Getting your training miles in with freezing wind, icy sidewalks and more running layers than was ever thought possible isn’t easy.
Winter, in general, isn’t easy.
And as spring Abbott World Marathon Majors races — Tokyo, Boston and London — fast approach, waiting out the cold isn’t an option.
Not to pile on, but you may need to rethink your hydration, too.
We chatted with Meghann Featherstun, a sports dietitian and 15-time marathoner, about all things winter hydration, and left with one major finding: a new season means a new approach to fueling.
The cold temperatures, the gear you’re wearing and the dryness of the environment are just a few factors that make winter hydration different than what you may be used to (or have perfected) for warmer months.
Featherstun, who is currently training in sub-zero temperatures herself, has three tips for improving your winter hydration to optimize your winter training.
Throw Out Your Summer Hydration Routine, For Now
Think of summer training. Chances are, sweating under a beating sun comes to mind. Maybe your mind jumps back to an especially humid long run where you ran straight into a lake, without a single thought, off pure, sweaty instinct. We’re not speaking from personal experience, we swear.
With higher temperatures and potentially increased humidity, summer runs, for many, get sweaty. And when you have that physical reminder of the fluid you’re losing, you’re more likely to hydrate.
Winter is different.
“When it’s dry, we don’t have that same feedback that our body gives us in the summer. Our thirst mechanism is actually decreased in the cold,” Featherstun said. “We need that reminder.”
Featherstun recommends carrying your favorite sports drink, like Pedialyte Sport, and setting alarms throughout your run to remind you to hydrate. This will ensure that your approach to replenishing the fluids you’ve lost isn’t “out of sight, out of mind.”