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Maintaining the proper hydration while running is very important. Drinking too much water can cause cramping and discomfort, while not drinking enough may have you dehydrated. So, what is the best balance when it comes to hydration and running?
Learn tips how to stay hydrated during your long distance training using the following advice from running coach, Marty Beene.
When Ya Gotta Go…
The key to hydrating sufficiently for a long run actually occurs during the previous 24-48 hours before the run. Just chugging a quart (or more!) of water right before you step onto the pavement won’t substitute for proper longer term hydration. Plus, it’s uncomfortable.
There is no set amount to how much you should drink because runners come in all shapes and sizes, and weather plays a big role in how much water you need. A 100 pound woman who will cover a 15-mile run in an hour and 45 minutes in 55-degree temps will likely have very different needs than if I (at 160 pounds and 2 hours plus for the same distance) would on a 75-degree day.
My rule of thumb is to (try to!) remember to drink continually throughout the day (actually whether I have a long run planned or not). This means drinking about a pint every half-hour to an hour during the day. However, as I noted above, everyone’s needs are different, and one person’s needs may even be different on different days.
So here’s what I tell our student-athletes: Keep a water bottle (say, about 20 ounces) with you at all times. During each class, sip on it so that you finish one bottle for each of your 5 classes. Here’s the key: You’re drinking enough if you have to pee between each class. If you find that you don’t have to go when it’s time to change to your next class, then you’re definitely not drinking enough. It’s a little trickier for us grown-ups, since we don’t have a built-in system like class changes to help us, but we should follow roughly the same guidelines.
I knew I must have hydrated enough for my last marathon a few years ago because I had to stop and pee at about Mile 8!
For water during a long run, I do not carry any with me, but, instead, plan my runs for routes where I know I can get a drink or two along the way. This may not be possible for runners who are setting out on trails or live in rural areas, so it may be necessary to carry water in certain situations.
How do you stay hydrated during your long run? Do you carry water with you?
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