July 16, 2010

If you get tired, pull over. If you get thirsty, drink something*

One of the more difficult aspects of training so far has been the time I get out to run. Let me start by saying, I am not a morning person. Never have been, probably never will be. I can go for years working at a job that requires me to get up at 6am every day, but it doesn't get any easier. I set an alarm every day whether I need to get up at a certain time or not, because it is supposed to help to get up at roughly the same time every day.   My body will always want 2 - 3 more hours of sleep, and given the chance, I would probably sleep in until 9 or 10.

Because of this, I much prefer to run in the afternoon or evening. I barely want to get out of bed, much less get up early to get a run in before work. But that is exactly what I am doing these days. It is just too hot to run in the afternoon, and it is only going to get warmer over the next couple of months. It does feel good to get it out of the way early in the day, because sometimes your day can go sideways and training gets postponed. But that is small motivation when the alarm is going off early in the morning.

Even with getting in my runs in the early morning, the heat is still having it's effect. It is recommended that runners calculate their sweat rate, in order to know how much water and other fluids to take in while exercising. I have never bothered to do this before, but by seeing the salt lines on my forehead after runs, I figured my rate was relatively high. Tuesday morning, I was weighing in anyway, so I decided to do the calculation.

Basically what you do is weigh yourself before and after exercising for an hour. The amount of weight you lose is basically the amount of water you lose through sweating. There is of course some calories burned, but it is generally small compared to the weight of water loss. Tuesday was an interval workout, so I would be working a bit harder than normal, but the duration was under 50 minutes so I thought it would be a decent test.

The results? After 48 minutes of exercise, I lost 2.5 pounds! Even though I was drenched with sweat, I was pretty shocked at the amount of weight loss. 2.5 pounds lost equates to 40 ounces of water lost, which means that I should be taking in about the same amount during exercise to avoid dehydration. Previously, I have not bothered to bring any fluids along for runs under 60 minutes, but I obviously need to reconsider. I should also be stopping to drink more often than I have been on any run.

Running in California is obviously warmer than running in Washington, so I am going to have to continue to make adjustments. The temperature during my run Tuesday morning was around 70 degrees, and temperatures during the day this week have been tickling 100 degrees. So it looks like I will need to get up even earlier to try to beat the heat, and bring along a canteen of water.

*Paraphrased from Best in Show


tami said...

But you rock at the 3am run! Why not give that a try, huh?

Me said...

As a non-morning person myself - touché because mornings totally blow!!