Thursday, January 5, 2012

Staying Hydrated During Winter Training

Winter training and racing feels great. The cool dry weather makes you feel like you could run for days, especially if you live in hot/humid locations where the Summer months can reach highs of 100+ degrees for months at a time!

However, there is a slight change between your Summer and Winter runs ... your clothes.  The addition of clothing can increase sweat rate for the same run route you did 3 months earlier when the weather was 30 degrees warmer.  Because of this, you need to pay attention to your hydration needs and one of the easiest ways to do this is to measure your sweat rate.

To measure your sweat rate, pick a route that you can do in 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Weigh yourself without any clothes on just prior to your run.  Then weigh yourself without clothes on after your run and take the difference between the 2 weights.

If you ran for 30 minutes, just double the number you got for your sweat rate and that will be a rough estimate for your hourly sweat rate while working out. If you ran for an hour, then you have the hourly sweat rate calculated and know how much water weight you will lose during that activity.

A good rule a pint of water weighs about one pound. If you use that logic and apply it to the total number of pounds you lost during exercise then you could drink at least one pint of water (or other sports drink) for every pound of weight you lost.

This is by no means an exact science and some people will need far more or far less fluid depending on their metabolic and electrolyte needs. Just use your best judgement, stay hydrated, drink sports drinks instead of water for exercise longer than an hour and kick butt out there!!!

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  Sunday run in the rain.