Tips for Staying Hydrated

Thanks to Melissa McDonough, RD, CSSD and Coaches Julie & Lisa @ Run Farther and Faster for providing much of this content.

Summer running means sweat, slower paces, and serious tans (please apply sunblock before heading out the door!). Just because it’s hot outside, doesn’t mean you need to scrap your run. Appropriate hydration techniques will help get you through those sizzling days.

Dehydration can lead to serious complications, so staying hydrated should be a main focus for runners and non-runners alike. Depending on the climate, you should aim to get about 2 to 4 L of water throughout each day – approximately 8 to 16 cups.  You may need to modify your total fluid intake each day depending on how active you are, or for factors such as gender, weight, age, heat, humidity and altitude.

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Tips for improving hydration:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day and sip frequently
  • Eat foods high in water content such as fruits and vegetables
  • Use cut fruit or fresh herbs to flavor your water. Or try adding a cinnamon stick!
  • If you’re not a fan of still water, make it bubbly
  • Drink tea (low or no-caffeinated such as herbal or green tea is best)

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How hydrated am I?

To know if you are hydrated, it’s a good idea to check your urine.  Urine that is darkly colored (think apple juice) and of relatively low volume signals that you need to drink more.  Note that if you take certain medications or vitamins (specifically B vitamins) your urine will be a different color. 

How much water should I drink before my run?

Staying hydrated throughout your day and week will help when you’re ready to run.  To gear up for a run, be sure you are having about 1 ounce per 10 pounds of body weight 3 to 4 hours before your run. This would mean a 150 pound runner would need approximately 15 ounces of water (about 2 cups). 

How much should I drink during my run?

Drinking by thirst on your run is not that reliable.  As humans, we’re easily distracted, so we may not be as in tune with our thirst signals (especially if we’re focused on making it up the hill!).  And sometimes, water isn’t always available, so you may be thirsty, but there’s nothing to drink.  Third, if you’re thirsty, you’re likely already slightly dehydrated.  Runs lasting less than 60 minutes may not require fluid intake, but consider your sweat rate and the conditions.  During a run, you may need anywhere from 0.5 – 1.5L per hour.  Practice drinking during your training runs to acclimate your stomach.  To assess the ideal fluid intake for you, it is best to consult a registered dietitian. 

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I tend to sweat a lot during runs (no matter the climate), so I always carry a hand-held water bottle on my runs that are longer than 45 minutes, especially in the summer months. Carrying water takes some getting used to, but the small annoyances are worth it for adequate hydration!

Should I try a sports drink?

Sports drinks can be a good option when you need to get in fuel before or during your run and you don’t want to eat something.  Also, we tend to drink more when something is flavored.  You may find you like certain brands or flavors better.  When choosing to use a sports drink, consider that 1 cup (8 ounces) has 15g of carbohydrate along with electrolytes such as sodium.  Drinking a sports drink will add calories and fuel in the form of carbohydrates for your run. 

Here is some additional guidance on sports drinks vs. water.

Disclaimer:  The above nutrition tips do not substitute for medical advice from a physician.  Consult with your physician and a registered dietitian, especially if you have a known medical condition.

How are your summer runs going? Do you carry water with you? If so, how?

Favorite sports drink? Do you enjoy nuun/gatorade/tailwind?

Have a Happy Thursday! xx

 

 

 

New Favorite Gear: Jaybird Headphones GIVEAWAY!

Happy Friday! This week was a busy one, but I managed to get in some exercise at the end of the work day several times. I’m still trying to figure out my next goal (potentially thinking a bit too much about it these days). While I figure out my next steps in running, I’m still enjoying the summery Boston scenes on my runs.

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Today I am doing a GIVEAWAY!!

On my runs, I often go back and forth about carrying headphones. Sometimes it is nice to get out there gadget-free and enjoy some quiet, reflective, soul-searching time on the road or trail. Other times, I love turning up the tunes or podcasts for added motivation or just to pass the time. Nothing makes me move faster than some solid beats in my ears (my sister always makes fun of the random music I listen to)!

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We are now in the midst of summer, meaning sweaty, humid runs which may bring real issues with electronics, especially headphones. I have found a pair of headphones that I truly love: Jaybird X3 wireless headphones. These sleek but solid bad boys are sweat-proof with multiple fit and wearing options, so you can customize the way they fit in or around your ear. They’re built to sustain all weather conditions- humidity, rain, wind, snow- Jaybirds are unfazed by the elements. Connecting to the “MySound” app via Bluetooth will allow you to customize the music specs, which results in an excellent sound.

