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Thirst Threshold

9 02 2013

Or it would mean or simply understood as my personal Thirst Tolerance. It is the point where I could no longer tolerate my body not to be able to drink any fluid during a running workout. Beyond this period, I would start to slow down and walk, or sometimes becomes dizzy.

I had been doing this kind of experiment for the past weeks. I’ve done it during daytime and at night time and compared what my body would react during these times and conditions of the day.

Why am I doing this? It is a part of my training for my future adventure runs and hopefully, significantly will reduce the weight of fluid I would carry during these runs. Lighter weight being carried during the run would mean a fresher body that would last for more distance during a certain period of time.

It would also determine my training plan if I need to bring a hydration bottle or system in a workout whether it is a 30-minute recovery run or an hour of daily runs.

As a result of my experimentation, I would last up to 1 hour and 45 minutes without any fluid intake where my workouts would start at 10:00 AM up to Noon time. This is the maximum length of my workout where I could no longer sustain my pace without having to drink water or sports drinks. On average, I would cover a distance of 13.5-14 kilometers for the same period.

On night time, I usually do my experiment starting at 10:00 PM and I’ve observed that I could extend my thirst tolerance/threshold up to 2 hours. Beyond that, I would start to drag my feet and become slower in my pace. On average, I would cover a distance of 17-18 kilometers or slower because of the night/dark environment even if I am using a headlight.

However, before I start these experiment workouts, I must be able to drink at least 2 glasses of water and eat some snacks of fruits, bread, or left-over foods in the refrigerator.

In some clinical studies, it would show that adults over the age of 50 years have higher thirst threshold than the younger ones. It shows also that elder persons have lower water daily intakes of water than the younger ones. But for an elder active person like me, I think I have higher water daily intakes than the younger runners.

I am not telling you to do this kind of experiment in your running workouts. Always remember that, running is an experiment of one. What might be good for me might not be good for you!

Keep on running!

(Note: Don’t ask me how many glasses of water that I would drink every time I finished these workouts!)

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One response

10 02 2013
Ann Wilson Brennan

We just had this conversation this morning. Runners need to figure themselves out. Listen to your coach as much as you can but listen to your gut as well. I had not thought about the water threshold in these terms but after twenty years I do believe I have it figured out. Too many years of sloshy belly.

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