Monday, August 15, 2011

Hydration Blue's

Ok, well this may be a boring one for you folks looking for something other than a “Gear” related topic, but here it comes anyway – the topic is….Hydration.  So if you’ve read any of my entries, you’ll know that I sweat – allot!  And of course dehydration has cost me a number of races to date.  That said, I think I’ll talk a bit (maybe to myself) about hydration.

So last week I tried the “Test” that you read about in Runners World, right next to the part where it tells you to drag yourself along by imagining an invisible “rope” between yourself and the person in front of you.  It was a very hot day, and I weighed myself before I headed out, drank no water at all, and did 8 easy miles on trails, and came back and weighed myself.  6 Pound drop, or about 6*16/1.5 = 64oz/hr.  See the problem?  A human, best I can tell, cannot drink at that rate.  In fact in Indiana I did try drinking one 24 oz bottle per half hour – so roughly 48 oz per hour – no dice, I was sick before long.  Further, I really hate carrying a bottle – maybe this sounds strange, but I feel it makes me “off balance” and stops me from staying in my usual “rhythm”.

So all that said, I pulled out my Nathan (24 I think) back pack with bladder.  I had used this a Leadville and a few other races, and really did like it.  I’m not thrilled with the leaking mouth piece though, but I’ve used it for my last few runs and found it very comfortable; that said, I plan to keep using it up to the “Local 100” coming early September.

My plan is to target no more than 32-34 oz / hour, which brings up another problem – with a backpack, it’s hard to know how much you drank.  Ok, so I plan to purchase this:

Thing is, it’s a CamelBak product, and I don’t think it will work with the Nathan hose, so I may just replace the bladder with a 70 Oz CB, but with a little luck this will keep me on track, at least the best I can.  If the run is cool, I’ll do well (or at least I may do well), if not, I won’t.  Kind of cool , the run starts at 4:00 PM on a Friday, so I’ll have nighttime to get quite a chunk of it – last year I DNF’d (at night) because I hurt my hip at barely 25 in – I literally limped pathetically for a mile to an aide station to get a ride, and didn’t run most of last winter.  Anyway, with a little luck, and maybe even rain, you never know!  Anyway, this is a pretty significant change for me, but I think I’ll go the backpack rout, with both hands free….   Two S caps per hour.  Gatorade as the liquid.  One Ensure every 16 miles, maybe every 8.  Snacks.  There, that’s my secret plan!


  1. I bought the Salomon pack, which is really nice with tons of pockets. Light on the back and you don't fell a thing. A bit expensive though.

    I'm in the same range as you; in fact I ran today 12km and lost 5.5lbs. Have you had any issues with your feet b/c of your sweat and or lack of proper hydration? During summer after long hours on the trail my shoes are completely soaked and I usually end up changing socks/shoes every 30-40km on race day and to some extent they are prone to blisters. Just curious on your thoughts.

  2. Yes, during any warm run (let alone hot), by the end of my run my shoes are soaked, as well as socks. Fortunately I have not had any blister problems though - And as I was telling TS, I simply use Dollar store socks - I half suspect these $10/pair socks may be a bit over done, either that or I'm just lucky - but I can do 100 miles on the same socks in one outing - although I have plenty of other problems!

  3. Good for you, you must have tough feet.

    One secret I can share with you, and I'm sure is not a well kep secret is Chia. I've recently started using it as an additional food intake every 1hr or so. I add either honey or maple syrup to make a bit sweet and has been a great addition; very easy on the stomach and it helps with hydration. Best.

  4. Thanks Carlos, I've never tried that. I had tried Ginger (Bought Crystallized Ginger Root from the local health food store). It didn't do too much for me, but the TS liked it, and I gave it all to him. I do like regular ensures though, I have been drinking them regularly for a few years on longer runs - BUT the extra calorie "plus" versions upset my stomach every time. Regarding feet, I think I'm just lucky, my feet seem to fit my shoes, and running form pretty well. I always use Asics 2150 (or 21XX) for street, and Brooks Cascadeia for trails - I love them both. Thanks for the Chia idea, I'll go back to the health food store and ask them for some (actually I don't really know what it is, but maybe that's for the best! Ground up cow hoof? Ah, I'd rather not know!) :)