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How to Spot the Symptoms of Dehydration When Running

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Running often pushes you past your comfort zone and, done in a safe way, this can lead to performance gains. Pushing yourself to the limit is the basis of many training programmes!

However, there is a difference between pushing yourself safely and going too far. Once the temperatures increase, we need to account for the heat in our approach to training and racing. If not, you may find yourself succumbing to the symptoms of dehydration. 

I once suffered from this at the end of a hot and hilly 10 mile race and I can tell you, it wasn't pleasant and the symptom came out of no-where. Immediately after crossing the finish line I felt fine, however after a few minutes I felt like I just needed to sit down in the shade. And then needed to quietly lie down. Next thing I knew I had a doctor perched over me forcing fluid down my throat (the race didn't have any IV fluids to hand) and telling me to fight the urge to pass out as then I wouldn't be able to drink and things would get much worse. I hovered on the edge of consciousness for just long enough to drink gallons of sports drink and after about 90 minutes started to feel less ill.

Where I went wrong that day was drinking too much in the morning - I just weed it all out before the race and then not drinking enough during the race.

How to Spot Dehydration:

1. Thirst. Sounds obvious but ensure that you are prepared and have an electrolyte infused drink to hand.

2. Headache - never a good sign especially whilst running. 

3. Tingly hands and feet - this was what I had and to this day, if I'm running and the tingles start, I stop straight away.

4. Dry mouth - if your mouth is constantly dry then chances are you're starting to become dehydrated.

5. Muscle cramps - like many of these symptoms, cramp can occur even when not dehydrated but when combined with the other symptoms is a sign that you are.

6. Feeling light-headed or confused - if this happens you need to stop immediately, rest, breathe long deep breaths and have a drink.


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