It is one week away from the 14th Steamtown Marathon. This is the second of three columns dedicated to those dedicated runners preparing for the big day, October 12, 2009.
I would like to take this time to congratulate and thank Bill King, race director, and his band of brothers, for their tireless efforts organizing and sustaining a great race that instills pride for all people of NEPA. It has inspired many people, myself included, to transfer the discipline and determination required to complete a marathon, to improving the quality of each day by conquering life’s challenges one mile at a time.
Therefore, I thought it fitting to share information regarding the prevention of dehydration for the marathon and recreational runner:
Dehydration is a major cause of fatigue, loss of coordination, and muscle cramping leading to poor performance. Prehydration, (drinking before exercise) is the first step in preventing dehydration. Marathon runners, other long distance runners and cyclists often prehydrate1-2 days before a big event. Rehydration, (drinking during or after exercise) is the second step in preventing dehydration. While athletes may be more vulnerable to dehydration, all persons engaging in exercise would benefit from increased performance, delayed muscle fatigue and pain by maintaining adequate hydration. Proper prehydration would include drinking 12-16 ounces of water 1-2 hours before exercise. Athletes with other health issues should consult their family physician before engaging in long distance endurance sports.
American College of Sports Medicine Hydration Recommendations:
Visit your doctor regularly and listen to your body.
If you missed it, go back and read Part I of this series, "Prevention of Running Injuries."