Performing speed work is an intense exercise that takes practice over time. Learning to sprint well and effectively does not happen over night. Just because you are strong does not mean you will be fast. Strength without flexibility, mobility and relaxation will get you into trouble with re-occurring injuries preventing you from sprinting and enjoying sports, which involve speed. Practicing hydration for the high intensity sport of sprinting will ensure better speed training results.
Drinking water, adding Epson salts to warm bath water and using water to train in make up some key ideas needed to be practiced to sustain a successful, long term speed training program.
How much water is enough?
According to Dr. Natasha Turner calculate the number of cups you need per day by multiplying your body weight x 0.55 and then divide by 8 will give you the cups you need.
Water is Not Boring:
I understand some people feel drinking water is boring. To add interest to your hydrating routine try hot or iced herbal teas. Filtered water can be used as the carrier for your smoothies and protein drinks. Chamomile tea is used at night for a more calming sleep, peppermints and spearmint teas are used to settle digestion as well as adding a refreshing flavor. My recent favorite herbal tea is the South African Rooibos tea which claims multitudes of health benefits from drinking it. ( see photo above)
Use Visual Cues to Ensure Hydration:
Shown above are beverages I have lined up to remind myself to keep myself hydrated throughout my day. Line up the Mason jars hold 4 cups of liquid. Finish by 7pm to 8pm if you mid night washroom breaks are an issue to disruptive sleep.
Tools that help you stay hydrated
- mason jars are inexpensive, easy to clean, made of glass and great to drink from and hold 4 cups of liquid.
- Nalgene plastic bpa free water bottles are leak proof and best for travel, easy care and use.
- Water filtration makes sense to ensure a cleaner water for taste and removal of some impurities. Water filters are easy to use and affordable on a small scale.
Methods to ensure hydration happens in your daily routine
Water Drinking as per recommendations above on how much to drink per day and is one key way to ensure will be able to stay hydrated.
Coffee Drinking does not hydrate you but coffee can be used to keep you alert and sharp for high intensity training such as speed training. Use filtered water and learn to roast your own beans from green coffee merchants such as this one Merchants of Green Coffee While coffee does not hydrate you I have included it as something you may enjoy as part of how you prepare other aspects of your training routine as I have shown in above photo with iced coffee.
Protein Shakes require some ‘carrier’ to liquefy other aspects of the drink to be consumed before, during or after training.I use water, herbal teas, coffee for flavor and an energy boost as carriers.
Herbal Tea with lemon and honey or plain and or as a carrier for shakes or smoothies.
Bone Broth making a simple bone broth is easy once you know how. Try this. Go to 2 or 3 places near where you live and check out their meat department. It’s easiest to start small so find grocery stores that cater to one or two people. Chicken is easy as it’s available everywhere. Buy a package of necks, or backs or thighs or legs bone in and skin on. Cover chicken parts completely with water and add enough water to go one inch above covering chicken. Add one carrot, half stalk celery and ¼ onion to chicken and water. Cook at lowest temperature possible. Start this cooking process in the morning when you are able to stay home all day. Simmer for at least 8 hours on very low or when the meat falls off the bone.DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE ON WHEN YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE. When the broth is finished strain and use broth for simple soup or drink plain broth or use it to cook your rice with.
Add Fresh Veggies and Fruits to your Diet. Add them raw, gently steamed, into your soups, cooked well, in salads and into your daily protein shakes. Eating vegetables and fruits have lots of water and fiber and will help you become and maintain hydration.
Swimming and Training tempo in the waterYou are really lucky if you live near a fresh water lake or the ocean. You will be able to utilize the salt water to recovery like a giant Epson salt bath. Lakes or pools can be used for pool training. Click here a great Facebook post from CharlieFrancis.com on pool workouts to recovery more effectively from speed training.
Final thoughts about Hydration for Speed Training
In all the years as an athlete and then as a coach I find people like to focus most on more complex training issues ahead of the tiny habits that build a base for them to achieve the larger goals with a well planned training program. Enjoy the simple use of water in a variety of ways to keep yourself hydrated for speed training.
“Sprint your own race”