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

 

 

 

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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Race Day Countdown and Running Mantras

Hope your week is going well so far! I am getting super excited to RACE on Saturday! There has been so much build-up over the past few months, I am excited to finally get my prize: to run this marathon. Regardless of the race outcome, I know that I will reflect on the entire experience and smile. I am so thankful for my coaches, family, friends, and all of my amazing blog followers for their endless enthusiasm, support, and motivation throughout this winter training cycle. While running is only a hobby of mine, I have learned that goal setting is only half the battle: surrounding yourself with unwaveringly supportive people can significantly bolster your goal reaching capabilities and overall happiness. After this race, it will be my turn to encourage you all! 

There are many ways to mentally (and physically) prepare for a race, or any big event. I have previously posted about the benefits of visualization, an exercise which I have been doing a lot of lately. Another powerful method for race preparation is positive thinking about the race and your ability to perform well. Here are other strategies I use to get ready for race day:

  1. Review your training log and reflect on all of the work you’ve put in. On race day, trust your training and fitness, and have no doubts about your race plan. It also helps to reflect on the specific races or good workouts you’ve run during your training, and feel inspired by their results.
  2. Visualize a positive race outcome, whether it be meeting your “A” goal (which I have for Phoenix, but won’t share until I meet it! :)), feeling strong at the finish line, and/or the joy you’ll feel after accomplishing a marathon.
  3. As I mentioned above, remember that running is just a hobby (of mine at least)! While this race is important, keep in mind that there are so many others in the future. Try to relax! It’s important to stay focused on the prize of finally being able to run that race that you’ve been working towards for months! 
  4. Mentally prepare for the pain that is to come during the race (especially miles 23-26.2). But also keeping in mind that this pain won’t last forever:

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Outdoor Escape & RACE WEEK!

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend full of adventure, relaxation, and everything in between! Our winter weekend escape started on Friday with a five + hour drive northwest of Boston to the Adirondacks (Tupper Lake, NY to be exact!). For the majority of the country, this might be a typical weekend drive- but for us New Englanders, it felt like we were on an cross-continental expedition. :)

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Interview with an Elite Runner

Happy Weekend! Hope it’s off to a good start for you all! I was able to see some great friends last night, and more of that today- so it’s going pretty well for me so far. I am starting to become less motivated to run in this cold weather, and know that I am not alone! Today’s post will include some extra motivation for you as you tackle your running goals, or any other goals you may have.

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I was able to interview with American elite runner Fernando Cabada, who offered a glimpse into the life of an elite runner. Cabada ran a 2:12:27 marathon debut in Fukuoka, Japan in 2006, won the Twin Cities marathon in 2008 with a time of 2:16:32, ran a 2:18:23 Boston Marathon in 2013, and ran an incredible 2:11:36 Berlin marathon in the fall of 2014. He most recently placed second in the Jacksonville FL half with a time of 1:03:25. Talk about fast!

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A Friend’s Experience with CrossFit!

In the spirit of the new workout streak goal (as opposed to running streak goal), today’s post is focused on a type of exercise different from running. I’m sure most of you have heard of CrossFit- a core strength and conditioning program. The workouts are designed for “universal scalability”, changing them to various intensities depending on the individual.

My friend Jenna is a CrossFit enthusiast, and agreed to share her perspective on the CrossFit experience. Hope you find her words motivating in these cold winter days, and inspire you to try something new! 

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