Today I’d like to cover one of my favorite pieces of wisdom for us beginner runners. Now that I’ve been out on the road a few times I feel comfortable passing on some useful info but of course I have much more to learn – this is just something I wish someone had told me before I started but never fear, I found out the hard way so you don’t have to.
So what’s the problem? Dehydration! Not being properly hydrated is the biggest silent obstacle to successfully becoming a runner. Have you ever felt a sudden headache in the middle of your run? I had. Or nausea? Hopefully not. How about getting light-headed?
I know when I get a sudden attack of dizziness it’s pretty discouraging and sometimes I even feel like I should turn around and go home. Dehydration can even cause you to become totally disoriented – not nice!
Luckily this is a simple problem to fix. Drink water before, during and after your run. Okay maybe it’s not quite that easy – I don’t just mean it’s important to chug some water right after a run either. You really should be properly hydrating throughout the day, all day every day.
Generally you should be drinking whenever you feel thirsty
Generally you should be drinking whenever you feel thirsty so it’s time to stop ignoring that dry mouth and pay attention to your body. Throughout the day we should all be taking in at least 2 liters of water.
For some people that’s easy to remember but I am definitely prone to forgetting. And I’m not a tea person, I have switched camps to coffee, and I sip too much coffee, and too little water.
It helps to have a large water bottle now that I take everywhere with me, with markings along the side for hourly intake.
This one is similar to the bottle I’ve been using for a while now and it’s a great reminder:
If you intend on running for longer distances or doing more than a few 5 km stretches during the week, consider using sports drinks. These replace the salts that your body loses and drinking these during a run in addition to your usual water might help to keep your body operating at peak levels. However you choose to get your fluids, you should notice an improvement right away in any symptoms you’ve been suffering from.
Until next time, stay hydrated!