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The Goldilocks Principle says ‘something’ must fall within two margins, not too much and not too little, and so it is with hydration for runners. You must consume enough to prevent dehydration, but you must not drink too much.
When training for long races, it is critical that runners determine an effective hydration plan. It’s not as simple as some would like, and there is a great quantity of misinformation floating around. Few elements of running training and race planning are as critical as this. Getting it wrong can quickly ruin a long run or race.
You’ll need to find out how much you can drink and what to drink without gastric distress. You’ll need to discover how often to drink, and you’ll need to know what your body needs to perform well. That’s a lot to think about, but if you’re going to be a serious runner and run long distances, this is as important as any other facet of training. In fact, since over hydration – hyponatremia – can be fatal, it’s probably the most important element of your training. It’s essential that you get this right.