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Staying Charged: Electrolytes And Their Role In The Body


The human body is basically a big battery, and it’s made mostly of water.

Electrolytes are salts that dissolve into positive and negative charges that conduct electricity in water – of which our body is about 70%.

Also known as ions, these charges are crucial because they control the flow of water in our cells and nerve impulses across the body.

In nerve cells, a positive ion sparks off an electrical impulse signalling our bodies to function properly. Electrolytes control the constant impulses to keep our hearts beating, lungs breathing and brains learning.

Electrolytes make sweat salty. When exercising our bodies start to heat up, so the ion channels in our cells push electrolytes into the sweat gland. Osmosis ensures that water follows closely behind. This increases the pressure in the gland, which means the salty mix gets pushed out onto the skins surface. When that water evaporates it pulls the heat off your body, leaving the infamous salty residue behind.

If you lose too many electrolytes your neural system won’t function properly. This can lead to problems with your heart, blood pressure and breathing. The main electrolytes lost during sweat are Sodium and Chloride.

If you’re exercising for less than an hour, water will do just fine. However, if it’s particularly hot or you are working out for more than an hour, you’re going to need to replace those electrolytes to recover and stay charged!

How Much Water Should You Drink?


Starting your run dehydrated can make your training harder than it needs to be, while also slowing down recovery. But how much water should you be drinking before and after runs?

Water is our body’s principle chemical component. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body requires water to function, and it makes up around 60% of our body weight.


It’s important to make sure you’re not dehydrated before kicking off a workout. If you tend to run or exercise in the morning, remember that you lose around 500mL of water-weight overnight through respiration and perspiration. Try and get close to that same amount in before you head out the door, but small amounts at a time.

Starting a run dehydrated is going to negatively impact your performance and slow down recovery. The pee-test is a tried and true method of determining your hydration state before training and will allow you to more accurately determine your fluid needs.

After Exercise

If your training is less than 60 minutes long and not too intense, then water is likely enough to replace what you’ve lost during exercise. Drink to thirst, or if you weigh yourself before and after your workout you’ll be able to get a good estimate of fluid loss: every 1 Kg = 1 L of fluid. Try to replace 1.5x the amount of fluid of fluid lost to ensure that you are adequately rehydrated to increase the rate of recovery.


If you’re working hard (especially in warm or humid conditions) then replacing electrolytes becomes very important. Electrolytes are what make sweat salty: if you lose too many electrolytes your neural system won’t function properly. This can lead to problems with your heart, blood pressure and breathing. The main electrolytes lost during sweat are Sodium and Chloride.

Mountain Runner Joseph Gray Wins 13th National Title


Published on TrailRunner.com

Written by Nancy Hobbs & Lin Gentling. Photos by Richard Bolt.

Today’s USATF Half Marathon Trail Championships in Hayward, Wisconsin, saw a familiar face in Joseph Gray winning his 13th national title.

The 33-year-old from Colorado Springs, CO, bested a competitive field to take the win with a time of 1:10:11.

Joe Gray leads at the start of the USATF 1/2 Marathon Trail Championship.

“I haven’t done the trail half marathon champs in a few years,” said Gray, who in his first running race in Wisconsin, led from start to finish besting his nearest competitor by 41 seconds.

Joe Gray looking back at mile 6

“The course combined two of my favorite sports, cross country and trail running,” said Gray. “I just really dug the course, it was really cool. This was kind of a dream come true to run a tough cross country-esque course. It was a really fun experience.”

Read about the rest of the race at TrailRunner.com



Why Don’t We Improve Sometimes? Running Lessons From An Olympian


This post was written by David McNeill for Runner’s Tribe – an SOS HYDRATION partner. 

Too often in my career, I have walked off the track querying my performances; wondering why I ran so poorly when training pointed to something better…or wondering how on earth I ran as fast as I did when preparations had been poor.

