The longer you sweat while running the more electrolytes you lose. And the more electrolytes you lose the more your feel fatigued.
One solution for these problem is buying sports drinks that contain extra electrolytes but these sports drinks do not come cheap.
Researchers have found that the more salty drinks athletes consume, the less urine they produce and the fewer electrolytes they lose.
Home made endurance sports drink
Runners can make their own home made endurance sports drink by mixing water with salt and sugar. It is that simple. I got this idea from a magazine article about ultra marathon running. One runner said he drinks it to avoid stomach cramps. The mixture has a nasty taste but once you get used to it you will be fine.
I always drink a mixture of water plus sugar plus salt before I dash out for my long runs.
A sports drink is a drink designed to help athletes rehydrate, as well as replenish electrolytes, carbohydrates, and other nutrients, which can be depleted after an endurance activity such as running. Electrolyte replacement promotes proper rehydration, which is important in delaying the onset of fatigue during exercise. As the primary fuel utilized by exercising muscle, carbohydrates are important in maintaining exercise and sport performance.
Types of sports drinks
According to Wikipedia, there are three types of sports drinks
Isotonic sports drinks contain proportions of water and other nutrients similar to the human body, and typically are six to eight percent sugar.
Hypertonic sports drinks contain a lesser proportion of water, and a greater proportion of sugar, than the human body.
Hypotonic sports drinks contain a greater proportion of water, and a lesser proportion of sugar, than the human body.
Most sports drinks are moderately hypertonic, having between 13 and 19 grams sugar per an eight ounce serving.
One month after running the 2008 Nairobi marathon I have noticed that in the last month my sleep has been better than the month leading to the marathon. This days I sleep longer unlike the last month leading to the marathon when I used to wake up at a frustrating 4.30 am, two hours early before my desired wake up time.
When I noticed this change in sleep pattern I decided to find an explanation. I found this article at wikipedia on overtraining that states “Training at a high intensity too frequently also stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) and can result in a hyper-adrenergic state that interferes with sleep patterns.”
According to that statement too much exercise may cause sleep problem. In the last month I have not been running, this lack of physical activity explains why my sleep is good.
My next marathon will be next year and I plan to crank up my training. I don’t think a runner should cut down on his weekly miles just because he is losing a few hours of sleep. To be a successful runner you need to make lots of sacrifices and that includes missing a few hours of sleep. A runner will get enough sleep after a race and like Benjamin Franklin said “There will be a lot of sleeping in the grave“
Low salt levels in the blood is one cause of stomach cramps during running. Other causes of runners cramps are inadequate oxygenation; exposure to large changes in temperature; dehydration.
Many runners experience low Salt levels because of drinking too much water before and during running. The water dilutes the sodium in your body. Sodium is a vital mineral needed for optimal bodily function.
The week before a marathon many runners spend time eating carbohydrates and drinking plenty of water. Few runners step up their salt intake because there is a lot of writing is focused on dangers of eating too much salt.
Running a marathon on the race day is not hard, the hard thing is the training for the marathon.
Six weeks are gone since I started my intensive training for Nairobi Marathon on 28th October 2008. This will be my third marathon and my target this year is to run a sub three hours marathon. My Personal Best is 3.06.
The hard part of marathon training is that you run without drinking water along the way. Running a 5K or 10K without drinking some water along the way is not difficult, it becomes difficult when you do the long runs.
My long runs are up to 32K, by the time I finish my lips are dry as a stone.
Water Saving Ideas for the long run.
I don’t carry water when I go for the long, I just do the following to save the water in my body.
1. Load on water. I start by drinking plenty of water before going to sleep then I drink at least half a litre before I go out running.
2. The half litre is mixed with salt. Salt helps in water retention plus it helps to curb stomach crumps.
3. I maintain a slow pace, A training long run is meant to build endurance and confidence. Running at a slower pace than my pre race pacer saves energy and water.