Hydration is good for ________

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Fascia!

Your fascia is just reason #999 to stay well hydrated.

Fairytales and Fitness

What is Fascia?
Fascia is all the rage/buzzworthy right now, but what exactly is your fascia? Short disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional, fitness expert, or fascia expert. Fascia gives you shape. I know you think it’s your bones, but your fascia surrounds all your bones, your organs, your muscles. It’s actually what keeps you upright.

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It’s made up of ground substance, and that ground substance has collegen fibers and blood vessels — and a whole lot more. Click herefor a really deep dive into fascia (it’s fascinating!). I also highly suggest watching the Fuzz lecture here.

Your fascia actually gives your body feedback on your the state of your muscles, and is important in proprieception (figuring out where you are in time and space).

Makes sense that taking care of our fascia is important, right?

Ground Substance is thirsty
Ground substance is 70% water. Many liken it to a sponge, as you can see in this post here:

When a sponge dries out it becomes brittle and hard. It can easily be broken with only a little force because of how crispy it has become. However, when a sponge is wet and well hydrated it gets springy and resilient. You can crush it into a little ball and it bounces back. You can wring it and twist it, but it is difficult to break.

Hydration is important to your fascia, and once you’re dehydrated, it begins to stiffen and stick to itself — and you feel knots and stiffness, too. You can’t completely hydrate your fascia by drinking more, but good hydration is a good first step to keep your fascia happy.

Fascia is also hydrated by movement (this is where foam rolling can come in), although not by repetitive movement — like running — which is why cross training is so important. Running can be good for your fascia — but only running, not so much.

Rest is important too (you know I’m always harping on that!). Tom Myers, an expert on fascia and author of Anatomy Trains (Amazon Affiliate link here),  writes:

The fascia gets temporarily weaker and then comes back stronger after a heavy workout. Always alternate work-outs with periodic rest to allow for maximum integration and strengthening of the fascial network.

You can also check out his YouTube channel here.

Coach Debbie @ Coachdebbieruns is a Fasical Stretch Therapist. Read her post hereabout how FST can make you a better runner (someday we’ll be able to do this again!).

Did you know what fascia is?

Are you more motivated to help your fascia stay happy?

What do you do when you feel stiff in the morning?

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ICYMI: Feeling in need of a longer stretch after a run? When I shot my postrun stretch  video for the 21 Day Yoga Challenge (sign up here), I went a little long on my first try. Like double the amount of time that short video should have been. When you have time to take more time stretching it out, try out my new Post Run Stretch Video here.

My #1 Race Pet Peeve

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I’m sure most runners right about now would be willing to overlook a lot of race faux pas if they could just race! Today’s subject was “What was the worst thing that ever happened to you at a race?”.

I’ve been lucky; nothing horrible has ever happened to me at a race. Instead I’m sharing one of my biggest race pet peeves.

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Water. Sometimes it makes or breaks a race | Photo by Meir Roth on Pexels.com

Running out of water!
This is what drove me to always carry water when I race — no matter what the distance is. Even for a 5k. I am a thirsty runner. Not only that, but did you know that your fascia (the webbing that surrounds pretty much everything in your body) gets more tangled the more dehydrated you are? I’ll be telling you more on Friday about that!

Some of the stiffness you feel post race (or the next day) can actually be traced to dehydrated fascia. It’s enough to drive you to drink!

Bottoms up
I have run numerous races where they’ve run out of cups, run out of water, or run out of both. Some only for the BOTPers like me — some for even the speedy runners. I understand that trying to figure out how much to get is a science, and that when the weather is not as predicted that can throw a real monkey wrench in things.

Maybe I can understand running out of water when it’s unseasonably hot (and not predicted to be so). But cups? That’s just disorganization. I know that putting on a race is not easy, but it seems to me that should never happen.

There is still nothing worse than running a really hot race, coming up to an aid station, and finding it dry (as dry as you are). Or finding they actually do have water — but no cups!

I’ve had some hot races with no water where I’ve given serious consideration to stealing someone’s water bottle — before I started to always carry my own water.

What’s your biggest race pet peeve? 

Do you already have a plan for your first race post C19 (whenever that may be)? 

Have you had races run out of water or cups or both? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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5 Reasons I Love a Hydration Vest

When it comes with hydrating during a race, I think I’ve almost tried it all. I wrote about the first five ways I’ve tried hydrating here. At one time or another they were all my favorites. But then something about them annoyed me, and I moved on.

My most recent half marathon was a trail race, and there was only one aid station for each 4+ mile loop. Maybe you can run without water for 4+ miles, but I knew I needed something more.