Lastly, Jabrid X3 headphones come in two colors and available at Best Buy, Platinum and Camo…or by reading this blog!

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The remote buttons and wireless feature minimizes the fuss while on the go. And very importantly, the 8 hour battery life will usually carry you through an entire workout! :)

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I am excited to take these with me on more adventures, no matter the weather!

TODAY I AM GIVING AWAY A SET OF JAYBIRD HEADPHONES! 

One lucky reader will win a set.

To enter, just leave a comment saying what’s up!

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE A HAPPY 4TH of JULY WEEKEND! I am heading to Colorado with Mark to visit some dear friends. Hiking, hot springs, and beer tasting (even though I prefer wine) are on the schedule! See you later on Mountain time!

-What are you up to this 4th of July holiday? Any traditions?

Anyone have Colorado recommendations?

-Do you run with headphones? Favorite running gadget?

Austin Half Marathon Recap

Mark and I spent President’s Day weekend in Austin, TX and we both ran the half marathon on Sunday February 19th. I really enjoyed the race, despite the heat, humidity, and hills, which were a far cry from February in Boston. This race was perfect for my training for the Boston marathon, which seems to be creeping up quickly!

We stayed at a hotel close to the race start, which was very convenient for the 7am start time. I ran a couple of miles on the treadmill to warm up and meet my required long run distance, then I woke Mark up and we were off!

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Wineglass Marathon Recap

Two weekends ago, I ran Wineglass marathon held in beautiful Corning, New York. It was my 18th marathon in my 11th state. I didn’t run my fastest time (3:54), but it was a beautiful race and a fun weekend with friends. My friend Molly also ran the marathon, and had a great race- having her there capped off the experience!

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England Adventure- Part 2

Hope you’re having a great week! I can’t believe that we are almost through September. After starting a new job last week, I haven’t had much down time to blog or even run much!

My last post described part of Mark and my trip to England, so here’s part 2! Stay tuned for some running updates — RRCA coaching and Boston Marathon entry — soon.

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As far as England, one of our days was spent exploring the Cotswolds, a picturesque section of western England full of “chocolate-box” villages, thatched roof cottages and historical British homes.

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Coaching and Celebrations

Happy Friday! It has been a busy week (a busy month really!) and I finally had some time to sit down and write a post. Last night a group of us celebrated my friend’s birthday and we started talking about how excited we were for a big blizzard to hit Boston…in retrospect, I wouldn’t go that far, but I think we are all ready for a change of seasons to the beautiful fall!

Here are some updates on my life over the past couple of weeks:

-Most excitingly and relevant to running: last weekend I took the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) coaching certification course. The two 8-hour day course was held outside of Minneapolis, MN (the New England courses for the year were filled within minutes!), and was worth every penny. Even if I never coach, I learned a great deal to inform my own training. Official coaching certification happens after I pass a 100 question exam and become CPR and First Aid certified, so hopefully I can call myself “Coach Jane” soon!

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I was very impressed with the scientifically-based running agenda and loved our instructor, Cari Setzler. Cari is a competitive runner herself, an RRCA certified coach, a writer for Women’s Running Magazine, and on top of that- a Veterinarian. She kept the class entertained with her funny and engaging style. Fellow classmates had a variety of running interests- some were specializing in 5k distances and enjoyed working with young runners while others were passionate about the ultra-distance and wanted to increase their knowledge of the sport. It was so interesting hearing their stories, and we all enjoyed talking about running non-stop. I hope to keep in touch with some of these fellow runners! Stay tuned for another post with more details on my experience and the course itself.  For now, I have to get back to working on the exam!

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How to Make Running a Habit

Note: this post was originally written by me for Run Farther and Faster blog.

Some weeks can be particularly chaotic, consistent with the regular ups and downs of life. Needless to say, the moments of stress do not inspire me to lace up my running shoes and head out for a run. However, there have been workouts where I set out feeling down, but returned home afterward flowing with energy, with a clear mindset and perspective, and a more positive attitude. During these runs, I could feel my outlook change as my Garmin beeped at each mile marker. I was so thankful that I had chosen to run, mostly because it has become a habit of mine.

There are many ways to manage the rollercoasters of life- whether it be sitting back, breathing through your frustrations and letting the anger or sadness pass via meditation, or more proactively working against the angst through active pursuits such as running or another favorite form of exercise. Everyone can benefit from habitually getting outside and being active in some way on both emotionally down days as well as those feel-good days. You won’t ever regret regularly spending some of your valuable time participating in a mind-clearing activity such as running- you will only regret not doing it.

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