Sunday, 29 May 2005


Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, May 29, 2005 with 1 comment
An interesting article in June Vetrunner on over-hydration during marathons. I want everybody to read it carefully; read between the lines; so that you are NOT left with the impression that hydration is no longer a problem in marathons.

Consider my own experience with marathons. I could never get enough fluid despite drinking immediately before the races I went in, and at every drink station except the last.

Without exception whenever I ran a marathon at full intensity I would lose about 2kg (5 lbs) in weight from the start to the end of the race; most of this being fluid.

IF YOU LOSE WEIGHT DURING MARATHONS, try and get more fluid in. NOT JUST WATER: an electrolytic sports drink is ideal.

If you don't lose weight during marathons, maybe it is because you are running easily, in which case the sentiments expressed in the article may apply, and in these circumstances you should probably intentionally avoid excess fluid intake.

If it applies to marathon races it applies to training too; you will note in my long easy runs I don't bother to carry water as I believe my drinks before and after the training run will suffice. The pace is slow enough to get away with it.

Also consider other factors: if you drink coffee on marathon day you will need more fluid during the marathon; if you drank alcohol the night before you are even more susceptible to dehydration (although why drink alcohol before a marathon? It can be positively dangerous).

So if I have had a "night out" before a long training run, I DO carry water.

But I cannot believe this doctor quoted in the article has never seen a critical dehydration case as the result of a marathon. Or perhaps all the runners he has seen are plodders not racers.

And I disagree strongly with the suggestion that you should wait until you urinate before taking on water. That is completely crazy and counter-intuitive. If you are dehydrated you won't be doing much urinating. And you need quite a bit of fluid replacement after a demanding marathon before the body reverts to normal. I know, I have run 31 marathons.

Well, the article does come from the US. And is written by a journalist. q.e.d.

1 comment:

  1. I asked the originator of the article, Phill Toomey, for any comments on MY comment, and he replied.
    "Someone, I can't remember who, sent me the article recently which I read and found interesting and contary to my thinking too; not that I have run any marathons but have run in hot, dry conditions (34 degrees+) in Canberra and played AFL in hot,humid conditions in Darwin. I forwarded it onto to Jim and Doug for interest.

    "I'm certainly not offended by your 'post' comments in fact agree with them entirely.