Now that our Saturday training runs are getting longer, dehydration becomes an issue every runner will face. As the body becomes dehydrated, the blood becomes thicker, forcing the heart work harder to achieve the same level of performance. Dehydration also makes it harder for the body to produce sweat, thus increasing the risk of overheating. Once you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
The keys to beating dehydration are
- Begin hydrating at least 2 days before any long run or race; always have a cup/bottle of water within arms reach and cut back on any alcohol consumption.
- Bring fluids with you on long runs and drink frequently. Some runners only drink water, while others prefer sports drink, experiment with different options in your training runs so you’ll know what to do on race day.
- Be sure to replenish your fluids in the minutes and hours after a run, a well-hydrated body recovers quicker.
You’ll notice that when the runs start lasting much longer than an hour, Half Full pacers will bring water bottles (either hand-held or on belts) with them. If you haven’t run with a water bottle before, it may take a couple of runs to get used to, but once you hit 10, 15, or 20 miles, you understand the importance of running with one.