Beginner Runner Tip #4
Cool Running : Get Hydrated
Hydration is very important – your body is over two-thirds water – and being a runner makes hydration even more of a priority. Be sure to drink regularly throughout the day, and have about 500ml/20oz two hours before your run. This will give your body time to reach optimal hydration and any excess water to pass through your system, avoiding the dreaded mid-run dash into cafés (or worse, bushes) looking for a place to pee.
If you’re running in the heat, or for more than 30 minutes, then you need to drink water on your run. Try to plan your route to go past water fountains, or invest in a little carry bottle which sits in your hand easily. Another popular option is a tri-belt which has a water bottle on the back. Try to avoid running with a bottle of water in your hand. They are more difficult to hold and unless it has a ‘sports top’ will be very annoying to sip from while running.
Once you’re running for more than 45 to 60 minutes, you’ll want to switch to a sports drink to help replace vital electrolytes you lose through sweat. Drinks like Lucozade, Powerade or Gatorade (what’s with the ‘ade’?) are good options. Avoid sugary drinks like cordial, juice or soda. While these contain sugars, they lack the salts you need to replace your electrolytes. Plus, they can leave you feeling more thirsty than before you drank them.
After your run, you’ll need to rehydrate. It’s a good idea to do this straight away once you get home. While you are doing your stretches, sip down a glass of water. If you’re a heavy sweater, consider sports drink for your rehydration drink as you’ll have lost more salts.
Once you are more experienced in your running you will come to learn how much you sweat and how much you need to drink in different weather conditions, however for any beginner a good rule of thumb is to drink to thirst. If you’ve hydrated properly before your run, you should drink water whenever you feel thirsty. It’s better to have less volume at a greater frequency rather than gulp it all down in one go. Sipping often will keep up a steady supply of water into your system and avoid cramps from filling your stomach with water.
Here’s a link to a post about proper hydration for runners:
By ensuring you are optimally hydrated you will be able to maximise your efforts while running, without endangering yourself through dehydration. Also, a consistent water intake during the day will also help your kidneys filter your blood better, keeping you healthier on the inside.
Happy running everyone!
Get Going, Get Running!