I've been giving some more thought to hydration issues as of late. I had such a bad experience at the Redman, and a much better experience at Soma.
I've tested various things out in training, but you never know what doing the swim, bike, and run will do to compound any minor issues. As well, I've gotten increasingly interested in ultrarunning (Yeah, I know. Insane. )
so these are the things that occupy my thoughts these days. When sometime occupies my thoughts, I study the hell out of it. So, I've been reading and studying.
I've also been noticing. I've noticed that if I get dehydrated--and it doesn't take much, just a couple percentage points loss of weight--I get cranky and headachy, my legs ache, and I feel a little nauseated. I never used to notice these things. It's like I'm hypervigilant of anything that affect performance.
Did you know that you lose up to two cups of fluid while swimming? Holy crap! you flounder in the water for an hour or two on a long course, and you come out already a pint or two behind.
Problem is, you don't even know it. Something about hydrostatic equilibrium pushing your blood volume around, so that you don't feel thirsty, or something like that. So for a long course, if you're as slow a swimmer as I am, by the time you hit the bike, you're already a pint or two low.
Then you hit the bike, where you can lose up to quart of fluid per hour. Obviously, there's some wiggle room in there for individual variation and weather conditions. Here in the Southwest, where most of my races are in west Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, I go ahead and err on the overly-hydrated side. Currently, I've got a profile design aerobottle, but for IM-Loo (I like that nickname) I've got my eye on this duel-drink thingy from Podium.
Now, here's my challenge. If I drink too much when I run, then I cramp up. Seriously. I get side cramps and then I whine like a baby and slow to a shuffle even slower than my usual. So, I have to make sure that by the time I hit the run, I'm already well-hydrated, so that I can just top off every mile or so by sipping a few ounces each mile.
For my long runs, I got a hydration vest. Actually, Sweet Baboo discovered it and got one for each of us. I don't like holding things when I run, and for long runs I'd rather not have anything around my waist. It holds about a liter and a half of fluid (around 3 pints of fluid) in a resevoir, has a space for a 20 ounce bottle, gel pockets and pockets for ancillary items as well.
...next up: comments on nutrition.
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