Many athletes hold unscientific views regarding hydration: new study, statsPosted on September 3, 2011 by Stone Hearth News
Newswise — MAYWOOD, Il. --
Nearly half of recreational runners may be drinking too much fluid during races, according to a survey of runners by Loyola University Health System researchers. Expert guidelines recommend runners drink only when thirsty. But the Loyola survey found that 36.5 percent of runners drink according to a preset schedule or to maintain a certain body weight and 8.9 percent drink as much as possible.
Nearly a third of runners (29.6 percent) incorrectly believe they need to ingest extra salt while running. And more than half (57.6 percent) say they drink sports drinks because the drinks have electrolytes that prevent low blood sodium. In fact, the main cause of low sodium in runners is drinking too much water or sports drinks.“Many athletes hold unscientific views regarding the benefits of different hydration practices,” researchers concluded. The study was published in the June, 2011, issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Drinking too much fluid while running can cause a potentially fatal condition called exercise-associated hyponatremia. It occurs when runners drink even when they are not thirsty. Drinking too much during exercise can dilute the sodium content of blood to abnormally low levels. Drinking only when thirsty will prevent overconsumption of fluids. “It’s the safest known way to hydrate during endurance exercise,” said Loyola sports medicine physician Dr. James Winger, first author of the study.
Symptoms of hyponatremia can include nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, loss of energy, muscle weakness, spasms or cramps. In extreme cases, the condition can lead to seizures, unconsciousness and coma. In recent years, there have been 12 documented and 8 suspected runners’ deaths from hyponatremia, said Loyola exercise physiologist Lara Dugas, PhD, a co-author of the study.
The International Marathon Medical Directors Association recommends that runners drink only when thirsty. The Loyola researchers surveyed 197 runners who competed in the 2009 Westchester, Il. Veterans Day 10K and 5K runs and two other runs on Chicago’s lakefront. The 91 male runners, on average, had been running for 13 years and had run an average of 1.9 10K races and 0.9 marathons. The 106 women, on average, had been running 8.3 years and had run an average of 1.3 10K races and 0.7 marathons. In the survey, the runners generally said advertising by sports drink manufacturers had little or no influence on their beliefs. But the behaviors of many of the runners indicate otherwise.

During the 1980s and 1990s, sports drinks ads warned about the supposed dangers of dehydration, and recommend that runners drink as much as 1.2 liters (five cups) per hour. Sports drink manufacturers generally have stopped promoting overdrinking. But the unscientific beliefs persist that runners should drink as much as they can or according to a preset schedule. “We have been trained to believe that dehydration is a complication of endurance exercise,” Dugas said. “But in fact, the normal physiological response to exercise is to lose a small amount of fluid. Runners should expect to lose several pounds during runs, and not be alarmed.”

Winger is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Dugas is a research assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. The third co-author is Jonathan Dugas, PhD, director of clinical development at The Vitality Group.

Why You Need a Sports Massage By Tracy Endo • 
Regular indulgence in spa treatments is exactly what you need to recover this offseason and ultimately improve your triathlon performance. That’s right: spa treatments. Of course, for many of you, going to a spa to relax is far from the experience you’ll receive. Those tight muscles have been screaming out for a massage for a long time.

