Today I ran the brand new Run Hackney Half Marathon. You may have noticed it was a scorcher of a day. This was a shock to my system, as the many half marathons I have run (*cough* two) have both been on cool-ish days. It resulted in me crossing the finish line in a state of mild delirium and proceeding to drink a bottle of water, an energy drink, a can of coke, a glass of water, a protein shake (blended with a Mars choc ice. Don’t judge!) and another glass of water, all within approx one hour.
Imbibing all this fluid got me thinking about hydration – and a handy tip. You probably know that you have to be careful not to take on too much water at a running event (it can dilute the sugars and salts in your body, causing you to become unwell). But how do you know how much is too much? Well, you can get a rough guide next time you go for a run. Weigh yourself (naked) before you set off, then again when you get back. For every kg of weight you’ve lost you need to drink 1-1.2 litres of water (1.5 if it’s really hot). Test this out a few times – especially in different weather – to suss out roughly how much you sweat and need to replenish and then you can aim to take that on slowly during a run (add a pinch of salt and sugar to your water to help replenish your stocks). Of course, it’s not a watertight system, so on race day always trust your thirst. But it helps to have a guide when you can no longer tell if you’re thirsty/bored/panic drinking.
p.s. The event was good fun and well-organised and the locals that came out to support did themselves proud (I’m looking at you man with garden hose who sprayed us down ). The only downer – the stretch from mile 10-13 that was a soul-destroying series of loops back on yourself. Change that for next year, yeah?
VITALS: runhackney.com, @RunHackney