This Week on Trail Tip Thursday…
When taking a day hike, walk, or run in the woods, it is extremely important to pack enough water for your journey. If it is a short journey, such as a sub-5k run, or a leisurely walk, you might be fine without any water to travel with at all. Since the activity is so short in duration, as long as you are taking the steps necessary to get yourself hydrated prior to it, you should be more than fine without bringing extra water with you. If it is a hot day, definitely listen to what your body wants; as much advice as I could give, you are still the one who knows the most about what your body is feeling.
But on longer journeys, like an Adirondack hike, 10k run, or walking parts of the Appalachian Trail, having water to drink is imperative to keep your body firing strong. Without enough water, you could experience things like muscle cramping, accelerated fatigue, excessive dry mouth, and will not make your journey as enjoyable as you planned on… Unless you were going for the “I want to be tired and miserable and stranded in the woods” kind of day, then you are right on track!
Since it is sometimes unknown when the next fresh water station might be, you don’t want to be stuck traveling for miles with a dry mouth and empty water bottle; you need to prepare against dehydration when traveling long distances. Luckily, this is 2017 and we have the access of information to be smarter on the trails than those who originally blazed them.
This link here is a Hydration Calculator courtesy of Camelbak and the University of Connecticut’s Korey Stringer Institute, one of the nation’s leading research groups focused on health and safety issues in sports. It takes into account your age, weight, height, sweat levels, activity type, the intensity of activity, weather conditions, and even how hydrated you are right now! Once you enter all of that in, it will generate a guideline for how much water will be needed based on the nature of your journey.
You happened to read this and running isn’t your forte? No problem! It can guestimate the amount of energy you will expend (thus, assuming how much water you will need) for sports like skiing/snowboarding, biking, walking, and hiking. So regardless of if it is a casual trip on the trails, or you are preparing for race day, having enough water for your activity is an extremely underrated performance enhancing technique that many of us should pay more attention to. If you want help beyond just finding out the amount of water to drink, like sports supplementation, race day preparation, etc. contact me so I can help create a plan that will work for you.
Thank you, and I hope you enjoyed this week’s Trail Tip Thursday! If you want to stay up to date with my coaching, writing, and personal journey, be sure to follow me on social media! Thank you for your support.