What is a Sports Massage?
A sports massage is typically a combination of several massage techniques that are tailored to your affected muscle groups based on the activities that you do. A properly administered sports massage can help flush the lactic acid out of your body. There are two types of sports massages that can benefit triathletes depending on when you schedule your appointment and your race schedule.
If you have a race coming up you will want to receive a lighter massage. But, if you are in between events and have specific issues, your sessions can focus on deep-tissue massages in problem areas.
So, what exactly is a sports massage and what will it do for a triathlete?
Athletic PerformanceContinual improvement is the reason you train in the dead of winter, hammer up the hills on the bike, do track work, and train in the pouring rain. Well, that is the same reason you should get a good sports massage. After a massage you’ll feel lighter, more powerful and more flexible, and all those nagging aches and pains can be addressed, helping to reduce the likelihood of injury.
Injury PreventionOne of the best reasons to get a sports massage is to help your muscles, tendons and joints move through their proper range of motion and stay in optimum shape. It’s just like that pre-workout warm-up you’re supposed to do. You want your muscles to be pliable and your joints warmed up before your exercise.
Many injuries are brought about by overusing certain muscles. This can result in soreness, pain and inflammation. Regularly scheduled sports massages can help reduce the likelihood of the muscles becoming overused in the first place and can also help reduce the initial inflammation that leads to injury.
It can also help reduce the chance of injury recurrence. Massage is most effective at treating soft-tissues injuries such as strains, sprains and stress injuries.
Pain ReductionMassage has been known to reduce pain from recovering injuries or tight muscle areas. Massage promotes proper healing of scar tissues and can provide a soothing effect on injured areas.
Relaxation and FocusSports Massage can help decrease stress and increase focus, putting you in a good psychological state before your next race. The brisk movements of the massage can also leave you feeling invigorated.
Post-Race RecoveryMassage can help hasten the healing and recovery process after an intense race by dissolving waste fluids such as lactic acid.

How often should you get a sports massage?
On average, a triathlete should get one massage per week or a minimum of one per month. That may seem extreme, particularly if a trip to the spa is more of an indulgence for you. But, massages go a long way to help prevent injury.

When should I get a sports massage?
People respond in different ways to a massage so if you have the luxury to try one at different times in your training then determine what is right for you. However, the majority of people will tend to favor the post-race/post-long workout time more. Both are beneficial but the pre-race massage will stimulate your muscles whereas the post-race massage is more of a cool-down/recovery massage.

Feeling refreshed? Start planning your race calendar.

DC Triathlon Examiner Tracy Endo is a mother of two, a photographer, a freelance writer and a triathlete from the Washington, D.C. metro area. is the inside source for everything local. Powered by Examiners, the largest pool of knowledgeable and passionate contributors in the world, we provide unique and original content to enhance life in your local city wherever that may be.


Fall Colors and Apples and Cider donuts what more is there? The Apples are incredible this year with all the rain they are huge!
Harvest has been in full swing for several weeks and the local orchards are picking at break neck speeds to get the apples in before the rain starts again tonight and knocks more down off the trees.
The weekend was spectacular with bright sunshine and temperatures in the 80’s. All of us hikers, bikers and runners were in our glory.
The fall colors finally arrived and put on a show if only for a few days.
So to all of you… get outside, be in your body, breathe the air and bring a friend.... it is an amazing time to revel in nature and be in the world.
Namaste, K

It is a beautiful hazy summer day in the Green Mountain state - Blueberries are in prime season and peaches are soon to arrive! There is a great article in ODE Magazine this month called "Get juiced" about the health benefits of berries...pretty interesting I suggest you check it out!  
Also in this issue there is a really incredible article on connection called 'No such thing as a thing" which is an edited excerpt from author Lynne McTaggart's new book called The Bond -  take a look, amazing.
On another note I am working on plans for a 6 week coaching workshop in the Brattleboro area and will be posting dates and workshop topics soon.
Also I will be riding in the Harpoon point to point a fundraising road bike tour that raises money for the Vermont food bank.
As a group the "West Hill Women",  Maria Basescu, Cynthia Payne-Meyer, Betsy Williams and I will be riding 115 miles on Saturday August 13th....Maria, Cynthia and I road 75 miles this past Sunday in one of many training rides and we believe we are ready.  
So it is summer - get out there and walk, hike, bike, paddle, surf, swim, garden, star gaze and enjoy!
Hello All,
Welcome to the launch of my new web site and my first post on my Blog - Coaching and Creating in Vermont!
It is a beautiful high blue day here in Southern Vermont and I am enjoying the sunny weather by working on the deck, my "outside office". I would love to hear any comments or feedback you have for my new web site.
I would also love to hear what you are up to and what coaching could do for you!
Looking forward to creating more inspirational and thoughtful adventure in the world....will you join me?
No post on this Date - First actual Post on 7/5!