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A lesson about hydration

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  • A lesson about hydration

    I started PB on august 25, 2011 and at that time agreed to run a half marathon 1/15/12 with my wife. I was 296lbs. I have diligently follow PB and actually got to down to a low weight of 240lbs last Thursday morning.

    I am not a big fan of water, but I do drink alot of sparkling water and coffee while on PB. I do 1 hour bootcamps mon wed fri mornings that are similar to crossfit, in a group setting. These workouts have been great and I love them. I did not run very much outside of the boot camp workouts while training for the half. I did run a 5K in October and a 10K at Thanksgiving. My idea was the best thing I could do for myself was to loose weight and get my cardio fitness up in order to complete the half without walking.

    So last week I did not go to any boot camps and Wednesday night I went for a final 6 mile run prior to the half marathon on Sunday. Everything felt great cardio wise but at 5.5 miles into the run my hamstring and calf fully cramped. I stretched for a minute took two steps and cramped again. Stretched, took two steps and cramped again. Then finally after a few minutes of more stretching I started to walk. I made it about a 1/4 mile and then decided that I needed to start running again to see if this happened during the race, if I could continue or drop out. I was able to slowly jog the last 1/4 mile back to my house without incident. So starting Thursday I started to hydrate. I went off of PB Thur/fri/sat and ate pasta, pizza, etc.. while consuming a gallon+ of water each day. I also ate a couple bags of salted sunflower seeds in order get alot of salt back into my system.

    As of Thursday morning I weighed 240 lbs. Then at 4:30am Sunday morning, prior to leaving for the race I weighed 257 lbs.

    Obviously I was severly dehydrated and did not even realize it. After reading here everything I could in regard to carb loading and hydration I really experienced what many people have said. Your muscles need the fuel necessary to be able to work for the 2+ hours of exertion during the race.

    I ran the whole half marathon (11:45 pace) and finished at 2:32.35 with no cramps and without walking at any point. I made sure to hit every gatoraid station during the race and I am very happy with the results.

    I do not have plans to run another one anytime soon, I am going to continue the bootcamps and probably just do a 5k every month or so, since I really do enjoy them.

    I just wanted to share the above information to those of you who may be training for their first half or full marathon.

    When I ran the 5K and 10K in October and November, I did not deviate from the PB way of eating. I also had no issues during those events.

    Good Luck with your goals and fitness.

  • #2
    Were you dehydrated? Almost certainly. Did the carbs help? Probably not. Some moderate healthy carbs (starchy vegetables and fruit) are one thing, and I find I do need them before or after major workouts (say an hour and a half playing hockey) but pizza and pasta? No. Don't need.

    But for the cramps, lots of water and some bananas would have worked just as well.


    • #3
      I've struggled with dehydration for a long time. When i went primal i committed myself to drinking at least a gallon of water a day. It's all about getting in the habit. At home that's all i drink is water, sometimes with crystal light in it. At work, a couple cups of coffee, and i fill a 16.9 oz bottle and put crystal light, then fill it 2 more times at least while at work. My struggle with dehydration stems from my bladder being overactive. Since going primal and staying hydrated, it has not been as overactive as in years past for some reason. Honestly as far back as i can remember, I was the kid in my family of 7 asking my parents to stop at a rest stop every hour. It was really annoying, so my reaction until lately was to be on the brink of dehydration and i'm sure it contributed to my rapid weight gain.


      • #4
        Thanks for the post. I'm in a similar situation. I have been doing PB for about a year, do boot camp 3 times a week, and have lost over 30kg of weight.
        In a couple of months I'm doing the tough mudder (a half marathon plus military style obstacles). On Saturday I'm starting my endurance training, I'll definitely pay more careful attention to keeping hydrated. Especially since it's summer here in Oz.


        • #5
          Cycling buddy swears by it...

          "The problem with quoting someone on the Internet is, you never know if it's legit" - Abraham Lincoln


          • #6
            Good story, thanks for sharing. I don't have much interest in running (ew), but I think dehydration and nutrition for marathons are interesting. I would probably echo the above sentiments that a better primal option would have been bananas and a bunch of water, but I don't have a problem with slipping to carb loading (although I would have gone mashed potatoes the days before instead of pasta) and gatorade for an extreme situation.

            Congratz on hitting your goal!
            Check out my blog at


            • #7
              So you decided to go from dehydration to water retention?
              In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.


              • #8
                Hydration is important any time you are exercising (and just in general) no doubt.

                A little bit of "carb loading" the week leading up to a big race (especially like a Half) is a pretty well known/accepted pre-race strategy. Mark even talked about it in recent articles about marathon training.

                But, nope, can't get on board with a pre-race pasta/pizza binge. Not that I didn't do similar the week/night before a big race in my pre-primal days. But, if I were to try that now, I'd be doubled over and bloated by the time I went to take the starting line.

                I'm currently attempting my first Half since going Primal. The first couple weeks were pretty light on the mileage, but I've been ramping up this week and I've begun experimenting with potato, sweet potato, white rice, etc. I imagine that when the final week comes and it's time to carb load that I will probably just up the quantities of those items and maybe add some fresh fruits, but I'm not sure yet. I'm going to see how it all goes.
                Re-focusing on the Primal Lifestyle in 2012!

                Starting: 221.0lb, 29.5% BF (1/9/2012)
                Latest: 208.9, 26.1% BF (3/19/2012)



                • #9
                  I manage to drink about 2 gallons a day without much effort. Anytime i use one of those electrolite supps they usually give me a stomach ache. I seem to have no problem with straight water. The only time i use an electrolite supp is if its very hot and im training outdoors.

                  I wanted to add that a couple times a day i add in about 4oz coconut juice to my water, it has what what doesnt and really helps with hydration
                  Last edited by The Scott; 01-26-2012, 06:08 AM.