Marathon Training 2019 Day 41: Dehydration Is Keeping Your From Achieving Your Running Goals, and Negatively Impacting Your Health

February 24 long run“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Today I ran for ~10 miles, primarily flat area, and then included 3 x 8-second hill sprints at the end. I made sure to stay well-hydrated before, during, and after this run, which relates to the Tip of the Day. Immediately after my run I performed the following stability, mobility, and strengthening exercises:

  • Leg swings forward and back with straight leg and bent leg (10 repetitions for each leg)
  • Leg swings side-to-side with straight leg and bent leg (10 repetitions for each leg)
  • Front lunges (while swinging opposite arm, 5 repetitions for each leg)
  • Lunges at a 45 degree angle in front (while swinging opposite arm, 5 repetitions for each leg)
  • Side lunges (5 repetitions for each leg)
  • Lunges at a 45 degree in back (5 repetitions for each leg)
  • Back lunges (5 repetitions for each leg)

Then I performed foam rolling, especially for hamstrings, quadriceps/hip flexors, and calves for ~15 minutes.

Recommendations: I recommend following the prescribed run according to the Fitness Training Program, as well as performing the prescribed exercises and a cool-down. Make sure to stay well-hydrate before, during, and after your run.

Tip of the day: Not being properly hydrated will negatively impact your running performance, thus prevent you from achieving your running goals, and can negatively impact your health. First, not being properly hydrated will affecting your body’s ability to carry oxygen to your running muscles, which is vital to energy production. As a result, you will most likely have to slow your pace, if you are dehydrated. Dehydration can also negatively impact your body’s ability to cool itself when you run, which can also force you to reduce your pace or have to stop altogether. Water is the environment that a lot of our body’s cells processes occur in, such as energy production, as well as other functions, and thus will be negatively affected when we are dehydrated.

In addition, to negatively impacting running performance, dehydration can have other effects. Mild dehydration, which many of us can experience, can lead to fatigue, hunger, headaches, and adverse effects on mood and energy, which can negatively impact our performance at work and our interactions with colleagues, friends, and loved ones. Severe dehydration can lead to blood clots, seizures, and other potentially fatal complications.

So stay hydrated. Typically, I have some water right before I start my runs. I also typically bring water with me during my runs, especially runs lasting longer than 30 minutes. I also have water right after I finish my runs.  During the rest of the day, you should continue to stay well-hydrated to help you with your performance for your next workout. At a minimum, you should consume the number of ounces equal to your body weight in pounds divided by 2. For example, I weigh 154 pounds. So, at a minimum I should consume 77 (154/2) ounces of water. For longer runs, and if you sweat profusely, you certainly will want to be consuming more. I recommend consuming water for any runs lasting longer than 30 minutes and recommend consuming enough water to quench your thirst every 15-20 minutes. One way to access hydration status is by checking your urine color. A pale yellow color urine occurring several times during the day are signs that you are most likely well hydrated. A dark yellow color most likely indicates that you are not properly hydrated, unless you are consuming supplements that affect urine color.

In a future posts, I will talk about electrolytes and nutrition during your runs.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or if I can be of help in any way.

Stay hydrated!

Your friend and coach,


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