Your body is more than 60% water, so it’s no shocker that staying hydrated on a long-distance run or endurance event is the #1 most important thing for your athletic performance and fitness results.
- Hydration helps your body regulate your temperature as you exert yourself in a long race.
- Hydration helps regulate your blood pressure and keep your heart rate steady.
- Hydration helps transport nutrients and energy throughout your body, including to your muscles.
- Hydration helps remove built-up waste in your muscles, which is especially important when doing a long endurance event.
- Without hydration, your temperature goes up, which in turn interferes with your exercise performance and post-workout recovery.
A couple hours before your workout, drink 20 ounces of water, then another eight ounces 30 minutes before you start exercising. But it’s DURING a long-distance race or endurance event that can be the most challenging. After all, you can’t always run with a few gallons of water strapped to your back.
Use these long-distance hydration tricks instead:
- Add electrolytes to your fluids. This helps to hydrate you faster and keep you hydrated longer.
- Plan and portion your fluids. It’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve been drinking when doing a long-distance event.
If you're using something like a running belt with water bottles strapped to it, most of these belts hold four ounces of fluids. It’s a handy way to track your progress. You want to aim for one bottle for every mile you run/swim/jog. Thus, your standard 4-bottle belt will last you eight miles.
- Plan your route. If you’re doing a professional race, there will be water stations along the route. As you work your way through your water belt, replenish when you’ve got one or two bottles left to ensure you’re not without your important hydration!
If you’re running on your own personal route, use a map to plot out where convenience stores, gas stations, coffee shops and other pit stops are so that you can replenish your water.
- Consider non-beverage hydration tools. Jellys, gummies, thick gels and other portable electrolyte supplements can help fuel you and restore your electrolytes to aid in hydration without all the bulkiness of a water bottle.
If you're looking for other ways to hydrate and fuel your endurance events check out Endurance Enhancing Supplements.