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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. 


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 🙂

The joys of summer training

15 Jan

Wow it has been hot the last week or so in Brisbane, thankfully today is a bit cooler, but still sticky! I’ve found myself missing the cool weather in the UK and longing for my husband to treat me to that spa and swimming pool I’ve aways dreamed of!

Training has been tough in the last week or so just trying to push myself to train in the heat. I’ve been getting up really early in order to keep as cool as possible in training, and unfortunately going to the gym doesn’t help as my gym doesn’t have AC!!

sunI’ve learned a few things in my training time when it comes to the heat which I thought I would share:

Slip slop slap

If you must run outside and in the sun at least cover up or put on sun tan lotion. I know a lot of people that won’t wear sun tan lotion because they don’t like the feeling of it on their skin, but frankly I would rather feel greasy than get skin cancer and Australia is renowned for it!

Drink plenty of water 

My friend always says I don’t drink enough water and at this time of year it’s really important to ensure you take on water before during and after training. The amount varies from expert to expert but I always go along the lines of the pee test – nice and clear means all nicely hydrated before a run, but brown and the darker the pee is not good! I remember once race I did when I pee’d afterwards it was brown like watery tea! Not good! Try and carry water around with you or choose a running route that you know has drink fountains on the way round. A camelbak can help if you are like me and not very good at running with a bottle in your hand or around your waist.

Training times 

When the heat is on like it has been the last week or so I try and train early or later on in the evening to avoid the heat and the sun. For those of you blessed with a gym with air con or home with air con I would be taking advantage right now. I’ve been doing my P90x a fair bit at home with the air con on as it is cooler than doing weights at the gym right now!

Isotonic drink 

I passed out with heat stroke a fair few years ago now and just before my friends had gotten me to drink salt water and also juice to replace the sodium and sugar that I’d lost in a mammouth 30k run I had done in the boiling heat on a very hot day in London (very unusual) but now i tend to drink isotonic drinks to help replace any sugar/salt lost in training during and after training – this for me is important especially on hot days.

Find some trees 

I tend to vary running routes when hot and find routes that are shaded and less out in the open to help me keep relatively cool.

Well here are a few things i do – how do you keep cool in the sun when training?

Happy running!


Do you drink water when you run?

26 Jan

I’ve never been much of a fluid drinker. I remember when I was little my Aunt always used to make me drink and I didn’t like it. I think I get it from my grandad as he doesn’t drink much apart from tea and coffee.

I remember when I used to run in the UK I never used to take on fluids unless I was running over 10 miles (16k). I found that I never needed to – I always ensured the night before I ran that I was completely hydrated and drank before the run. If anything drinking during the run always hindered me and I needed a toilet stop as a result! When it was really hot i.e over 80 degrees (very rare in the UK!) then all bets were off and I would take on water and run in the shade.

I have only ever had two bad episodes – one was when running the Newark Half Marathon – it was a boiling hot day and the race didn’t start until 11am and people were being sick and passing out all over the place. I finished but not before taking on board every gel and water stop there was, and the other was in a training run where I had run 18 miles (29k) and it again was a boiling hot day and I collapsed and ended up in hospital with severe dehydration.

One guy that I used to run with would run 20 miles with me and never have one drink come rain or shine. I kind of figured he knew his body and what he was doing though – he was 70 and had run 54 marathons. He taught me a lot and to listen to my body.

Here in Australia it is not too much different apart from the few crazy hot days we have here and to be honest I don’t tend to run those days! If you have been reading my blog you will know I am concentrating on short distances and so todays 10k run was a sticky one but I didn’t need to drink water and I was fine. I drank the night before and in the morning before my run and was fine.

I am writing this post because I had a discussion with one of the people I run with who was incredulous that I hadn’t drunk water and I decided to look at what people in the industry say about water. Please remember I am not a doctor or qualified in giving advice. I am going on printed facts by other people and by my own experience – so don’t take anything on board without doing your own research or speaking to your doctor!

In her book The Complete book of Running Claire Kowalchik talks about the importance of general hydration and how important the pre run fluid intake needs more attention. By making sure you are always well hydrated, you can avoid dehydration during exercise and ensure all your body’s systems including sweating – function properly and efficiently.

She also says that a 5k race for example is short enough that if you are well hydrated beforehand, you don’t have to take on water during the race unless it’s a hot day, but she advises to drink during a 10k race.

In the book Need to know? Running  (2007) – Alison Hamlett advises that 500ml of fluid should be drunk two hours before running and then 150ml just before you head out of the door. Man if I did this I would be in toilet trouble 5 minutes into my run!

In this book they advise that 300ml of fluids per hour should be consumed when exercising and that a good rule of thumb is to drink then you are thirsty…well I was told if you get the point of being thirsty then you’re already dehydrated! Different books have different comments basically, so it’s a case of reading between the lines at times.

In his book Running is Easy (1996) (ha ha if only!), Bruce Tulloh advises that it is a good idea to drink a pint of water just before you start to run, and to run in loops so you can get a drink every 15-20 minutes. He also advises that when racing in hot climates that you should take water at every drinks station even when not feeling thirsty.

These are all great pieces of advice but I think if you have been running a while and know your body then go with what works for you. I’ve been running since 2002 and feel I know my body pretty well now to the point I know when I am not feeling up to pushing, when I do need to take on fluids and when I know I’ve got it in the bag and can push right on through, so take people’s advise but work out what works for you, remember it is just as dangerous to drink too much water as it is not enough so if in doubt try running with water and see how you go, taking on water if you really feel you need to.* If you get hot easily then fluids during training are a good way to go.* Have a chat with a nutritionist or doctor if you are unsure.

It is claimed that just a 2% drop in bodyweight through fluid loss can lead to as much as a 20% drop in your performance. So that’s something for you and I to think about.*

Further info

On the Running for Fitness website there is a great article on water and running that you might be interested in reading.

*Please remember I am not a doctor or qualified in giving advice. I am going on printed facts by other people and by my own experience – so don’t take anything on board without doing your own research or speaking to your doctor!