Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hydration (or, Lack There of...)

Long run hydration and nutrition differ for everyone. I've heard some people swear that you don't need fuel or water for any run less than 2 hours. Some people, don't use anything at all. I am NOT one of those people.

I have been gathering information and chatting with Coach Bob all summer about hydration. We realized early on in my "marathoning career" that I was prone to dehydration because my heart rate while running would be fine...and then suddenly spike 30-50 beats in a matter of minutes...and not come back down, even with walk breaks.

So this training cycle, I have been recording my weight loss over the course of each long run, and how much water/gatorade I intake each run. Yesterday, I ran 18 miles (2:38), took in 80 oz of water (plus a 12oz glass of chocolate milk after and 3 Gu's) and lost 3 lbs. From the data I collected this summer, this is typically what happens. 80-even 100 oz taken in on a long run of 16-18 miles = a average of 2.5 to 3 lbs lost. BOO.

I am SO glad I used GCI as a trial run for Hartford. I was running well and feeling great until BAM! Mile 16...Heartrate jumps from 163 (marathon pace) to 191. Dehydration! BAH! I have 9 weeks (and 4 super long runs left) to figure this out. I spoke to Bob about a electrolyte replacement pill/salt pill, and I am going to start trying Hammer Endurolytes or something similar on next weeks long run. Additionally, I wanted to find out what exactly I need to be taking in for hydration/calories during a long run. Enter Jamie, the MEGA nerd.

This was my beach homework today....

I dug out my Hanson's Marathon Method Book and reread the parts on marathon hydration and nutrition. They recommend taking in 8oz. of hydration every 20 minutes. Big fail. I have always done 8 oz every 40 minutes (and that is IF I am on plan). Over the course of a marathon, that means I am getting only HALF of what I need in liquid...and that is IF I am on plan (which I don't think I've ever been). I carry a 6-bottle fuel belt. According to the calculations out of the book, if I were to just carry my own liquid on a course, I would need to take in 12 bottles. (Who wants to meet me at mile 13.1 at Hartford and do a fuel belt switch off? Pretty please!!). Or, I need to make damn sure I am getting water at every water stop.

So, here is the plan...
1. Practice, Practice Practice. Four super long runs left. Four runs to try out the endurolyte capsules and *attempt* to take in 8oz every 20 minutes. I am anxious to see how my belly feels with that much liquid. It will certainly be trail and error.
2. Study! Study the Hartford course. Know where the water stops are. Plan to stop at each one. I will practice drinking on the run during a race at the Lake Auburn Half in a few weeks, and then again during the Maine Marathon Relay.
3. Keep on tracking my weight lost during long runs. Hopefully, I will see some improvement.
4. Plan. Maybe I will need someone (mom!!) to switch off a fuel belt with me at the half point? Maybe not. Time shall tell!

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