Help Me: Hydration

HydrationI have to start by saying I haven’t been blogging lately and I’m not sure why. Work is busy, but not excessively so, I haven’t fallen off my exercise or food program (so I’m not in hiding). And my personal life is pretty much the same as it ever was. I guess I just haven’t been too inspired. Anyway, I’m going to try a little harder not to take time off. I lose all my readers when I do.

Anyway, the topic of the day is hydration. This is becoming an issue on my runs, due to a combination of my runs getting longer and the weather getting hotter and more humid. The first time I really noticed it was a couple of weeks ago, running at the beach. It is a 4 mile run and I really never stop for water on route, although there are plenty of places to stop. This day was in the low 90s and by the time I got to the 2 mile mark I was done. I stopped several times for water and only made it another mile before deciding to walk the rest.

After that I focused on running in later in the evening (when it is cooler and the sun isn’t beating on me) and making sure I had places to stop for water on the way. When I ran 6 miles for the first time I was worried about dehydration, but the place I run is very shady and has a water fountain about 3 miles away, so I thought it would be fine. Run 3 miles, stop and drink, run 3 miles back.

SquirrelYeah, that worked about as well as it sounds. It was a hot and humid day and I was sooooo thirsty by the time I got to the 3 mile mark that I practically fell into the fountain, drinking for all I was worth.  I also splashed water all over my arms and face just trying to cool off. Then I turned around to run back and felt a stitch in my side, which lasted almost a mile. By the time I started feeling better, I realized I was thirsty again. I probably would have walked back, but I just wanted to get back to the car that had water in it, so I ran and ran. Later that night I felt nauseous. Even though I drank a lot after, the dehydration got to me.

I’m still a newbie in the running world, so I started asking for advice. No one could tell me how much I should be drinking, but I did get advice such as:

  • Carry a water bottle – So I already carry my phone (for music and GPS), which is quite enough. On top of which, how big of a bottle?
  • They have these gels you can carry – Despite extensive internet research, I could find energy gels, but nothing for hydration, specifically
  • Just run in a circle and leave your water at the side – I did do this a few times, but I really hate running in circles. My best runs are where I just go out until I can’t go any more and then I turn around and come back.
This is a self of my water bottle. (Best shot I could manage, sorry).

This is a selfie of my water bottle. (Best shot I could manage, sorry). I really like the cap because you just suck and water comes out, but it doesn’t splash out while you run.

Some of my research led me to various hydration belts and packs and I figured that might be the way to go. My sister has a iPhone belt she loves, so I bought that and a small plastic bottle that clips onto a belt and yesterday gave that a try. I froze the water in the bottle before the run, so that it would be nice and cold. It wasn’t particularly hot yesterday (low 80s), but I found that by taking small sips every mile, rather than guzzling water after I was over-thirsty was much better. The bottles weren’t as cumbersome as I had feared, but I think I will need more bottles for longer runs.

Please, any suggestions for hydration that I haven’t thought of, or any advice about how to best hydrate on longer runs is appreciated.

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7 thoughts on “Help Me: Hydration

  1. I have struggled with this, I can’t carry bottles, a belt or anything it’s probably in my head but I just feel off. On my long runs (anything past 4 miles) I drive my route and drop off the small bottles, I first did this last weekend as I had a 9 miler planned. It worked amazingly well. I left a bottle every 2 miles. It is a bit of a chore but it’s that or nothing for me. Gels I don’t find do anything but give me an upset stomach. Good luck!

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  2. Put on a camel back! I know it’s bulky but it gets lighter as you drink!! 🙂 We pretty much do everything down here in HOT TX with a camelback. You might also drink a rehydration drink as soon as you walk in the door. We like the Nuun version.

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