SO here I am, writing a few tips for that beginner – who is loving to run, loving the sweet pain of running, enjoying the early mornings with her run buddies, getting fitter but in all this love and it’s madness – maybe making the cardinal mistake of forgetting to Hydrate!
- I am going to first tell you that not being properly hydrated can lead to fatigue, decreased coordination, and muscle cramping – and your degrading as an amateur athlete.
- When running long distances over 12-13 kms miles it is best to start hydrating a few days prior. This is what has worked for me the most. And understanding this has taken time and a few bad runs! This is the best way to make sure you are ready for your run.
- Hydration starts 2 days before the long run – I keep it as natural as possible. So I either stick to water or make home based drinks like buttermilk, lemon water with black salt. Sometimes I depend upon various hydration drinks available in the market too. They take less effort and go best with a very busy schedule. It is the pre-hydration efforts that ensures I don’t need to overdo my liquids while running.
- On the day of my long run– a simple solution for loading back the electrolytes for my long runs is enough. Back in 2015 – I was introduced to Enerzal – A simple solution that doesn’t load me up on the calories and gives me all the electrolytes I need. I am back on it again. You don’t need very many complicated sports drinks, because the pre-hydration effort counts a lot. I’ve run a lot this summer – and have been constantly working on my hydration.
- Don’t make the mistake of drinking large amounts of liquids just before your run. Max limit – 500 -600 ml before every run. During your run it is a good rule of thumb to try to drink 200 ml per 20 minutes; however, every runner is different!
- It’s a lesson learnt – Even though I don’t like to carry anything in my hand while on a run, ‘not wanting’ shouldn’t be confused with ‘not-needed’. On long runs, liquids are needed – that’s it! A mild electrolytes solution is the most basic and the best way to stay hydrated and perky for a long distance beast!
- Don’t let the weather fool you – Often runners think because it is cooler out so they will not sweat as much and therefore do not need to hydrate as much. This is a misconception which can lead to serious dehydration. Anyone active, needs to hydrate! Anyone on the road for a long run – cold or hot – needs to hydrate. How much –is the question you need to figure out as per how much you sweat!
- Don’t take a large amount of water in one go – drink it slowly. It can make you feel heavy suddenly and bloat you too – making it difficult to go the long distance. Small sips go a long way!
My hydration partner for the month of September and October is Enerzal. Together we managed to get by a lot of weekend miles. So go try what works for you, remember the larger idea is to stay hydrated, get back your electrolytes lost while sweating and keeping it simple!