2014 Mud Hero – 2:30 pm
The horn sounds and 250 people surge out of the starting line, slowly climbing Martock’s steep hill. I’m five minutes into the race and my jog has turned to a slow walk up the hill. I can hear my breathing, as well as the breathing of the three other people around me. The hill is longer and steeper than it looks from the ground and each step is getting harder. The sun is baking and after five more minutes of marching up the hill I’m starting to feel a pain in my side. My mouth is dry, I’m covered in sweat already and I’m panting. I am starting to wonder why I ever signed up for this race.
The pain in my side increases as I struggle to reach the top of the hill. I try to catch my breath as I work my way back down. I am breathing hard as I reach the first obstacle and the pain in my side is getting worse. I am cramping up and I haven’t been on the course for more than 15 minutes. I need water. I am dehydrated.
It gets worse. 40 minutes later I have cold chills and a headache.
I finally cross the finish line. As I leave the course I’m offered a chocolate milk, the thought of milk immediately sends chills down my back. I think I am going to be sick. I find an outdoor shower, sit under it and start drinking water straight from a hose.
I never want to run another race dehydrated.
Mud Hero is this Saturday and with less than a week there isn’t a lot of training that can be done. What you do need to do is manage your hydration. Hydration can make or break your race. Don’t make an avoidable mistake.
How much should I be drinking each day? In truth, we are all different and require different amounts of hydration, but drink when you are thirsty. If you sweat more then you should drink more.
How do I check how much I sweat? One way to check the rate at which you sweat is to weigh yourself before and after a workout. This method only works if you weigh yourself naked, because your clothes will absorb the sweat. 2.2 pounds is equal to 1 litre of water, so that will give you an idea of how much you sweat and allow you to adjust your water accordingly. Lastly don’t forget about salt, especially if you are a heavy sweater. For every litre of water you lose, you also lose 1 gram of salt. The average sports drink will contain about 500 mg of salt in a 16-ounce bottle, so drink two sports drinks to replace 1 litre of sweat.
Aren’t most sports drinks full of sugar? Yes, so I recommend just adding salt and lemon or lime to water. One 1/4 teaspoon of salt is equivalent to 576 mg of salt. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt with half a lemon or lime for a great alternative to one sports drink.
Just don’t show up to a race dehydrated… you might regret it.