Look at the delicious water and Nuun.
The joy of heat is returning to North Carolina. Today is a mild 81, seriously that is mild for this time of year. Yesterday when I ran my Fartleks, it was 88. Oh, how I love (insert pure sarcasm here) hot weather. Seriously folks, I am Canadian born and raised. Yes, it can get hot in Canada during the summer yet the heat is not so HUMID. Here in North Carolina we have humidity with a capital H. For now the temps are nice and mild in the 80's, but give it another few weeks and the 90-100 range will be a daily adventure. A part of me is cringing just thinking about it and the fact that I will again be marathon training in the heat. I DO NOT LIKE EXTREME HEAT!! For me this is when hydration plays a key role in my training.
As I have mentioned before I am going to be running Hood To Coast with Nuun in August and that announcement alone made me want to pee my pants, but not due to over hydration more from pure excitement. Nuun has been my go to product for some years now, after I had a massive fail at the Disney Princess 1/2 in 2010 with Gatorade. Along the way I have come to realize that my body does not tolerate refined sugars so well and the fantastic part about Nuun is their product has none of that. Which is a good thing because sugar can also accelerate the dehydration process. The joy of being able to run with Nuun is that I am learning a few things that as a nurse I did not know. For instance did you know that on a daily basis at least 75% of people are dehydrated? That was a new statistic for me to read.
However, this blog post is not just to promote the greatness of Nuun. Most of you who read my blog on a regular basis know I tend not to promote products too often. All of my life I have been the type of girl who finds something I like and I stick to it. If I think highly of a product I do not mind spreading the word. Nuun ranks up high on the list for me. As I mentioned in the summer the heat in North Carolina goes full fledged and when I am out running I have to be safe. So what do I do?
- Hydrate!! I drink a little bit before I run and then if I am running more than 50 minutes I take water with a Nuun tab along with me to sip on. While I am out there I pay attention to my body. If I start feeling muscle fatigue, cramps, dizzy, nauseous, or I start getting a headache then I know I am not hydrating enough. Two others signs are an increased heart rate and a decreased performance. Hydration and electrolyte balance is a fine line. You do not want to over hydrate and you do not want to under hydrate. It is about finding the balance that works for you and the weather that you are running in. When I worked the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit I learned all about that fine balance, especially with children. We regularly calculated the amount a child took in and placed out then calculated that total with their weight in kilograms to get their averages. One little mistake too far or too little and there could be problems.
- Dress for the weather. If it is hot try to go as minimal as possible. My go to for summer is some short shorts and a tank or sports bra.
- Wear sunscreen and a baseball cap............stay safe out there.
- Go running in the early morning or late evening when the temps are less extreme. Last summer while marathon training I did a lot of my miles in the early morning before the sun came out. This meant wearing bright clothing, a head lamp, and carrying pepper spray of course. I like to be safe!! Sadly, even in those early mornings it was still hot just not as hot.
- If the weather temps are extreme and you know you are unable to get out early or later, then hit the treadmill. We have one in our house for this very reason. I have no hatred for my treadmill. We are friends. When the weather has been at points where I simply know it is not safe, well I run on my treadmill. In my mind a training run is a training run and I would rather be safe.
- If I had to sum all of this up the key word is SMART. Just be smart!! Know your body and what it can tolerate. Everyone is different. Know your surroundings and pay attention to the weather reports.
For me I know I am hydrating well if I am having to go pee at some point, even if that point is after the long miles and not during. Happy kidneys are important!!
What is your hot weather advice?
Do you use Nuun? What is your favorite flavor?