Long runs: How to ensure you are drinking enough

Do sweat the small stuff...

Whether you are running long distances (over 90mins) in hot or cold weather conditions, knowing how much water to drink is vital to your performance.

Why?

1. Most crucially because it helps to regulate your body temperature.

As you exercise, your body temperature rises and you sweat to help cool your body down. Lose the ability to sweat and you could risk heat exhaustion and even death.

2. Your joints, cells and organs also require water for joint lubrication and to digest and store the nutrients need to work efficiently and effectively.

What happens if you don’t drink enough? Headaches, cramping, nausea and lack of co-ordination and balance, all things you want to avoid if you are already mentally trying to cope with putting one foot in front of the other on a long run.

You should ensure you hydrate sufficiently on the week leading up to a long run, don’t just wake up and glug down two litres an hour. And ensure you have plenty of water when you are training long distances.

How to  know if you are drinking enough?

‘Weigh yourself before and after exercising,’ reccommends Jeni Pearce, Head of Performance Nutrition at The English Institute of Sport. ‘If your body weight has decreased by more than 2% you have not drunk enough.

‘If it has increased you are drinking too much and it is not clearing your gut.’

So, if you are about to start training for a marathon, get your hydration training in early on.

Our Brighton Marathon 2013 training starts the week commencing 29th October for total beginners. Later start dates for those more experienced. For details visit our running club site