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Tips for drinking more water in general and running 

1 May

What a week it has been. It was my son’s birthday party this week, and we had over 30 people at the house including kids which was awesome but crazy! We survived and I even made the time to make my son a monster truck cake – but I have spent the rest of the long weekend recovering and haven’t even run! 

My goals I set myself that I shared in my last post are going slowly but now my son’s big day is out of the way for another year I can start to focus on things other than trucks and Blaze and the Monster Machines! 

Anyway, thanks to Nina for asking me a question on my last blog post about drinking water and did I have any tips. It prompted me to think more about it- hence this post today.

I have always struggled with drinking water. It sounds silly as it is a fundamental requirement of survival, but I am actually not good at it. As a human that’s not great, especially being a runner too. I feel looking back it has seriously affected me in both training and a number of races I have run. I have memories growing up of my aunt making me drink every time my cousins did to ensure I was drinking from a very early age.

We can’t exist without water, and when running we need more of it. I realise this hence one of my goals is to drink more. Sometimes I can go a whole day on less than 1 litre of water even when I have done a tough training session and I realise I have to change this and aim higher.

I’ve tried a few things over the years and a few things have and haven’t worked, so I thought I’d share them today. If you have any tips I would really welcome them.

My tips for drinking more water in general and for running:

Always carry water

Always have a bottle of water with you wherever you are. I use a stainless steel carrier which keeps my water cold. I just have to remember to put it in my bag!

Use a straw

One of the guys at work and who is also a runner guzzles water like there is no tomorrow, and he said the trick for him is having a water bottle that has a straw in it as he drinks more. So that’s something I have started to do and so far so good!

Set reminders

If you are a reminder focused person then set reminders in your phone or diary to remind you to drink water. I tried it and just dismissed the reminders!! But it might work for you.

2L bottle

You can buy bottles that are 1/2 litres and the idea is to fill them up and drink throughout the day. It’s a good way to see how much you have drunk. I had a Michelle Bridges one that I bought from Big W that was great for this.

Diarise/Log your intake

Apps like My Fitness Pal are great for logging food and also fluids so if you are into logging data this might work for you and be a good way to keep you drinking those fluids. 

Carry water when running

I always carry a hydration pack on the trails or wear a hydration belt when it is warm. I don’t take much water in but it is there if I need it. When it is really hot I stick my hydration pack in the fridge the night before to make sure it is nice and cool in the morning. 

Hydrate before a run 

The one thing I do try and stick to with running is hydrating as much as I am able the night before. I use the pee test as a good indicator (colour of urine – should be fairly clear) to ensure if running early in the morning that I am well hydrated. Again I am not always good at this but I try wherever possible.

These are things I have tried and I am sure you have tried others. I’m getting there slowly. 

Race Recap – Twilight Half Marathon

22 Mar

I should have known it was going to be a tough day when I woke up with a headache, and feeling decidedly under par – knowing I had to run the Twilight half marathon at 5pm later in the day. I hadn’t been too well in the week leading up to the race and hadn’t run all week so I knew I was going to face a battle on the road – but I wanted to do the race!

I have been training for the past few months with my friend Sam (and a couple of times Penny) and I was excited about the race, and  being a member of Intraining I felt it was almost a right of passage to have to run it, and the lovely running vest you get for entering was an extra incentive!

I don’t tend to enter races in summer as I am not too good with the heat but I figured a race that started at 5pm at night would be a good option. It did get rained off last year but the weather forecast was good. Sam picked me up and we drove to St Lucia to the Uni and I did my usual two trips to the toilet before the race (it’s a ritual! can’t not!).

Twilight Half Marathon 2016

All smiles before the race! With my friends Penny and Sam (left to right)

We stood in the line up both quite nervous and I intended to just run at an easy pace and run the race – not going for a time considering the last week and being ill. There was a sea of Twilight tops as well as Intraining, Springfield Runners and others that I didn’t recognise. Everyone was excited and pumped for the race to start and busy chatting, nervously glancing at their watches.  The 10k and the half started at the same time so I had to make sure I didn’t get pulled along with those 10k runners running  fast race!

The Race

We started running and there was a bit of a scrum so Sam and I got slightly separated but weren’t too far apart, and I relaxed into the steady pace and tuned into my music, and started the race.

Sam had mentioned to watch out for the hills and we went up one slight incline and I thought – wow was that it….no alas it was not! We went down the hill we were to later come up and it was a fairly steep incline. I don’t think that would have been an issue had we not had to do two laps of the course as the first time I ran up it I didn’t feel too bad.

