Hydration

I like to gather different data when I am training. Some of the data is the same as many other athletes and coaches gather, but what I want to write this blog about, is hydration. I am heavier than most cyclists, runners, and triathletes. This is one of the reasons I have to manage my fluids and hydration properly. Another reason I have to track it so much, due to the fact that during training rides, I tend to log extra miles and/or get lost.

One of the ways I gather and log the data, in order to learn and make corrections, is I weigh myself before I go for a run or bike ride. I write down my weight and then how much water and/or fluids I take in during the run. When I return from the run or bike ride, I then reweigh myself. I subtract the return weight from the beginning weight and add back in the weight of what I consumed during training. This gives me how much weight in sweat that I lost during the training. I write down the information along with the temperature and humidity during the session. This helps me to know, roughly, what is going to happen to my body during the race.

Example: (beginning weight – after training weight) + weight of water or fluids taken in during training

                        179 – 174 = 5   5 – 0 = 5 pounds of sweat lost during the run

The above example shows a starting weight of 179, with an after the training weight of 174, with no fluid intake during the training. This means I lost over half a gallon of sweat. I know from past training and racing that during a 10km or similar race, I am not affected much by losing this much sweat. I if it was going to a long race day, though, I know I would need to take in fluids during the race, and most likely the day before or the morning of the race.

Another way to test my hydration plan, or what sometimes turns out to be the lack of hydration plan, is to plan a ride or run during the heat of the day, instead of the cooler morning or evening. I do this when I know that I have some events or races coming up that are likely going to be hot. I will take the same type of hydration that I would be using the day of the event and make the training very similar to the type of course and distance of the event. This will let me know if my plan is going to work or what I need to do to adjust it, if needed. For example, the other day I went out for a distance ride and took the same amount of water I would try to consume during the ride leg of a half distance triathlon. When the ride was over I felt good with my hydration and the amount of fluids I took in.

The last way I will address is a simple way for me to track my hydration. When I have enough fluids the day and night before a big training day or race day, I normally have to get up once or twice in the middle of the night to use the restroom. I know if I am hydrated before a big training day or race by how many times I have to use the restroom and the color of my urine. I know most people have seen the color of your urine chart, and I am a firm believer that I can predict how much fluid I am going to need during the race or training day by this chart.

Do you track your sweat?

Do you track your fluid intake before, during, after training or on off days?

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6 thoughts on “Hydration

  1. Not something i do track althoigh its something im very aware. On the bike i typically consume 750ml per 25 miles of road riding. A mate will get though 500ml over the course of a 50miler. Ive tried consuming less and end up with horrendous headaches.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. my BIGGEST downfall… drinking enough water! i now have an app to remind me to drink water… sad as it is, it works! I would happily sit at my desk for a week and possibly drink less than a litre the WHOLE week with out even realising until i couldn’t keep my eyes open, my body ached and i my workouts suffered…
    So yah, was a huge challenge to be more mindful about it, but wow, what a difference its made!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our son is on the swim team and we noticed he was not drinking enough. We challenged him to do the same workouts at practice and drink more water during the week, my wife watched and he drank an extra 2 quarts a day for that week. The following weekend swim meet he dropped 2 – 3 in every event. Not much, but just water the trick is not to drink too much or too little.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know I should be better with it, but usually forget to drink. I set a timer on my bike computer to tell me to drink every ten minutes, which is helping. Knowing your sweat rate is important, but the outside temperature can mean you need to drink less when it’s cool and more when it’s hot. I’m riding 6 hours tomorrow and it’ll be mid 70’s out and I will probably not feel the need to drink as much. Last weekend was much warmer and I couldn’t get enough.

    Liked by 1 person

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