This is the 3rd installment of my series, Running 101, where I share lessons learned from my Teaming In Training experience. The subject of this weekend is obviously staying hydrated or avoiding dehydration. I am beginning to think I have a problem in this area. I haven’t nailed it down quite yet, but I found a lot of good information to share regardless.
This weekend, I had another 4 Mile run. It was not my best time 48:08, but not my poorest either. I faced two obstacles on Saturday. The first was hills, I personally felt like they were mountains. Krissy, who actually runs mountains would laugh at the speed bumps I called hills, but hey, they were my first pair. Yes, there were two – The Gateway Bridge from LP Field to 2nd Ave and then the long, lonely climb up Broadway to 12th. I say lonely because while I was digging in my car for my sunglasses the rest of the team left me. So much for teaminess. I’m thinking I don’t like hills or mountains or speed bumps. Inclines of any degree just don’t seem to suit me much. Maybe it’s just a beginner thing, like talking & running at the same time. Still not comfortable doing that either.
On to the second obstacle… chills. This is the 4th time I’ve experienced chills somewhere in the middle of the run that progresses to a point that I have to stop running or I start to feel light headed and a bit of numbing, tingling in my hands, lips. Nice, huh? I even did that last week with my best time (44:47) and it was a decent run. But in general this little problem I’m having is killing my times. Well, and beyond that I don’t want to stroke out or anything serious. Here’s the history:
- Westhaven 5K: 1st occurrence – very bad, light headed, very dizzy, walked most of the last mile. Heat was unbearable, very dehydrated, little water on coase (remember my story of drinking from the hose)
- Fleet Feet 4 Mile: 2nd occurrence – very mild, no dizziness, continued run/walk ratio, was ok. Weather perfect 70s, that’s the day that I ran in the rain, hydrated well day before, morning of & during the run.
- Centennial 4 Mile: 3rd occurrence – medium chills, no dizziness, reduced run/walk ratio, was ok. Weather hot, heat was getting to me. Missed water stop #1. Hydrated well day before, ok morning of.
- LP Field/DT 4 Mile: 4th occurrence – bad chills, light headed, light dizziness, reduced to walking middle of 4th mile, hydrated so much i was drowning the day before. Drank 32+ oz pre-run, 8 oz Ml 1, 10 oz Ml 2. It was hot out, felt very overheated.
So there it is. Witheach run I hydrate more & earlier in the week, especially the day before, carry water with me, drink more at the water breaks, etc., etc. And all I can keep thinking about is Hal Higdon and my TNT nutritionist saying that overhydrating is bad, even dangerous. Apparently it can kill you by throwing off your electrolytes in such a jacked up fashion your electrical system (i.e. heart) stops. So I’ve got that to think about too.
Asking my TNT coaches & some other running friends I get the same answer over and over again… you have to drink more. But I feel like I’m missing a piece of the puzzle. Because I’m a drinker in general. If I’m at home I have a beverage with me. I don’t get in the car without getting a drink out of the frig to come along for the ride. When I go to work I have to have a drink at all times. We are a genetically thirsty family. So I’m very aware of increasing my consumption. It’s preoccupied me and yet I’m still getting the chilly-willies.
Here’s some things to think about from some research on the net…
- As little as 2 percent dehydration will have a negative effect on your race performance.
- Symptoms include thirst, dizziness, weakness and nausea. Serious dehydration can lead to cramps, chills and disorientation
- To determine how much liquid to take during a run or race, you need to know your sweat rate, and that can vary between 1 and 4 quarts per hour. Weigh yourself nude before a timed training run, and then again after. One pound of weight loss equals 1 pint of water loss. Calculate your sweat rate and use this to determine your fluid needs during a run or race. For example, if you lose 2 pounds during an hour run, that’s 2 pints or 32 ounces. Thus, you need 8 ounces of water or sports beverage every 15 minutes.
For more information, check out this really great article also from Runner’s World:
And I actually read somewhere, I think Cool Running maybe, that humidity can prevent you from sweating normally and cause issues too? It seems heat and humidity play a huge roll in to it for me. If anyone else has any really great advise or ideas, please speak up. I have more people telling me in person they are reading and I know some of you actually run quite regularly! Share your voice, please!
So what’s my next step? I guess bringing the scales to a run to do the math. I guess there will be more to follow. Right now, I have to go take a potty break from drinking all this water! Nighty night!