A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Tuesday on the Run: Hydration!

on September 1, 2015

With the temps creeping back up to the 90s this week, and a long run of 11 miles on the horizon, this is a perfect topic for me. Thanks as always to April, Patty and Erika for hosting the Tuesdays on the Run link-up! Be sure to check out everyone’s advice!

Tuesdays-on-the-run1

Drinking enough before and after a run can be just as important as drinking during your runs and yet we often don’t think of that!  Some of the things I keep in mind about hydration before, during and after my runs:

Drink up before runs! Before long runs and races, I keep my water bottle with me all day so I can drink up! It’s a lot easier to get your cells “topped off” mostly the day before the race, rather than trying to drink a gallon of water pre-run. Between the bathroom breaks and stomach sloshing, that would not be fun. Hydrating throughout the day is even more important for me, personally, now that I’m on an arthritis medication because my risk of kidney injury goes up when I get even a little dehydrated. Always be sure you talk to your doctor if you have any other medical conditions or medications that may place you at higher risk!

I filled my 32 oz water bottle as soon as I got to work and promise to refill it at least twice more today!

I filled my 32 oz water bottle as soon as I got to work and promise to refill it at least twice more today!

– When it’s warm outside, plan on bringing water with you (or running by a water stop) even for shorter runs. In cooler weather, I only worry about water if I’m going over 5-6 miles. In the warm weather of summer (and make no mistake, early September is still summer in lots of places!), I try to bring water with me for anything over 3 miles because it’s easier to dehydrate faster in the heat.

 

Think about places to get a drink along the way: Water fountains in parks or at school, running by your house for a water bottle you’ve stashed or even stores/shops that might have water can be good resources. I’ve refilled my water bottle using the fountain at a grocery store I pass on route several times and it’s been a lifesaver! Even if you carry water with you, you may run out sooner than you expected or drop your water and spill it or get lost and run longer than you expected (all have happened to me) so always have a backup plan in mind.

 

– Be sure to drink as soon as you get home, and think about adding electrolytes if it’s been a particularly long or sweaty run. I get crusted with salt and sweat when I run long, so electrolytes are a must for me or I get awful headaches. I like Nuun, but there are lots of things out there to try. I find it pretty easy to remember to drink as soon as I get home in the summer, because I’m hot and it helps me to cool off. It’s harder in the winter, when I’m cold and the last thing I want is a glass of cold water, but it’s important then too!

 

– Think about foods with high water content too, like my favorite WATERMELON, as a way to boost your hydration in the summertime.

 

Practice hydration before race day! That means not only figuring how much fluid you need during the race, but also how you’re going to get it in.
  • Relying on water stops? If it isn’t super hot or I’m not interested in a particular time goal for a race, I’m good with just the water on the course. Practice drinking on the run (harder than you’d think) or make a plan to walk through water stops.
  • Use electrolytes in your water, like Gatorade or Powerade? Figure out what is going to be on the race course and be sure you practice with before the race so you know your stomach will like it.
  • Carrying your own water? Be sure to practice your long runs with your belt or handheld so you can figure out if it is going to drive you crazy or irritate you. I got a hydration belt because my hand got so tired of carrying my water bottle in Lincoln (really, I think all of me was tired thanks to weather – I’d used that handheld a lot without trouble before). I still haven’t figured out how to situate the bottles on the belt so that they don’t bother me! I need figure out exactly what I’m doing, belt or handheld or water stops, before the Des Moines Half Marathon gets here and long runs are a great time to practice that.

I’ll confess, I was really hoping that the weather was going to stay cool enough that I could switch to my fall hydration plan and not carry as much water on the run. With the temps up in the 90s again this week, looks like I’m not ready to shift to that plan yet. I may give my belt another try for my long run this week (I have this one) and if it still irks me, just plan on my hand held (this one) for race day in Des Moines. The weather should be cool enough then that I can get by with just my handheld and the course water if I’m not gunning for a PR.

What do you use to carry water on long runs? I’m always amazed when I see someone just holding a regular plastic bottle of water – I’d definitely drop that!

Here are some helpful articles for more information on running and hydration:
Sipping Points: A Runner’s World article that has some nice practical advice (small sips!)

The Real and Simple Truth about Dehydration and Performance: An interesting look at over-versus-under-hydration


How Do I Know If I’m Dehydrated
? A look at the signs and symptoms of dehydration – I definitely experienced some of these towards the end of the Lincoln Half Marathon, despite using the water stops and my own bottle. It’s really easy to get behind in the heat!

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14 responses to “Tuesday on the Run: Hydration!

  1. Kristin says:

    Yep, great stuff here!! Definitely important to consider pre/during/post nutrition!! XOXO

  2. Perfect timing for this post since it’s back to the blast furnace for us! Can you even believe it?

  3. Anna says:

    Great tips! I wasn’t quite ready for return to summer this week. Bottoms up 🙂

  4. I’m such a baby, I hate actually carrying water on me. I leave plenty of water and sports drink in the car and then plan to stop every 2 miles (or every mile depending on heat/how I’m feeling). We are having a humid and warm day again so I’m gonna have to get my Gatorade on for my 5 miler!

    • Once I thought I’d be brilliant and leave it somewhere I could just run back by when I needed a drink but then I got a little lost and couldn’t get back to the little park to find my water! Darn suburbs and their windy streets. 🙂

  5. I just got a hand held water bottle for running and I love it. But the farthest I’ve run with it is five miles. Not sure if I’d like in my hand for longer than that. Thanks for the tips. Great post!

  6. chasingdownhealthy says:

    GREAT stuff here! I will take in 100+ ounces a day when I’m training with the higher miles. And always important to balance your salt/mineral intake as well, diluted blood is no good!

  7. I don’t run very high mileage yet, but it’s still super hot and humid out so I make sure to take water with me even on 2-mile runs if I’m going out after the sun has come up. I didn’t take water with me 1 time, and I swore I’d never do that again!

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