Hydration: Lessons learned from a sweltering Olympics

Yeah…summer!!! Finally, it is here, but it is easy to get run down training in extreme heat and humidity. USA Track and Field and Dr. Dave Martin, PhD and author of “Better Training for Distance Runners” did quite a lot of research before the Athens and Beijing Olympics in how to run and race in such extreme conditions. Here is the take away of what I learned to help you stay healthy and hydrated during these tough summer months.

Acclimation: It takes at least 10-14 days for your body to acclimate to the heat and humidity. It might be wise to cut back your intensity during this period since your body is having to work over time.

Race Day Hydration: Hydration is important year-round, but definitely a key factor in performance during the summer. Before the Beijing Olympics, the marathoners were all advised to drink 16-20 oz of water all at once about 3 hours prior to the race start, and sip on a drink with electrolytes until the start of the race and through out the race. It worked for me, but I definitely recommend trying this method out several times before hard workout because waiting in line for a port-o-potty may not be an option.

Daily Hydration: I took this same idea, and started drinking 8 0z of water when I first wake up every morning. It works great because I know I am starting off my day right, and helps me  counter that coffee I am going to have minutes later. I still sip on an electrolyte drink, during the day and make sure I drink plenty after workouts. I prefer something like NUUN , as it taste good and does not have sugar. If you workout later in the day, try drinking at least 8 0z about 3 hours before you start your run or workout.

Sweat test: It’s a good idea to see how much water you lose after a daily run through sweat. Simply weigh yourself before your run, and after (maybe without your sweaty clothes) and see how many pounds you lost.  If you are not back to normal after your next meal, increase your water or try and do better drinking while you are working out.

Signs of Dehydration: Beware of the early signs: Dry mouth, decreased sweating, increased heart rate, fatigue, clogged ear feeling, weakness, and nausea to name a few.


Blake Russell

Runner, Wife and Mom. Enjoying where the running world has taking me and looking forward to the journey.

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