Many of you have experienced how difficult it can be running in the heat. Please remember it is vital that you hydrate. Our bodies are mostly made up of water. Your blood is 90% water, sweat is 99% water and your muscle mass is 75% water. Your sweat rate is also affected by several conditions – the clothes you wear, the temperature (heat, humidity, wind, etc.) and the intensity of your training. As a result, during workouts, your body and muscle functions are affected, your blood volume drops and your heart has to work harder to pump oxygen and nutrients into your muscles. Gastrointestinal distress becomes a risk due to delayed stomach draining, thereby causing your body to have a difficult time cooling itself off. As a result, your core temperature rises. Below are key tips to help keep you cool:
- Thirst is an unreliable way of knowing when you need to hydrate because you are usually 2 – 3% dehydrated before you actually become thirsty
- Everyone requires different amounts of fluid, so use your training runs as a test to see how much water and electrolyte intake you should have.
- Drink generous amounts of water throughout the day. Take the urine color test, if it’s clear you’re be running with cheer.
- Avoid caffeine – this can dehydrate you, unless you have been practicing drinking it prior to your runs. As a rule of thumb, for every one-cup of caffeine, you’ll want to flush out your system with four cups of water
- Medical studies have also shown that antihistamines will decrease your ability to sweat and cause you to overheat, so avoid taking antihistamines, such as Benadryl, while training (unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider).
- Be sure to drink 14 – 20 ounces two hours before the start. This will allow your body to absorb the maximum amount and pass the excess prior to the start. It is a good idea to try before your race, either on Tuesday or Wednesday at practice, you will be able to gauge how long your body takes to get rid of the excess water.
- During your long run, hydrate at least every 20 minutes. You’ll also want to take in some electrolytes. Good hydration can make a critical difference in your performance, especially on hot and humid days.
‘Cause you’re ready,
Blood is Pumping,
Nerves are Jumping,
Fear is Gone,
The Thrill is ON,
As YOU Cross that Finish LINE”