The latter scenario has never been so much a concern as it has been a blessing. But in the case of the former, I was always left wondering what it is I did to sabotage my performance; why, despite my best intentions, my performance didn’t improve from one race to the next. I’d like to say the days of unpredictable performances are behind me, but I am human, and I am sure unexplained performances lie in my future. At some point or another, many of us have run a great race, fed off the motivation of that performance in preparation for the next race, and then run poorly that next time around. Why don’t we improve sometimes? Why don’t races always live up to expectations? What is it we do to sabotage training and performance gains?

 Being overzealous is one factor. While it is sometimes easy to equate harder training with better performance, we sometimes jump the gun, and think training harder is the only answer, when often, the first answer is to be consistent. Imagine giving a lemon a squeeze, and getting some juice out of it. Rarely do you get all the juice out of the lemon with a single squeeze. More juice is yielded when we start to wring the lemon. Just as we wouldn’t fetch another lemon before we’d squeezed all the juice out of it, sometimes, we need to keep training consistently before we start training harder.When we prematurely start to train harder, the balance between stress and adaptation is shifted, and we do not recover and adapt at the rate at which we are stressing our bodies. When we train consistently after already seeing improvement, subsequent improvement with the proverbial wringing of the lemon is actually a product of our body’s ability to recover faster and more fully from training, so that we adapt quicker and more completely with each training session. Of course, the time comes when the lemon is dry, and you will need to fetch another. Learning when to be consistent and when to train harder represents the art of coaching and training.

Overcompensating for small hiccups in our preparation can also bring us undone. When we miss a session or when a session doesn’t go well, we sometimes feel the need to compensate by squeezing the missed training into a smaller window of time, or pushing harder than usual in the next workout. This ends up being detrimental in two ways: one is that often, in our haste, the body is not fully recovered from the illness or niggle that initially caused the hiccup when we overcompensate our training. Secondly, by temporarily training too hard or too frequently, we upset our body’s sensitive balance between stress and adaptation. Compensating often has the opposite effect we seek when a niggle, an illness, or a time constraint disrupts our training. Instead of catching ourselves back up in the training we miss, compensating drives us further from where we are trying to get, and sabotaging our ability to improve, even when gains have otherwise been made. But as is the remedy for the hiccups we experience when our diaphragm spasms, the key to navigating hiccups in our training is to take a deep breath; not to compensate, but to accept, recover, and move on. While a hiccup may hinder our progress marginally, compensating irrationally can hinder our progress substantially. Stay cool.

McNeill winning the 2015 Zatopek:10: Pic RT

Another factor that can curtail improvement with training gains is the perception that running faster gets easier with more training. “Train hard, win easy” is a deceptive saying. With training, our capacity to physically endure oxidative stress and the build-up of metabolic by-products improves, but it’s still uncomfortable, and the closer to our physical limits we approach, the more perceptible this discomfort is. While running equally fast may get easier with more training, running faster continually necessitates submitting to discomfort. When we ignore this truth, we can end up blaming everything from our training, to our diet, to our sleep for a lack of improvement, without every questioning our resolve at the crossroad between comfort and discomfort come race time. At the outer margins of our human capacity, when improvements become more marginal each time we get better, increasingly, our improvements rely on our ability to endure more discomfort for longer, than on our ability to get physically fitter. When our supply of lemons dwindles at the limits of our human capacity, we are spending a lot more time wringing out those lemons. We are trying to get the last drop of juice out of them before contemplating fetching another lemon; before contemplating training any harder, and increasing our injury risk. Wringing the last drop of juice out of a drying up lemon is a kin to enduring more discomfort at our physical limits – the juice is there, but we must work for it and endure it, unlike the first early squeeze of a fresh lemon.

I myself am guilty of all three sources of sabotage. And when I have performed better than my training indicated, it was probably because I was a little underdone rather than overdone. Avoiding sabotage is both a delicate mental battle we have with ourselves, and a carefully learned art that comes from experience – both our own, and our coach’s. The best combatant to sabotage is thinking less, and listening more. