Welcome to another edition of Run It!
In case you missed it, here’s what we covered so far this year:
This month we are talking about hydration as we are about to embark on the hottest time of the year. Maybe. Here in the Northeast it’s been super fickle. One day it’s 40 degrees, the next it’s 100. Summer will come one day. I hope!
I do my best racing in cool weather. But regular running and training? I love summer. I don’t have to bundle up from head to toe in a million layers. I don’t have to worry about slipping on the ice. I can run at zero dark thirty and it looks like it’s the middle of the day.
But there’s no doubt, summer running is hard. It can make it feel like you need gills rather than lungs on even your easy paced runs.
The warmer the weather, the more you sweat, therefore, the more your blood volume lowers. The more your blood volume lowers, the harder your heart has to work to deliver precious oxygen to your muscles. What would usually be an easy paced run feels more like an all out tempo at least.
Staying on top of your hydration, particularly for runs longer than an hour or more, is key to surviving running in the heat. Although, if you are training for any long distance race, no matter the season, it’s important to practice your hydration plan for race day success.
So when should you hydrate? There are three crucial parts of the equation. Before, during and after.
Before you head out for your run, drink a cup or two of water but not so much that you will be looking for a place to pop a squat within the first mile.
During your run you’ll be sweating a lot more so you’ll need to have to replenish some of what you’ve lost. Plan a route that has water fountains accessible, stash water bottles along the way, use a hand held bottle, fuel belt or hydration pack. If it’s really hot and humid, you may consider using electrolyte drink. I personally am not a fan of Gatorade but really began to like Tailwind over the winter/spring.
I like to keep my hand held water bottle in the freezer so it’s ice cold. The ice melts to water soon after I start to run. I have an 10 oz Fuel Belt hand held that easily fits in the palm of my hand and is not annoying. I also have a larger 16 oz Nathan hand held that I like a lot too.
You could also use the freezer method with a hydration pack except fill the bladder half way with water before stashing in the freezer. When it’s run time, fill the remainder of the bladder up with water. The cold from the ice will keep you cool. I’m excited to test out my Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta on runs this summer. I loved it all winter/spring long for its comfort and easily accessible holsters.
I haven’t had much luck with waist fuel belts. Most annoy me to no end with the endless bouncing and riding up.
It’s really a personal preference when it comes to carrying water bottles and long runs.
When you are running long, have a plan for when to hydrate. I like to plan to take sips of water at least at every mile beep from my Garmin. That’s the easiest way for me to remember.
After your run, continue to drink with plain water or an electrolyte drink. You may also choose a recovery drink rather than something to eat to replenish your muscles. An ice cold recovery smoothie or a simple class of chocolate milk will do the trick.
Here are even more hydration tips from 4 (Sarah is taking the month off from joining us) of my running friends. Click on the picture to take you to their post. And don’t forget to Pin away so you have a stash of valuable running info to reference whenever you need it.
What are your tips and tricks for hydration?
Is it summer running where you are? Could you send that weather my way please?