Running in the heat

A big part of the Silk Road is going through the desert. By car this can already be a serious challenge, so imagine if you run this road #beyondexpectations like Kai Markus – does it currently. Read about his experience in one of the most challenging parts on his journey and find out how he deals with extreme heat, sand and dust in the desert.

Do you change your daily schedule for running in the desert?

Yes, this is necessary when you run through warm areas like this. You have to be an early bird or a night crawler to avoid the really warm hours of the day. It’s also important to plan ahead and buy water and other food before running out of it. Sometimes it’s not possible to buy anything for a few days so better be prepared.

How do you keep your body cool running in this heat?

I’m not trying to keep my body cool, but I’m trying to adjust to the heat. To be sure I don’t get sunburned I like to wear wide long pants and long sleeved shirts. It’s also important to wear a hat or a cap and UV protected sunglasses. Of course I’m trying to avoid the sun as much as possible. Victor- is always trying to find a place to rest with enough shadow, so I can drink or eat something. 

How do you keep hydrated? Do you have a routine for drinking & eating?

Haha yes, I got a cool feature for this on my Garmin watch. Every hour my watch rings an alarm for drinking. When my alarm goes on I drink about 0,5 L isotonic drinks. The routine for food is just like my normal routine.

Do you take special/different supplements for running in the heat?

No, I’m not taking different supplements for running in the desert. The Biogena supplements I take are based on long time results and that’s why it’s important to take a fixed amount of supplements and stick to the plan made by Prof. Dr. med. János Winkler. Especially for a long intensive project like this.  

Do you have special gear for running in the desert?

Yes, I do. You can’t compare running in the desert with running in the park. It’s important to be prepared for sandstorms and the heat of the sun. Wearing long wide apparel helps. I even brought my diving glasses because these are the only glasses that are protecting my eyes from the sand and dust. If necessary I also wear a mask for my mouth and nose to avoid breathing in sand and hot air. For drinking I have my running bag pack filled with minimum 2L of water. 

How do you deal with sand in your shoes?

If there’s sand in my shoes I take them off as fast as possible and empty them. Make sure to take out the sole as well, because there can be a lot of sand underneath the sole. Running with sand in your shoes is heavier and you loose the fit, so that blisters might be appear. Preventing my feet from blisters is one of the most important things.

Do you have other tips for running in the desert?

Haha, yes I have! You can read more about my experiences on my facebook page. After I will have completed all the desert areas of my journey I will add more content and experiences. So stay tuned, you never know what’s going to happen in the next desert area J 

At the 18th of August 2017, Kai Markus – will have a rest/cultural day in Dunhuang, China. Because Kai Markus wants to build a cultural bridge with this project he is going to visit the historical places and try the delicious food in Dunhuang. Follow him on his social media channels to be part of his journey and get to know insights on Chinese culture.  

Stay tuned for more of Kai´s running experiences in different parts of China  –  

Team 361 Europe

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