Whether you are new to long distance running or have a few marathons under your belt, it is important to pay attention to every detail in order to prevent body breakdowns. You have gotten yourself prepared for tackling the long distance through a regular training program to increase your endurance and ability to rise up to the challenge of long distance running. Do not allow small changes to cause problems for you on race day.
We all know about the importance of hydration for an optimal run. Problems can occur with too little hydration as well as too much hydration. Too little water can easily lead to dehydration. Not drinking enough water is only one part of dehydration. Caffeinated beverages, sinus medications, or other cold meds can also cause you to lose too much fluid becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can quickly disable your run.
Too much water can lead to over hydration or a condition known as hyponatremia, low sodium in the blood. Sodium is an important ion for cellular function in your body. Symptoms of low blood sodium include nausea, fatigue, vomiting, weakness, and sleepiness in the early stages. Without prompt treatment, hyponatremia can lead to severe problems including seizure, coma, and death. Hyponatremia often results from improper hydration in the days leading up to the race and too much hydration while the running. While there are serious consequences for either too much or too little hydration, both of these conditions will quickly get you picked up by the medical van or stopped off at the medical tent.
Your Austin podiatrist has a list of tips available on our Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists website to avoid these problems. In short, including a normal intake of sodium and water in the days leading up to and including race day will allow your body to retain fluid and prevent large losses of water. Be sure to take the time to hydrate yourself in the days leading up to the race and limiting the number of pit stops you make. Chances are your race will have more stops for water than you will need. Keep these things in mind and your training and preparation will pay off in a race well run without any breakdowns to plague you later.