|Running is so complicated!|
Do I drink exactly at my sweat rate per hour during an ultra? Or do I drink exactly "to thirst"?
Do I always eat 4 calories per kg of body weight during a race?
Are Hokas the shoes that will prevent running injuries? Or is it Inov-8s?
The longer I'm in this running gig, the more I'm learning that simple answers are rarely useful ones. But the desire of the black-and-white mindset! After all, many of us would say life is busy and complicated enough. If someone could give me the formula.... "Eat 140 cals/hr of Perpetuem, drink 524 ml/hr of water and wear x-talon 212s. Tape your left pinky toe with Rocktape, use an UltrAspire pack, drink 117 ml of Coke at the 57 km mark. Wear Compressport calf guards and yell "Yeee haw" at the start line. Then you'll win."
And never have nausea. And never be injured. And always want to run, every day, even the long, hard sessions, even after a really crap long day at work when it's 40 degrees and you have no one to run with.
On my Sunday run, I noticed my hands were swelling up a bit. This happens occasionally. When I race, I take off my rings, just in case. I was trying to remember...was that due to dehydration, overhydration, low electrolytes, too many electrolytes, a full moon??
|Sunday's luscious but hot 4hr hill run - summer's coming!|
However, two years ago, I took it as a reliable indicator of something. I just can't remember what. It would have been the first thing I googled.
Now, as a more discerning googler, I can find evidence arguing that swollen hands is caused by dehydration, overhydration, heat, and increased blood flow to the extremities. If I searched long enough, I'd probably also find it is caused by a full moon.
Having only reached page 29 of Tim Noakes' 400+ page "Waterlogged," I realise already that I started the book wanting to find "the answer" to hydration. He is, thus far, very verbosely setting the stage for his main argument - that runners should be drinking to thirst alone. They should not drink a prescribed amount or drink "before" they are thirsty, in order to ward off the dreaded monster of Dehydration.
|I wonder how heavy the can is?|
So far, I'll give him two points:
(1) Humans are biologically adapted to survive. We have a physiology and hormones that promote our ability to cool ourselves during exercise and to maintain a balance of water and electrolytes to survive during endurance exercise (That said, we're also bloody inefficient, in that 75% of the energy produced by our muscles when we run is wasted as heat, not propulsion - we're like incandescent light bulbs!).
(2) The kidneys have a limited capacity to process/excrete fluid. The maximum is likely around 600 ml/hr in smaller athletes like me with an upper limit of less than 1000 ml/hr for the biggest of athletes. (Of course, some fluid is lost to evaporation/sweat, as well, but this intimates a maximum a person could drink before becoming overfull of fluids. And interestingly, one of the first signs of excess drinking in test subjects was diarrhoea).
But can everyone simply run with such a simple formula? Drink to thirst?
He's got 370 more pages to convince me. At the size of this book, I might become Booklogged before I get to the finish line.