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We all know how horrible it is to feel dehydrated during a race, especially at summer events, when the heat of the sun feels like a punishment rather than a pleasure. I recently ran the Paris Marathon, with temperatures exceeding 25°C. For the last mile, I was desperately looking for other runners with a water bottle. It was all I could think of. I crossed the line delirious, slumped against the roadside, and when the medic asked if I was OK, I responded: “I need water.” She told me it was 200m along the road. That 200m felt like another marathon!

I’m over cautious when it comes to hydration due to a history of kidney infections. Even during shorter races I tend to set off with a full water bottle in each hand. Recently, however, I’ve become much more aware of how heavy these seem and, even in Paris, I didn’t drink much in the first half of the race. Do I really need to carry all this water? Am I over-hydrating? It’s definitely time I rethought my hydration strategy.


It may be surprising to hear, but drinking water during a race may not be so crucial if you are properly hydrated (the scientific term for this is euhydrated) when you stand on the start line.

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About Women’s Running

Start running today with the July issue of Women’s Running magazine, on sale now! In this beginners' special, we've got a step-by-step guide to going for your first few runs, with expert input from coaches and advice from the Women's Running team - trust us, we've been there! Resident GP Dr Juliet McGrattan helps you overcome your barriers to running, and we'll also give you eight great reasons to start today. Already a runner and need to step things up? We've got an eight-move Pilates workout for you, plus for the dedicated athlete, we'll show you 10 next-level exercises to strengthen your core. Plus, don't miss part two of our 2017 Ultimate Race Guide, detailing 100 must-do races from now till December.