In short, dehydration is when your body loses its water. When you’re on a long run, you’re using more water and sweating it out as you exercise, which can lead to severe muscle cramping, dizziness and heat exhaustion. Fortunately, the ABP Newport Wales Marathon & 10K will have plenty of Brecon Carreg Water Stations on hand throughout the route to keep our runners hydrated.
Now, how do you stay hydrated in the race?
It’s important not to be reactive when thinking about hydration. Plan your water stops based on your training and try not to leave it too late to take on water. Once you’re dehydrated and the tell-tale signs like a dry throat or headache come on, it will take a while to return to a hydrated state and ultimately, this will affect your performance.
Sip, don’t gulp
The most effective way to take on water is to sip. Gulping may result in all sorts of other issues that will cause discomfort mid-race. You might feel sick or bloated and this too will put you off your schedule. Sipping allows you to constantly replenish your water reserve with almost no effort.
Drinking too much has its risks too. Taking on too much fluid, otherwise known as water intoxication, causes the brain to swell, leading to confusion, loss of consciousness or seizures.
Consider a hydration belt
Many runners opt for a belt that allows them to hold water bottles around their waist. They’re lightweight, have very little effect on your running technique, and give you a quick and easy way to stay hydrated. Carrying water at all time is vital to marathon hydration. 10K runners should consider using both water stations on the route.
You’ve been training for a long time now, so you’ve become accustomed to what your body needs to stay hydrated. Stick to that. Don’t alter your water plan to stick with your friends, as one size does not fit all in this case. A rule of thumb to stick to is that you should take on around 1 litre per burning off 1,000 calories, but this tends to be a minimum. Err on the side of caution.
Know the risks
Prioritise hydration over anything else. Your health and performance work together, so don’t put one before the other, because eventually it will come back to bite you. If you’re looking for a PB and don’t think you can spare the time to stop by a water station, you’re probably wrong. By staying well hydrated, you give yourself the best chance to run with as much comfort as is possible over 26.2 miles.
Brecon Carreg are the official water suppliers for the ABP Newport Wales Marathon & 10K. For more information on hydration, visit http://www.breconwater.co.uk/2013/12/water-hydration/. For more on them, visit http://www.breconwater.co.uk/.