Water, water everywhere . . . so why aren’t you drinking it?
Well, if your weather has been like ours in southwest Missouri, we certainly did miss spring this year – our May has been in the 80s and as high as 90 already accompanied by some pretty high humidity. Like I cautioned in last month’s newsletter about adjusting to temperature increases, I had to follow my own advice as temperatures DID jump 30 to 40 degrees in a month’s time. And yes, I did have some horrible runs and found myself putting towels in the car for the trip home (I meet friends to go run) to keep from soaking the seats and seatbelts!
But now, after several weeks of running in summer weather a good six weeks before summer actually is supposed to officially arrive, it’s time to start thinking about extending runs and building distance again.
What does that entail, though? Really, at the base of it, more distance means more liquids! I think many runners grossly underestimate how much liquid and electrolytes (salt) they lose while running in warm weather, whether the humidity is high or low. It’s important to drink regularly even IF you don’t FEEL thirsty. And it’s EASY to have a bad run/bad running experience if you let yourself get dehydrated . . . yes, dehydration can be a bad experience during a run, but it can be even worse the next run if you still don’t hydrate enough as without enough liquids your body doesn’t recover very quickly and it struggles to flush poisons from your system . . . meaning you won’t just have a bad day, you could have a bad week (or more if you don’t hydrate regularly) of running.
Think about it, simply living (as in not exercising), there are some who recommend drinking at least a gallon of water a day. Although I’m not sure everyone needs quite that much water a day (as we get liquids in many other foods we eat and body size does matter), when you put running on top of “just living,” most runners should have NO PROBLEM putting away at least a gallon of drinkable liquids, with at least some of it being an electrolyte replacement drink (or foods).
Although most Marathon Mission runners live in areas of the country that typically have high humidity in summer so you know what it means to look like you’ve just stepped out of the shower after a run (and is a CLEAR signal you should be drinking plenty of liquids), it’s really important if you ever visit a low humidity area (such as the Southwest U.S.) that you don’t associate sweat with how much liquid you need. You’re actually sweating as much, it’s just evaporating that fast! I remember running in Tucson, Arizona, and barely breaking a sweat after 3 miles in 90-something degree heat. If I had done that in the Midwest, I would have been dripping wet (I sweat big time when I run : ). Of course, in low humidity, the air literally sucks moisture from your body just standing there, so if you visit (or have a marathon) in a low-humidity location, make a highly conscious effort to stay hydrated (for those not used to it, it’s not as easy as it seems because often you don’t feel thirsty until your body is already starting to suffer).
So, say welcome to summer and plan your runs with plenty of liquid stops along the way – whether you carry a bottle, do loops, or place bottles along your route ahead of time. You’ll find that by staying hydrated you’ll run better, feel better, and recover better.
Have an awesome run today!
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