Saturday, July 17, 2010

Marathon Training, Electrolytes, and Burnout

In spite of my best intentions, and it being one of those rare sunny Cleveland days, I felt way to fatigued to get out and do the track workout yesterday. Mentally, I was completely burned and physically, I felt wrung out. So when 5:00 rolled up, I was not motivated to go out and do even an easy run. I actually felt like taking a long nap.

In fact, I could hardly keep my eyes open throughout the day.

So instead of going through my mental motivation exercise, I stayed in and read in between some really long blinks.

This morning I got off to an early start, chose the 2-hour loop and took it easy on the hip.

The temperature was already in the upper 70’s and climbing fast when I started. And after just over a mile out, I was sweating profusely. No worries. I had two 16-oz bottles of water with me. But some of the sweat flowed into my mouth. And that’s when I had my epiphany.

Back before I ran the Cleveland Marathon, my sweat had the taste of seawater. But of late, it has been tasting more like bottled water.

The temperatures here for the past month have been high. I’ve been out on the road training for two or more hours a day, sweating the entire time. My diet has consisted mainly of fruit (honeydew melon, watermelon, cantaloupe, and LOTS of oranges), grains (cereals and breads), and coffee (yum).

I’ve been slowly bleeding the salt out of my body and I haven’t been replacing it.

Which leaves me thinking about my overall electrolyte balance.

According to the Merck Manual of Health and Aging, the symptoms of hyponatremia, or low sodium levels, are confusion, drowsiness, muscle weakness, and seizures. So far, I’ve experienced mild confusion, drowsiness, and muscle weakness.

I don’t intend to let this get to the point of seizures.

From now until the Dayton AFB Marathon in September, I’ll have to cut back on the mileage and focus more on strength and speed. That means more hill work, more track work, more tempo runs…

…and maybe some more salt in my diet.

Run today, 2 hour loop.

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