You knew this was coming. I mean, what kind of running blogger would I be if I didn’t rain on your bright, sunny, hot, humid day by reminding you that behind that smiling sun is a joker waiting to wreak havoc on your playtime? So I’m going to take this opportunity to let you know that I went running this morning. It was bright, sunny, hot, and humid at 7:00 in Brooklyn and somehow I ended up doing an “up tempo” run (a little slower than tempo pace). I’m not really sure how that happened. It just did. Now, I don’t want to gross you out too badly, but we’ll just say that when I came home, I almost looked like I got caught in the rain. Except that parts of my hair and clothes were still dry. Good thing I hydrated really well last night before I went to bed, and took a couple of swigs of water before I left, and stopped at a drinking fountain in the park. Even so, I probably needed to drink more than a quart of water to replace what I’d lost. That sun can be pretty brutal the way it wrings your precious fluids from your body.
There are some things that benefit from a little dehydration. Mangos. Pineapples. Apricots. Grapes. People are not one of them. So drink before you go. Drink while you’re out if you are going more than 3 or 4 miles. Don’t be shy about downing a couple of big, tall glasses of water when you get home. And know what the signs of dehydration are: headache, nausea, lightheadedness, muscle cramps, feeling faint. Your urine should be light colored. You should not be thirsty. If you are running a summer race, drink at every aid station, even if you don’t think you need to. Drink 16 ounces of water for every pound you lose during a run, if you’re the type that weighs yourself before and after a workout.
Water is good, water is life. But once it has oozed its way out of your skin and dripped onto the breakfast table, it doesn’t do you much good. You’ll want to replace it. (And wipe up that sweat while you’re at it.)