Twilight Half Marathon 2016

Most of the route was flat and I haven’t run around St Lucia much before so it was nice to see a new area. The km points were well placed and I was feeling quite good watching each km go past. Seeing the front runners fly by was incredible – I was one side and they were flying back the other way – it amazes me that pretty much they were running twice the speed that I was running.

I found with it being two loops my brain started to play mind games on me and when we got back to the start which was where the 10k runners turned off to finish that was when it started…. my body suddenly wanted to slow down and finish and I took a gel to pump me up a bit and pushed myself to push on and then started counting down. I had seen my Intraining coach Paula and knew she would be at the 16/17k ish mark second time round so I started counting down and telling myself once I saw her I only had 4-5km left.

It was dark by this point and there wasn’t much lighting but thankfully there were a few people in front of me and a couple behind so I didn’t feel alone, and I just kept pushing towards that 16/17 mark. By the time I got there I was tired and I think I managed a quick look up to Paula and then it was head down push on to finish.

Coming in to Finish

That last 4k seemed to go on forever but I was determined not to stop and just keep pushing. I didn’t take on much water in the race as I noticed there were only one lot of toilets that I had spotted anyway.

I think I must have started my watch slightly early as it was ahead of the km signs in the race each time so I felt psychologically like I was having to run further each time even though that wasn’t the case. I had 1km left and I started to try and pick up the pace, and at about 500m left I felt a hand on my shoulder – there was Sam just when I needed her!! We pushed and ran together and then I saw the finish line and sprinted.

It’s funny that I was exhausted yet I had the energy to sprint finish!

I staggered over the line and there was Margot Manning – one of the owners of Intraining and she had a microphone in her hand. Sam took off and I stood there wobbling all over the place whilst she asked me a couple of questions. I can’t 100% remember what she asked me – I think it was something about how was the race – and I remember saying something like ‘It was hot and it was hard!’ not quite sure if that was the answer she was looking for but at that point I was willing my body not to throw up by her feet – I’m very glad I didn’t!

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Finished!

 

Afterwards

I got home and was sick! I think I had used every last ounce of energy and my body melted down. I literally had a shower, half a bagel, a gulp of water and was back to the toilet and then straight to bed! So I know I worked as hard as I could!

The race in my opinion was really well organised. Maybe a few more toilets on the course but it is tricky when it goes along residential areas. The running vests are great compared to some I have had in the past and it was a lovely atmosphere of supportive runners and spectators.

I think if I was to do it again I might do the 10k as the half in summer was a bit too much for me! When the sun went down I did cool down but I don’t think I will ever get used to the Queensland heat!

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We went a bit nuts after the race finished!

Are you preparing yourself for your run?

4 Mar

This week has been tough so far and it’s only Wednesday!

Last night I had to train – I had a 7k to run followed by squats (thanks Roger!) and an hour or so before I just didn’t want to train. It’s the first time since I embarked on my marathon training that I felt like this and I really just couldn’t snap out of it. I forced myself to get dressed ready and got in the car and went to the gym – and even on the treadmill even though 7k seems relatively easy these days – (still slow but easier) mentally I struggled.Take water when you run - the girl that runs

As I got to 5k a light suddenly went on in my head. It was no wonder I was so tired and lacking energy as:

1. My little one has been sick and we have been fairly sleep deprived and I have been existing on a few hours sleep until a night or so ago so it was catching up with me;

2. I’d forgotten to have a proper lunch and had had some crackers and cheese;

3. I’d also broken the big rule of not having much water – I’d maybe had half a litre all day;

4. The biggest thing I would say that has been affecting me is since January I have consciously not been having carbs bar those in my vegetables in order to try and trim down a little bit so the marathon training was easier and I cut out wheat and all carbs – I think this has finally caught up with me in the sense it’s harder when running longer distances and needing more energy.

So with all of these things it was no wonder I was struggling and therefore lacking the energy or motivation.

I am very good at giving out advice but not always good at taking it myself so this week has been a real eye opener and I am intending on drinking more water, looking at increasing my carb levels, catching up on sleep and making sure I eat a decent lunch especially when training in the evening.

Now I am clocking up 60km a week and if you are doing the same it’s important to look after ourselves. I think sometimes for those of us/you that are parents it is easy to put yourself second but often I find when I have been racing after my son that it is easy to not have had proper food or even a cup of water all day and it catches up with you as I have found this week especially when trying to fit in an intense training program.

Anyway I just wanted to share that with you and if there is anyone in the same position I hope that sharing helped.

As always have a great week and happy running 🙂