Yeah, I know, it’s winter, duh! But seriously, I’ve run in much colder temperatures this season and managed just fine. My hands were the biggest problem. Unusual for me. So after my first five mile loop, I decided to put my water bottle in my car. It felt like a block of ice in my hand and I thought ditching it would help.
I know better than that.
I sipped again after loop 2 at the 10 mile mark and finished the last 5 mile look wondering if I would ever regain use of my fingers. Judging by what was left in the bottle, I probably drank about 4 ounces total
I got into my car when I was finished and tried to thaw out. I drove the 35 minutes back home, without drinking much during the drive and started to feel a little queasy. I immediately took a warm shower when I got home. Do not pass go…. and when I was by the time I was finished felt absolutely awful. My head hurt, my stomach felt sick and all I could manage to do was curl up on my bed and wait for it to pass.
I’m chalking my bad post-run experience up to mild dehydration. I’ve been through it before and I made the most common mistakes a runner can make when it comes to winter hydration or hydration in general. Oh, and I pretty much made them all last week.
Mistake one: Not taking the long run seriously. Before a race, I am absolutely meticulous about what I eat AND making sure that I drink enough the day before and the morning of. For some reason I blew all this off last Sunday. Just a training run I told myself. But, when you step back and look at it…. yes, I ran a half marathon and then some. What was I thinking?? Your long runs prepare you for the big dance, so practice your routine you plan follow.
Mistake Two: Carrying ICE water. when I filled my water bottle in the morning, I included a nice helping of ice cubes. I know what it’s like on a run to want nothing more than ice cold water. However, when the temps are below freezing, leave the ice at home and instead start with luke warm water. The water will chill in no time and you won’t feel like you’re carrying around a block of ice.
Mistake Three: Assuming you won’t sweat as much in the winter. No matter when I run, in the summer or in the winter, I always bring a towel and a dry shirt/shirts to change into. Because no matter when I run, I am drenched when I’m done. Yes, even last week when I felt so cold, I sweat through three layers. Fluid loss is not just for summer. As a guideline, weight yourself before and after your run, for every pound lost, drink 20 ounces of fluid. And, in case you were wondering, I DO NOT carry a scale around with me. Ha! When I do long runs around my house and I can weight myself right afterwards, I typically lose three pounds.
Mistake Four: Not having a water goal during your runs. Either that, or ignoring it. LOL. For most runs that will be longer than 1.5 hours, I make is a habit to sip every 10 minutes after the first 30. This typically works for me so I stick with it. It also keeps my mind occupied making sure I hit those 10 minute marks.
I’ve made hydration mistakes many times, always with the same negative result. This Saturday, during my 15 mile race, I plan to be a bit more mindful so I can enjoy the FOOD afterwards.
I figure this is a good start for toady.