Hope everyone had a great weekend! I heart Sunday evenings, for some weird reason.
My weekend was fairly eventful…
Saturday was uncharacteristically hot in NYC (ugh), but because I much prefer to run long on Saturdays (rather than Sundays), I set out bright and early for 16 miles anyways. The plan was to experiment and see if my ongoing tummy troubles would be better with less Gatorade, more water and some Clif Shot Blocks.
I can’t say this combo particularly worked for my tummy troubles (ugh), and it certainly didn’t work as far as fluid/electrolyte balance.
Too much water, too little electrolytes (I only had one block and probably less than 8 oz. Gatorade with a LOT of water). This coupled with diarrhea (sorry, guys) kinda got me into some trouble. Some trouble called hyponatremia.
Yes, I am somewhat of a walking disaster.
Because I have a nutrition background it’s almost embarrassing how I went so wrong, but because this problem isn’t talked about as much as dehydration when it comes to running, it definitely needs some attention for my friends putting in the mileage.
Hyponatremia is low blood sodium, which can occur when we drink too much. In short, if you are drinking too much water and not enough electrolytes (especially during endurance events where you are also sweating), your body can’t absorb the water you’re drinking. Symptoms include:
- Feeling bloated or fullness (like water is sloshing around in your stomach)
In my case, I was overly concerned with preventing dehydration (a lot of runners can probably relate, no?) because of the hot, sweaty run and stomach issues. I didn’t listen to my body, which looking back, clearly told me it didn’t want any more water.
Moving forward, I’m going to incorporate more salty snacks into my diet (like pretzels), carry a few salt packets with me for long runs and simply drink when I’m thirsty. I’m also going to take an Immodium before my next long run to prevent tummy troubles – does anyone have any experience with this?
Another lesson learned, that’s fo sho.
Needless to say, I took Sunday off as a rest day to chill the eff out. This included getting a back massage and a manicure at one of my favorite salons. 🙂
I also picked up one of these to help keep tabs on fluid loss during my runs:
A shiny new scale. Here’s what I plan on doing (also taken from Runner’s World)
- Weigh yourself right before a run.
- Run at race pace for one hour, keeping track of how much you drink (in ounces) during the run.
- After the run, strip down, towel off any sweat, and weigh yourself again.
- Subtract your weight from your prerun weight and convert to ounces. Then add to that number however many ounces of liquid you consumed on your run. (For example, if you lost a pound and drank 16 ounces of fluid, your total fluid loss is 32 ounces.)
- To determine how much you should be drinking about every 15 minutes, divide your hourly fluid loss by 4 (in the above example it would be 8 ounces).
- Because the test only determines your sweat losses for the environmental conditions you run in that day, you should retest on another day when conditions are different to see how your sweat rate is affected. You should also redo the test during different seasons, in different environments (such as higher or lower altitudes), and as you become faster, since pace also affects your sweat rate.
In an effort to eat a little more sodium, I picked up some Sea Salt & Vinegar Pop Chips
Seriously, where have these been all my life? They’re potato-based and baked, and so, so good! I’m not a huge chip fan (don’t think I’ve had an actual potato chip since like 1994 or something), but these are fantastic. Win!
Sunday night dinner involved one of my favorite combinations – wild salmon, sweet potato and a big green salad with tons of chopped veggies.
The yellow potato is a variety of yam that is really delicious – still sweet, but a bit different in taste compared with an orange sweet potato.
Welp, that’s all I got. Time to catch up on some DVR and hit the hay early before some easy miles tomorrow morning.
Question: Do you have any hydration strategies?