I 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.
Yeah, 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.
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.