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.
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.