundation
245 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1403
New York, NY 10016