BY: Dr. Theodore Strange
We’re nearly half-way through training for the Advance’s Memorial Day Run. As your running starts to ramp up and the weather gets warmer, drinking water and staying hydrated becomes more important.
Water makes up two-thirds of our bodies and plays a role in nearly every bodily function. When you run, you lose some water through sweat. You also lose sodium (salt) and, to a lesser extent, potassium and magnesium. These electrolytes also help the body to function normally, but for our purposes, you won’t train hard enough to need to replace them.
If you lose too much water, you put yourself at risk for dehydration. Early signs of dehydration include headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and constipation. By keeping tabs on your fluid intake before, during and after a run, you can avoid dehydration.
To stay hydrated, drink 8 to 10 ounces of water about two to three hours prior to running. Right before you run, have another 6 to 8 ounces. If you’re going to log more than three miles, bring a water bottle. After your run, drink an additional 8 to 10 ounces.
If you want to have a sports drink after your run, go ahead. But keep in mind that you don’t need to supplement the trace amount of nutrients lost (see previous explanation on electrolytes). You also don’t need the extra carbs that come along with many of these sports drinks – especially if you’re running to lose weight.
OK, let’s grab a last gulp of H2O and head out for this week’s workout.
Walk five minutes (warm-up), run five minutes, then walk one more minute. Repeat this run/walk sequence five more times; finish with a five-minute walk (cool down).
Walk for 35 minutes at a comfortable yet brisk pace.
Repeat Monday’s workout.
Repeat Tuesday’s workout.
Repeat Monday’s workout.
Walk five minutes (warm-up), run six minutes, then walk one more minute. Repeat this run/walk sequence four more times; finish with a five-minute walk (cool down).
Rest or walk 35 minutes (your choice).
Next week, I’ll discuss common running injuries. I’ll also start to step things up in our fourth week of training by noticeably increasing the ratio of time you run compared to walking.
Dr. Theodore Strange is the associate chair of medicine and vice president of medical operations at Staten Island University Hospital South. The hospital is a corporate sponsor and partner with the Advance for the Memorial Day Run. Both organizations encourage Islanders to get in shape and run the race on May 28.