Ask the Coach

QI found an old article that you wrote about hydration. It is really well written, but I face the problem of being a heavy sweater. Over a 75 minute session, I lose around 6 lbs. Is there an electrolyte product that could give water more of an impact during training? Because I can’t drink enough to keep close to that sweat-rate. Should I add more salt to my diet?  –Mitch R.

AHi Mitch-  First, you do not need to drink enough to meet your sweat rate. It would be really challenging drink enough to completely offset the amount of fluids that you lose.  Also, you risk going overshooting and landing in the realm of hyponatremia which could be even more detrimental than dehydration. A general recommendation is to try to meet about 1/2-2/3 of your sweat loss during activity. Since your sessions are only around 75 minutes this is not as imperative as it would be for a several hour run where dehydration would have a much stronger effect. Your main focus should be on consistent hydration throughout the day especially after your workouts. There isn’t a product that I would recommend that could totally negate the fluid loss but any fueling product that you use (gels, blocks, bars, drink, etc.) will have a small amount of electrolytes that will be ample for a the length of workout that you are doing. It is a misconception that we need a lot of electrolytes during moderate length activities. You are better off just focusing on drinking an appropriate amount (1/2-2/3 losses), taking in fuel when needed and then consuming a recovery snack and fluids as soon as you finish your workout.   –Alicia

QI’m having a lot of issues with meal planning as I don’t really know how to cook so constantly eat the same few things, and get sick of them quickly and then return to my old habits. I try to search online or at the bookstore for recipes and ideas but get overwhelmed but the vast amount and don’t know what’s good etc. I was wondering if you have any websites, cookbooks, or other resources you could recommend that could give me ideas for easy things to plan and prepare as I don’t have much time during the week and have very few skills in the kitchen. I really appreciate your help!  –Emily F.

AHi Emily!  Below are a handful of my favorite recipe sites. The first four are blogs but the recipes are really fun and tasty. The last three are more comprehensive recipe databases. I recommend that you just pick out 1-2 new recipes to try each week and make them in bulk. If you really like them then you can keep them in your routine and if you don’t like them just try one or two new ones the next week. Then you will have a handful of go-to recipes that you can make in bulk and have on hand throughout the week and it will seem less daunting to make the right choices.

Have fun with it! Find recipes that you look forward to eating and make sure to fill up on mostly plant based foods.

QI saw your interview on GingerRunner and was wondering if I could ask you a couple of questions? I’ve been training for trail/ultra races for the past 2 years and instead of getting stronger over time, I seem to be getting more fatigued and lethargic. I eat a really clean vegan diet, am mindful of recovering after races and hard workouts, get at least 8 hours of sleep and do all the other things should should be giving me energy. I’m starting to get really frustrate and having trouble getting through easy recovery runs or even walking up the stairs! Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you!  –Sara G.

AHi Sara-  There could be a few many different contributors. You could be training more than your body or lifestyle can handle at the moment and you simply need a longer period of rest (more than a week) before launching into another training segment. However, it would be really wise to first get some blood tests done and have your doctor evaluate them to see if you have any deficiencies or any other red flags. Sometimes something as simple as low iron,  vitamin D or thyroid can contribute to feeling more fatigued than normal. I would recommend that you start with those two possibilities before looking into other contributors.   –Alicia

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