Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Running: Hydration Tips

Clearly, it is summertime in Washington, DC, which means hot, sunny, humidity-soaked days, and lots of afternoon thunderstorms.  This coming weekend's temperatures are looking to crack 100 degrees, so it is important for all runners to take personal hydration very seriously.  Dehydration and heat exhaustion are, obviously, not good at all, so everyone should be taking a few extra steps to prepare for those upcoming weekend long runs.

For starters, definitely take a look at our (always evolving) list of long run route options for suggestions about trails and bike paths that allow easy access to water.  Just remember to run these trails at your own risk; Coach Kiprunning is not accountable for broken water fountains or other service interruptions.

In addition, be sure to begin your long run early in the day, perhaps rolling back your start time by 30-90 minutes, depending on your personal schedule.  If that kind of an adjustment is not possible, do not worry about reducing the distance that you plan to run.  Your marathon training--or whatever training you are doing--will not suffer based on a single long run that you cut short to remain safe.

On the run itself, stay hydrated.  Wear breathable clothing that will wick moisture away from your skin so that you don't smother yourself.  Then, drink at regular intervals.

As with most anything pertaining to food or liquid consumption, there will be variability from person to person as far as what kinds of hydration work well and, naturally, the volumes of fluid that you should consume--as well as the kind of food you should be eating.  Runner's World offers a very comprehensive guide to hydration and dehydration.  I encourage all of you--novice and experienced alike--to read through the variety of articles in that guide.  In particular, consult Dimity McDowell's "8 Hydration Myths Busted" for some guidance on how to monitor your fluid consumption while avoiding the pitfalls of drinking too much water.

Finally, two quick pieces of important advice: don't forget the sunscreen, and feel very free to conclude your run by jumping in a pool, if you can.  There's no better way to celebrate the beginning of a warm Saturday than with a post-long run swim.

Run steady, and stay safe.

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