Living at altitude creates its own unique set of circumstances when it comes to hydration. The high altitude of Steamboat Springs requires athletes to really pay attention to their hydration needs as we ramp up our summer activity and prepare for the Steamboat Marathon. Race hydration will play a big part in your success.
These quick tips below will help you get through the race successfully!
- Stay hydrated: Unlike big city races, the Steamboat Marathon does not have an aid station at every mile. This requires a well-practiced hydration schedule in training that should include the athlete carrying a hand held bottle or hydration pack, if you then choose to use either of these devices on race day you will be familiar with them. The high altitude sun and cold can sap your body of extra fluids so replenishing is important. Think about drinking 3 to 6 ounces of water every 20 minutes in a race and remember that 1 large sip is about 1 ounce.
- Know your sweat rate: a great way to test this is to weight yourself before and after a training session of one hour with no water ingested during the session. Plan on drinking 16 ounces of water for every pound lost and depending on conditions this might equate to a good plan during the race, 16 ounces per hour.
- When taking gels and other energy on course be sure to drink water after consumption as to reduce risk of gastrointestinal upset.
- If the day is hot make sure to ingest electrolytes in the form of a sports drink or even electrolyte tablet during the race and in training. Salt and electrolyte tabs such as Hammer Endurolytes, Salt Stick and S-Caps typically have anywhere from 40 to 250 mg of sodium per capsule. Tailwind sports drink out of Durango has about 300 mg of sodium per serving as well and is a great alternative. Replacing electrolytes is also important if you are drinking very large quantities of water to avoid hyponatremia.
- Check the color of your urine. It should be light yellow colored, the darker, the more dehydrated you are and even a 1 percent change in bodyweight due to dehydration can negatively affect your performance.
- Finally give your bladder a break by consuming 16 to 24 ounces of water at least 1 hour prior to the race to ensure enough time for a bathroom stop pre-race.