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to talk about 5 reasons I love my hydration pack.

I can carry more water
Like way more water. And it really helped me in training for my trail half, as I ended up running on some very hot days. There were times I had about 50 ounces of water in the bladder; the most I can carry with a handheld bottle is 20 ounces, and the most I’ve carried with a fuelbelt was thirty.

I can put ice cubes in to keep the water cool
It is much easier to put ice cubes into than water bottles due to the larger opening.

The only drawback is the water in the drinking tube will heat up because it’s exposed to the elements, so sometimes you’ll get a little warm water until you reach the water from the bladder.

Apparently some people keep their bladder half filled in the freezer, which also helps to kill bacteria (darn things are difficult to dry out, I found out) — I didn’t try this, and I rarely have a whole lot of room in my freezers anyway.

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I never had to stop at an aid station at all

It feels lighter
To me it feels much, much lighter than any other way I’ve tried to carry water. Not everyone feels that way — I chatted with a friend who tried one and to her it felt heavy.

It frees up some space in my pockets
I am able to put my phone in the zippered pocket in back. And a small first aid kit. No water bottles in my pockets.

I have plenty of space for food in my pockets!

It frees up my arms
One of my big problems with both a fuel belt and a handheld bottle, although for years I happily used both, is that it effects my arm swing. The bottles on the fuel belt always seemed to get in my the way of my arms, and of course carrying a bottle in your hand definitely effects your arm swing.

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Apparently I wasn’t the only one who liked it — Bandit kept photobombing me!

So let me know in the comments:

Favorite way to hydrate during a race?

Could you race 4+ miles before an aid stop?

Do you ever find yourself running out of pocket space? No matter how many pockets I have, it never seems to be enough!

5 Ways to Hydrate in a Race

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There are a surprising number of ways to hydrate during a race. Maybe relying on the water stops works for you; maybe they’ve let you down in the past. Today I’m sharing some of the ways I’ve hydrated in races (and one way I’ve yet to try).

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to talk about 5 reasons I love racing.

Rely on water stops
There’s the obvious choice: simply rely on the water stops. When you’re BOTP, however, you can’t always expect that water will be waiting for you. Sometimes you can’t expect it if you’re fast!

Some of my best races have been races where I did choose to rely on water stops. For most races that are 55F or more, I usually have at least one alternative handy.

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That handheld bottle in my left hand helped in a miserable race

Use a handheld water bottle
I know, I know, you’re thinking you would hate to ever have to hold a water bottle in your hand. That’s what I thought, too, until I won a small handheld water bottle one day and then tried it.

Those little handheld bottles have helped me get through more than one race when the water stops, for whatever reason, were out of water or cups. Most have a small pocket, which allows you to carry keys or gels, too.

There’s no getting around the fact that it can alter your gait, and yes, it can be a little tiring for your arms. The good news is that it gets lighter as you drink your water.

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Love Amphipod products

Use a fuel belt
I used a fuel belt in the beginning for quite a few races. I settled one from Amphipod, similar to this one (Amazon Affiliate link), and I loved the fact that it was easily customizable.

I could carry four 10 ounce water bottles and have pockets for my fuel and phone, too. It was comforting to know I could carry all my own water (and not have to worry about fighting over to a water stop in large races) and be able to drink when I was thirsty.

Eventually, however, I got tired of the bouncing and the fact that it would cause chafing on my back.

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The small ones fit in my pockets — my go-to way to carry water in a race

Flipbelt water bottles
This is my current method of choice to carry a little water with me in a longer race. As you can see, I have tried a lot of different methods, and they all have their pros and cons. this past training cycle (spring 2017) I’ve been experimenting with drinking more water on the run.

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I don’t like large belts around my middle, but it is a good way to carry water!

I love the fact that the 6 ounce Flipbelt water bottle (Amazon Affiliate link) will fit into a pocket, whether that pocket is on a coat, a skirt, tights or capris. I’m covered if I get thirsty between water stops and I can also have the volunteers refill my water bottles, although be aware that sometimes they aren’t really prepared for that and you might lose more time than you’d like.

Use a hydration pack
I haven’t yet tried a hydration pack. I know that people seem to really like them and it sounds appealing to have your hands free and more water at your disposal.

I worry about tearing up my pretty running clothes. I know fuel belts used to do that.

So let me know in the comments:

Do you use a hydration pack? Does it rough up your running clothes?

What’s your preferred way to hydrate in a race?

Have you ever weighed yourself before & after a run to determine your hydration needs ?