XENIA — Runners: pay attention to what and how much you’re drinking. It can’t be emphasized enough. Drink enough water before, during and after any form of exercise. Not properly hydrated? Skimping on water can lead to fatigue and muscle cramping.
Bottom line on proper hydration
On runs of an hour or more, carry water with you and consume 6-8 oz. every 20 minutes. During pre-training and 5K, 10K or Marathon training, weigh yourself before and after each run and get your body weight back to the weight it was before the run by drinking water or sports drink within the first hours after the run.
If you’re doing a long run or race (more than 8 to 10 miles), make sure you’re well-hydrated during the few days leading up to your long run. Avoid cocktails for at least one week before your race. Alcohol dehydrates you and disrupts a good night’s sleep, something every runner needs before race day. Running with a hangover? Not a good idea. You’ll start your run dehydrated.
How To Start
An hour before your run, drink 16-24 ounces of water or other non-caffeinated, sugar-free fluid Stop drinking at that point or you’ll find yourself waiting in long lines for the Port-O-Potty, a surefire way to kill your time Drink another 4 to 8 ounces right before you start to make sure you’re hydrated before your run
Drinking on the run
During your runs, take in 4-6 ounces of water every 20 minutes • During longer workouts (90 minutes or more), drink a sports drink to replace lost sodium and other minerals (electrolytes)
If you don’t have access to water on your running routes, you’ll have to carry your own fluids with you. Here are some handy water bottles that you can use while you run:
The Ultimate Direction FastDraw Extreme is one of the most popular hand-helds. It’ll keep your fluids cold, no matter what the temperature is outside. The neoprene band that wraps around the bottle prevents you from warming up the liquid inside, while protecting your hands from getting ice cold. The bottle also features a zipper stash compartment that can hold keys, cash or gel. www.ultimatedirection.com
The Fuel Belt holds four, dishwasher-safe 8 ounce bottles. A good idea is to fill three with water and one with a sports drink. A detachable race pocket holds sports gels, money, keys, or anything else that you might need for a long run or race. The Fuel Belt is comfortable and not too heavy. It’s a must-have for long distance runs. www.fuelbelt.com
Rehydrate with water or a sports drink after your run • If your urine is dark yellow after your run, you need to keep rehydrating. Drink until it’s a pale yellow color.
Cold or warm?
Rumor has it that you can get cramps from drinking cold water before running. This is a myth. Cold water is actually absorbed in the body quicker than warm water. Drinking water, whether it’s warm or cold, before or during running should not give you cramps. The best ways to prevent side stitches while running is to make sure you warm-up properly and to breathe deeply through your mouth.
5K Training Tip
During this week of training, your endurance and strength should be such that you can jog continuously for about 2 1⁄2 – 3 miles. On your chosen training days (3-5 days are recommended), always start with a brisk five- minute warm-up walk, then: Day 1: Jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes); Day 2: Jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes); Day 3: Jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).
The Race is On
So you’ve done your training for your first 5K — the best race distance for first-timers. As your race day approaches, you may have some questions and concerns about what to expect on race day. If you’re fairly new to running, here are some tips for your first race day.
Pick up race packet
Beginning at 7:30 a.m., pick up your race bib, goody bag and T-shirt, if your registration included one (deadline was March 24).
A good rule of thumb: Dress as if the weather is 15 degrees warmer than it is. That’s how much you’ll warm up once you start moving along the course. If it’s cold, you can always wear warmer clothes while you’re waiting for the race to start. Many races offer a gear check where you can store your bag with extra clothes for before and after the race.
Choose pre-race food wisely
Eat a meal at least one hour prior to the start of the race. Choose something high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein. Stay away from rich, fatty, or high-fiber foods, as they may cause gastrointestinal distress.
Get there early
Arrive at the race site early to make sure you get a parking spot. Regardless of whether you’re driving there or not, you’ll also need time to pick up your number, take a warm-up jog, and use the bathroom (the lines may be long).
Line up properly
Don’t line up near the front of the starting line. Faster, more seasoned runners don’t like to weave around newbie (and likely slower) runners or walkers at the start of the race. Some races have corrals based on estimated pace or post pace signs. If not, ask runners nearby their anticipated pace. If it’s faster than yours, move further back. It will be easier to fall into your pace if you’re around people that are the same speed as you.
Bring support team
Invite your friends and family members to support you. Ask them to stand near the finish line so they can cheer you on at the end.
Aim to finish
Don’t put pressure on yourself to achieve a really fast time for your first race. Finishing the race and enjoying the experience are excellent goals for a first-timer.
This Week’s 5K Training Tip: You made it! Race Day is this Saturday, April 1 at the Xenia YMCA. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K begins at 9 a.m. During this final week of training, you should start with a brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3: Jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes) each day.
Training Tip brought to you by www.coolrunning.com.
To register for the April 1 Spring Has Sprung Healthy Families 5K Run/Walk at the Xenia YMCA go to www.speedy-feet.com or print and mail a registration form with your payment by visiting www.gcph.info. For more information or to sponsor this event call 937-374-5683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story courtesy of Greene County Public Health, adapted from www.runnersworld.com.