Summer Running: Dehydration & Heart Rate

Jay Bearden
Naples, Italy

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I discovered the importance of hydrating after buying my heart rate monitor 3 years ago. I never realized how much my heart rate was effected by not hydrating properly during the summer (or anytime for that matter) until I did my hourly run with no water while wearing my HRM, and then did the same run with water. What a difference it makes.  My heart rate would really climb without water as I dehydrated, but when hydrating while doing my hourly run I could pretty much maintain my heart rate in the desired range.

I read the explanation later that your heart works harder (read "beats") pumping the needed oxygenated blood, which now has less volume due to dehydration, to the working muscles.  I would be exerting a much higher level of energy while running the same pace, or even a slower pace.  That
really woke me up to the importance of hydration in maximizing performance.   Dehydration was really effecting my performance, but I didn't notice it before using the HRM. Needless to say, dehydrating can be extremely dangerous, leading to heat exhaustion or, even worse, heatstroke (sunstroke).  Lesson learned thanks to Polar, without suffering serious consequences.


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