It’s crit­i­cal to start a triathlon fully hy­drated. And this doesn’t just mean to top up on race day. Ath­letes need to drink wa­ter through­out the day, ev­ery day.

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES -

for things like hy­dra­tion, nerve im­pulses, mus­cle func­tion and ph level. There are sev­eral sports drinks on the mar­ket that sup­ply the full range of elec­trolytes. To find the right one for you, you need to de­ter­mine whether you are a “salty” sweater. In one study of triath­letes and en­durance ath­letes it was found that the sodium losses in sweat av­er­aged 1.5 grams per hour, with a range of 0.3 to five grams of sodium per hour. There is no easy way to de­ter­mine whether you are a salty sweater other than by ob­ser­va­tion. If your sweat tastes salty, burns in an open cut, burns your eyes or leaves streaks of white on your face, clothes and hat, then you are prob­a­bly a salty sweater and may need a sports drink with a higher sodium con­tent. Your sports drink should also in­clude potas­sium, cal­cium and mag­ne­sium. triath­lete. Spear-bur­rows has com­pleted six full dis­tance triathlons in which she came first in her age cat­e­gory twice, sec­ond once and fourth three times, one of which was at Kona. She has also com­pleted nu­mer­ous half iron dis­tance races and has been a com­pet­i­tive run­ner for 38 years. Spear-bur­rows is also a reg­is­tered nurse, so she has a good un­der­stand­ing of the science be­hind the re­search. She has also had prob­lems with de­hy­dra­tion her­self and is of­ten nau­seous in races, so she has had to re­search and ex­per­i­ment to de­velop a hy­dra­tion plan that works for her.

Spear-bur­rows first step was to com­plete a sweat test. She did this un­der var­i­ous weather con­di­tions, since de­hy­dra­tion is pos­si­ble in cold weather as well as hot. Know­ing how caf­feine boost, and finds it also helps her to keep nau­sea at bay. But even though she has a suc­cess­ful re­hy­dra­tion strat­egy, she is con­tin­u­ally mon­i­tor­ing her plan be­cause she has found that as she ages, her re­quire­ments are con­stantly chang­ing. For Spear-bur­rows, proper hy­dra­tion is one of the keys to her suc­cess and is just as im­por­tant as the train­ing.

It is very frus­trat­ing to pre­pare right, train hard, and eat well only to have a great race de­railed be­cause of de­hy­dra­tion. Take the time to understand your own per­sonal needs to stay prop­erly hy­drated dur­ing your race and stay out of the med­i­cal tent.

Triath­lete Doug Scott teaches Engi­neer­ing Tech­nolo­gies at the New Brunswick Com­mu­nity Col­lege.

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