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This may seem like a dumb question, but I'm starting week 2 of the couch to 5k program, and I'm wondering if it's necessary to keep hydrated while running during the 30-minute training. So far I've been okay without water (I prefer not to carry a water bottle while running), but I'm wondering if this is bad for me. Do I need to be drinking water while I'm running?
This new runner appreciates any tips.
Your best answer to this is going to be part experience, part nutritional wisdom, and part personal preference. Here's my 2.5 cents on it. When I started training for my first marathon with a team-program, our coach made it mandatory that we carry water with us for any runs lasting 60-min or longer. Less than that, and it was optional to carry. Later in the training, we did some testing to see how much rehydrating each of us REALLY needed, specific to our own bodies. We weighed ourselves before a run, completed a 60-min. run without water, and weighed ourselves after the run. This gave us a better idea of how much we needed to replace for each hour of running. If I remember correctly (and I hope I'll be corrected if I'm off), we were to drink approx. 4oz for every 0.25lbs. lost. Some people lost that in 30-minutes. Others could go 2-hrs. before losing that much. So, it really varied.
Short of "testing" yourself, I would guess that you'd be fine going for a 30-min. run without water. But, 60-minutes or longer, you might benefit from bringing along a gulp or two.
:: Kevin, from PuggerRunner.com
My body tells me I'm dehydrated by my legs cramping. I'm in the mid-west and in summer, during a long run, when it's especially hot I have to carry or have water nearby. Good Question!
Welcome and congrates on starting week 2 of the c25k program. This is not a dumb question at all, but i would say water is a preference thing, so you will get a different answer from everybody.
I would say as long as you are well hydrated before you go out you should be ok.
But people like myself sweat alot and need to drink alot of water, and some people dont need so much, this also depends on the temp and humidity your running at.
At some point as you run farther and longer you will want to carry water, and you are like me i dont like to carry water either but i do because i know i will need it. I suggest you start at least start carrying a bottle to get used to it and when you get to the point of needing it, it will be easier to take.
I go by 7 to 10 onces of water per hour of running i do. this is for me at around a 50 degree temp.
Like i said ,its what you feel you need and listen to your body, just do wait to long, because when your thirst you are already dehydrated.....
It's not only about finishing, its about finishing healthy!
Cramping is actually NOT caused by dehydration....it's caused by depleted electrolyte levels. Those who start drinking a bunch of water when they cramp, thinking it will help, are likely to do more harm than good because it will further dilute your electrolytes and, at an extreme point, could send you into hyponatremia. An electrolyte replacement drink is better, an electrolyte replacement tab is better, good solid nutrition as your base is even better, but there's a lot of personal preference in this piece. You've got to learn what works for YOUR body, and you've got to manage it BEFORE it becomes a problem (cramping).
:: Kevin, from PuggerRunner.com
The "Running Doc" on the Runner's World website has published many articles about hydration and hyponatremia. His advice always, always, always is "drink for thirst" - period. Don't drink because you think you should; only drink when you're thirsty. And not too much. For 30 minutes, you most likely don't need water (although as others have said, it depends on many things). As for races, I do mostly 10k's, and I'm not terribly fast, so it takes me about an hour or a few minutes less if I'm lucky. After gulping too much water in one 10k (causing uncomfortable, sloshy feeling!) I learned that I don't really get thirsty at that distance. If it's hot or dusty I'll take a couple sips to moisten my mouth.
I would suggest that you go with what feels best for you. However, considering that it is getting warmer you might want to try and drink water all throughout the day. Keep yourself hydrated all day and you will find that you will not be as thristy during your runs.
