I wanted to share a bit about hydration on the run. Hydration is so important and it’s something I spent all summer long trying to get right. Now to start off, I just want to say that everyone is different and you are going to need to do what works best for you.
Tips on hydrating for a big race:
- Figure out what you are going to use to hydrate while racing. Meaning, will you carry your own fluids or drink the fluids that are on the course? If you plan to do the latter, then make sure you take note of tip number 2:
- Note what fluids will be offered at the race and train with them. I can not overstate this – if you are planning to take a sports drink that is offered on the course, please try it out during a few of your runs. For example, I know that at the Richmond Marathon (I’ll be running the half this fall), they serve the blue stuff – blue Powerade. I don’t normally drink Powerade but since I plan to take fluids on the course, I’ll make sure to drink Powerade during a few of my longer runs just to make sure my stomach can handle it.
- Drink before you get thirsty. Use your long runs as race day trials and practice drinking a little bit every so often. By the time you feel thirsty you might already be dehydrated.
- Don’t drink too much. I know this sounds confusing, but having too much water can be almost as bad as having not enough. Test this out in your training and make sure you have a rough idea of much much and how frequently you’ll drink during the race.
- Plan your drinking around your eating. If you are going to be taking in calories through food (which you definitely should for a marathon and might do for a shorter distance as well), plan your drinking to coincide with that. If you’ve ever tried to choke down a gel or a shot blok on no water, you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
- Finally, don’t forget about electrolytes. If you are running for multiple hours, just water might not be enough. Figure out what works for you (taking in mind what is going to be on your race course – tip number 2) and train with that!
Want more? Check out this post for more info on what I use to carry my fluids and what helps keep me hydrated!
What are your tips for hydration on the run?