When I was in high school, I joined a new soccer team with a coach who actually paid attention to our overall approach to training – not just which soccer drills we did when. One weekend we were to play in a tournament somewhere in the Central Valley where the temperature was forecasted to surpass 110 degrees. For those of you who don’t know, most soccer tournaments require playing 2 full-length (90 minute) games per day for two days straight (assuming you play a second game for 1 – 4th place on the second day of the tournament). Playing soccer in 110 degree heat for 180 minutes per day for two days is a sure fire recipe for dehydration.

In order to combat this inevitability, Coach T told us to start hydrating earlier in the week. He wanted us to drink at least a gallon of water by the time of the first game. What Coach T forgot was that we were teenage girls who left EVERYTHING to the last minute. Including hydrating.

That little oversight on his part meant that on the drive to the tournament, during warm-ups and even during the game (!), each of us took turns running over to the bathroom to relieve ourselves.

I learned that day that waiting until the last minute to hydrate is a very bad idea. With The Relay just four and a half days away, there’s no time like the present to get hydrated. Exhibit A:

My desk along with six bottles (101.4 ounces) of water so far today.


  1. RookieMom Heather /

    Ok Emmie, I was just thinking about this TODAY too. What do I need to do? A gallon a day? Cut out alcohol and coffee starting today? Is tea okay?

    In the past, when I’ve had a big event, I would wear a Camelbak around the day before because I wanted to hydrate and also because I’m a little bit of an attention whore.

    Please advise.

  2. Emmie /

    This article has some good tips. http://running.about.com/od/nutritionandhydration/a/hydration101.htm Apparently there’s some test you can do that involves weighing yourself before and after a workout and doing some math and it’ll tell you how much you need while you’re running. But in lieu of that, you can try the calculator at about.com. When I did it, it said I needed to consume around 90 – 100 ounces before the run. I tend not to drink much during my runs though I probably should. Rehydrating afterwards will obviously be important since “after” really just means before the next one.

    I’d recommend not having alcohol until after the race but I’ll be honest…I can’t live without my coffee. One of the bonuses of being in the second van is that we could have a cup in the morning on the day of the race and still have time to rehydrate before running. (Sorry Van 1 ladies.)

    The most important thing, IMHO, is to stop drinking water about an hour before the race so you don’t have to pee the whole time.

  3. RookieMom Heather /

    Sing it sister, that’s why I’m trying to pre-hydrate so I can stop drinking water 2-5 hours before ;-)

  4. I’m really psyched for you! Yay for water. I’m all about it these days.

  5. Jacklyn /

    So so true! We just had the CMM here in Nashville and I was asked to write a post about what to do the week of the race and one of the things was stay hydrated! I usually drink an extra glass of water each meal for a week at least, leading up to the race. I also cut out coffee and alcohol.

  6. Marie /

    Good advice! I am horrible at keeping hydrated. I just forget. So I’m been trying hard to drink and drink and drink after my runs. It helps to have lemon flavored water!

  7. Christine /

    SO important. I’m a water fiend anyway, but I’m going to up my intake these last few days.

    And especially on the airplane. Even if it means I’m the annoying person who has to pee every 15 minutes.

  8. I’m with Marie, in that I’m famously dehydrated. I’m just not a good water drinker. Been making a conscious effort to change this the past couple months. And ditto goes with what Christine said: water is always the BEST option on airplanes. Gotta camel up to battle the dry air at 30,000 feet! (I also need to remember to drink more out there as you guys have it much drier on the west coast. My skin always starts flaking within hours. Not good.)

    I won’t, however, stop drinking before the race, and will be one of those people constantly peeing. Just fyi. That, and I’ve been told I have “small tanks.” Let the grumbles commence. ;)

  9. Brenna /

    I don’t cut alcohol or coffee the week before events. I just try to drink an extra cup of water for each serving of alcohol and coffee I have (a good rule of thumb all the time). I usually do try to avoid alcohol the night before though. On the morning of an event I like to have a cup of coffee or at least green tea. I’ve read some articles about caffeine helping performance and I find it to be true.

    Also, here’s some advice from my running coach. Cut and paste from an email he sent a few months back:

    So, the tip of week of this week is Hydration. Be sure to continuously drink water throughout the day. Not just before the workouts, during, or immediately after. But, ALL THE TIME, no matter what season it is. Whenever you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already, too DEHYDRATED. You should never pass a drinking fountain without taking a sip and your urine should be a pale/light yellow.

  10. EmmieJ /

    Woohoo! Brenna says we can booze it up!!! (Wait, that’s what you said, right?) ;)

  11. Brenna /

    Totally. Partytime!

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