Words: Steve Moneghetti
I am regularly asked about proper hydration for distance running events.
I know from personal experience that correct fluid intake before and after training sessions and actual competition is critical for your performance on the track and your proper recovery afterwards.
Most of us appreciate that dehydration is something to be avoided at all costs when running, but for walkers and slower runners who are on the road for long periods of time it is also possible that too much fluid intake can be detrimental as well.
Too much water or other fluids dilute the body’s sodium levels resulting in a condition called Hyponatremia.
You should weigh yourself after each training run and ensure that you don’t lose more than three per cent of your pre-run weight.
This along with your recovery times will give you an indication of how much you should be drinking and you can adjust your fluid intake accordingly.
Specialised drinks, such as the lemon-lime Endura Rehydration Formula provided at the refreshment stations along the Gold Coast course, are designed to replace your electrolytes and some drinks also contain carbohydrate, which have the added benefit of providing additional energy as well.
When training, practise by taking drinks with you or coming back to a place where you have a drink bottle waiting so you get used to the experience of drinking on the run.
Use the same fluid as you intend to have on race day.
If in doubt keep it simple and just drink water
Check the colour of your “number ones” when you go to the toilet and make sure it is clear and not orange.
The best way to keep hydrated is to sip constantly during the day rather than gulping down a couple of litres all at once.