Introduction: This study investigated the impact of the multistage ultra-marathon event ‘‘Marathon des Sables’’ (MdS) performed in the Sahara Desert on the psychophysical capacity of an athlete. Methods: We collected and analyzed environmental, physiological, and behavioral data from a 39-year-old athlete who participated in the MdS. Specifically, we collected environmental temperature (Tenv), upper inguinal skin temperature (Tsk), heart rate, and running speed data. Also, we recorded blood glucose and lactate, thermal comfort, total body water, perceived exertion, and cognitive function at the start, middle, and the end of each race stage. Results: We found significant detrimental impacts on the health and wellbeing of the monitored athlete. The monitored athlete suffered a multi-toe injury during the 3rd stage of MdS. Furthermore, the Tsk (32.6 ¡ 2.6°C) fluctuated considerably between day and night, as the lowest value presented was 29.8°C while the highest was 40.4°C. The Tsk tended to be higher both when the Tenv was higher and when daily running distance was longer. Finally, the athlete’s cognitive and athletic performances tended to be higher when his blood glucose (118.33 ± 19.20mg/dl) levels were higher. Conclusion: The health and wellbeing parameters of the monitored athlete were significantly impacted during the MdS.
Ioannou, Leonidas G.; Tsoutsoubi, Lydia; Tsianos, Georgios I.; and Flouris, Andreas D.
"Psychophysical Load During the Multistage Marathon des Sables: A Case Study,"
Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments: Vol. 18
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jhpee/vol18/iss1/7