There are a lot of good answers mentioned, but in your question you didn't mention if you were doing the run/walk training routine. I will tell you what I do and what I have learned and you can take it for what its worth. If I'm doing a training run anywhere from 3 to 5 miles, I always take a small water bottle. I will run for only 3 to 4 minutes then walk for 60 seconds. I do this for the whole distance I plan to run. I will take a couple of swigs of water while I'm walking. Unless its really warm or hot, I hardly ever get thirsty during the run. At the end of the run, my recovery is much quicker and more pleasant than if I push the whole way without water and don't walk. I don't take water with me on a 5K race but I will on a 10K as I always get thirsty after about 3 miles and being thirsty is a mental distraction that can affect your performance. Like many of the others have said, each person has their own tolerance levels but eventually you will get thirsty and dehydrated at some point during a long run if you don't take in some water and/or electrolytes. In most races over 5k, they generally have aid stations about every 2 miles with water and gatorade type drinks. That way you don't have to carry anything with you. I always seem to get thirsty between the aid stations, so I just got used to carrying my own stuff. If the temperature on your training runs is above 60 degrees and you plan to run more than 3 miles, I strongly recommend taking along something to drink, (not beer) or it could turn out to be a very unpleasant experience. I am no expert, but all the stuff I just mentioned is from my own first hand experience. I hope what I have said will be helpful to you. A fellow runner, DAVE
Thanks for the tips. I am doing interval running (on the Couch to 5K plan). I'm afraid I couldn't run for 30 minutes straight even if I wanted to! And I'll be sure to replenish with something more healthy than beer.
I've had a "aha" moment in running where, I started doing longer runs (in the gym mostly), but got to a point where I knew I was in shape enough to get the job done, but was getting cramps, and just a feeling I could not finish no matter what, which at that point I'd have to stop. It was frustrating, and finally found the answer. My radiator was in need of a fill after about 20-25 minutes of running. I wasn't cooling off enough. Now I keep cool by getting my head/back of neck wet with water after about 20 minutes and sometimes putting a few drops in my mouth, but actually drinking little until my hour long run is almost done. I haven't had a problem since. I guess it was more for external hydration for me, than internal, although internal is important for sure! Outside running may not require the external as much depending on weather. I'm up to 6.5 miles, which for me is unbelievable (couldn't do that in high school!). Don't know if that's helpful, but sometimes the body tells you what you need, I just wasn't listening for a long timeB-)
I agree that's its a very personal thing. At a shorter distance, 6 miles or less, I don't drink until I am finished. I do drink some before i head out and then drink a whole 32 oz when I'm done but nothing while I run. At the longer distances, I drink to wash down my gels and start this about mile 6 then again every few miles after that. I do run around my neighborhood and do laps around the area so I do leave my water bottle available without carrying it. As the weather changes though that also might change so I think you need to listen to your body. I find that is the biggest thing you'll need to learn as part of your training program. To really listen to your body because it will tell you what it needs....just be sure to pay attention to what its saying.
TRUST THE TRAINING!
I agree with the "drink when thirsty only" advice - though, it is personal preference. I carry water with me for anything longer than 30 minutes (heck, it takes me that long to get my joints moving!) ... I'll drink one swig at 30 minutes, and then every 15 minutes after that. Once I complete my run, I drink much more (however, I do spit out every fifth sip - personal preferrence ).
I'm on a statin, and it really keeps my legs tired after about 45 minutes - and found that the Clif gels work wonders for this issue, as well ... and, you'll definitely want a drink after those things, they're gritty.
Heart Attack Survivor (Sept 15, 2008)
Beginning Runner (Feb. 2009)
Race Schedule 2009:
1) 4/18/09 --- Run For Cover 5K ... CHECK
2) 5/25/09 --- Memorial Day 5K ... CHECK
3) 8/09 --- Too Hot To Handle 15K
4) 12/13/09 --- White Rock Half-Marathon
5) 4/25/10 --- Oklahoma City Half-Marathon
I had a good test of my "only when thirsty" mantra today. Traveled to another town to run a 10k and was interviewed by the local TV station just before the start, which made me a bit nervous (dry mouth!... and just FYI, I am not a 'notable' runner... the interview was a random pick-a-person-out-of-crowd thing). The last 10k I ran had zero water stations, while today's race (bigger & better organized) had SIX, in addition to refreshments at the end. Once the race got started, my nerves-induced thirst subsided and I passed the first 4 stations without taking a cup. At the 5th I felt slightly thirsty so I took one sip, then at the finish I had about 4 ounces of PowerAde. Felt great. However, it was only 42 degrees and I was running at a comfortable pace because I have a hilly 12k race next weekend and didn't want to overdo it this weekend. In warmer weather or if I had been pushing myself harder today, I would have felt thirsty sooner.
Lots of good recommendations. I don't run with water for 30 min. runs unless it's hot out (70 or above). Even then, I try to plan to run where I can hit a water fountain. In the summer, I do suck it up and bring a small water bottle with me. I also tend to jump in the kiddy pool in the back yard when I'm done! Good luck and keep running....