How To Hydrate For A Running Race (Common Mistakes)

Staying hydrated is quite important for a running race.

Staying hydrated is quite important for a running race.

As you know during running races, it is very important to keep yourself hydrated, especially if the weather is hot. In fact, hydrating yourself during races is just as important as your race performance itself.

But in their bid to keep themselves hydrated, runners may make mistakes. Here are some of the more common ones.

Carrying drink bottles to races

This is one of the worst mistakes that you can make on the day of the race. If you bring your own bottle of isotonic drink, you won’t be able to run as comfortably as you should – and it may even cause chafing.

All races provide hydration points every two or three kilometres along the route, for runners, so you should consume the drinks available at the water station rather than lugging a huge drink bottle around for the whole race.

Drinking new sports drinks

During races, runners tend to drink any sports drinks that are being offered. Most of the races in Singapore give 100 Plus – which is quite safe, but there are exceptions. If you have a sensitive stomach, not all sports drinks may be suitable for you and may cause unnecessary problems. Don’t wait for the day of the race to find this out.

What you should do is to find out what sports drink is being offered at the race. This is usually advertised on the website as the official hydration partner of that run. But if it’s not, contact the organisers. And if it’s a drink that you’re not familiar with, you should test it out first – during training sessions. If it causes problems, try and bring gels (not bottles of fluid) with you and consume these instead, during your race.

Taking Fluids in Short Races

It is common for runners to drink during races – no matter what the distance is. However, according to some studies, this may not be necessary for shorter races that last for less than an hour.

Going to the water stations may slow down your timing too, due to the constant stopping and drinking ritual.

Drinking too much

Some runners think that they’re water barrels and need to consume water at every hydration station. The human body doesn’t store excess water and instead, the additional water simply comes out as urine.

So if you drink too much, you may find yourself not just going for water stops, but needing toilet stops as well, during the race – thus wasting precious time.

In addition, drinking too much during races may unsettle the stomach – so just drink when you feel thirsty. The trick is to drink enough to keep yourself hydrated but not drown yourself in fluids.

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