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Body Check

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Occasionally during my run I will do a “body check”.  Basically a body check is this.  I simply ask myself how I am feeling.  I do a check on my legs – how are they coping?  Any niggles or pain.  I’ll try to distinguish between tired legs or genuinely sore legs.  Mostly the pain we feel on race day is “tiredness” rather than from an actual “injury”.  I’ll then move on to my gut – is my gut settled?  Any concerns, cramps, nausea?  Moving on to my upper body – any pain, chafing?  Any stitch in my shoulders?  Am I stiffening my neck and shoulders in the way I am running?

Points to take note of while running include how much am I sweating and how many times am I needing to wee?  If you are sweating profusely you are losing lots of salt.  My body’s reaction to salt loss includes nausea, light-headedness as well as a sluggishness or lethargy.  A great quick fix for this is to take a sachet of ENOs.  If you have read my page on the goody bag you will know I carry a few sachets with me.  The trick to taking ENOs is to only have a little water in a cup (use an empty coke cup at the water table).  Pour the contents of the sachet into the water and drink during effervescence (ie. immediately – while it is still bubbling!)  You may have the urge to “burp” and that is fine.  You will feel better for it!

Be mindful of how many times you need to wee, if any!  On warmer days I tend to sweat more and wee less, but on cooler days it works the other way.  Whether you wee or not during the run, make sure that you do wee within 2 hours of finishing the race.  If not, there’s a good chance your kidneys are taking strain and you may need to go and see your doctor, soonest!

A sure sign of over hydration is when your watch strap starts to feel very tight on your wrist.  Be mindful of what you are drinking.  You may also have the sensation of having a gut full of water and you can feel it sloshing around.  It is very unpleasant and you may feel like throwing up.  If you have difficulty in actually trying to throw up, take an ENOs and it will definitely help to empty your gut.  In this instance, it is advisable to stand aside because the “throw up” reaction happens almost instantly!

Key words: body check, sweating, salt loss, over hydration, throwing up
Internal links: goody bag
External links: Official Comrades Marathon website

Copyright Nikki Campbell 2008