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Staying Hydrated On Your Training Runs/Races

One of the most important things for a runner to do is to remain adequately hydrated. It also helps to prevent several heat-related problems such as muscle cramping, heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

Here are some tips to make you confident in staying properly hydrated:

-If you've got a long run or race planned, I would like to start hydrating a couple of days beforehand. Check the color of your urine to see if you're drinking enough. It should be almost clear or pale yellow. If it's not, you need to be drinking additional fluids.

The morning of your run or race, drink about 8-16 ounces of water about a couple of hours beforehand. At that time, you need to stop drinking so you do not have to create a "pit stop" during your training run or race. Right before you begin the race though, drink about four ounces to make sure you're hydrated at the start line. It is solely up to you if you want to drink before the start line.

-During long runs a good rule of thumb is to drink about four ounces of water every 20-30 minutes. If I'm running for more than an hour and a half, I will create one of my water stops with a sports drink like Gatorade. This may replace electrolytes that you are losing and help get you through the rest of your long run.

-I don't prefer to carry anything with me when I run - however if you are, there are various types of bottle holders that you can use. I plan my runs by going to places where I do know there are water fountains (like parks).

-After your run, make sure that you drink 8-16 ounces of water or sports drink to re-hydrate. I prefer to have a bottle of water available after my run. I take it with me and do a cool down walk while re-hydrating. Remember the urine rule. If your urine is dark yellow, you should be drinking till it's clear or light.

-Another thing to remember is that simply because the weather might be cold you still need to continue staying hydrated. You're body is still heating up and losing fluids through sweat. Also, if it's windy and colder, it can dry up your sweat which could increase dehydration.

So what can you do as a runner to remain hydrated?

-Drink 8 to 16 fluid ounces of water or sports drink 2 to 3 hours before exercise. This means that you simply should rise at least 2 hours early to hydrate yourself adequately before a run!

-Carry a hydration device once running if you choose to do so. Options include hydration bottles that wrap around your hands, association belts that work around your waist, and hydration backpacks that hook over your shoulders and rest on your back.

-Your specific fluid-replacement wants can depend on your sweat and urine loss.

Disclaimer: I’m not a fitness expert, medical doctor or registered dietician. This blog is solely to share my experiences in running, fitness and nutrition. In regards to your health, please do your own study and exploration. Everything I share here comes from personal experiences, knowledge gained from sources, and is based off my own lifestyle. If you are in need of specific advice in any of these areas, please contact your own health professional.

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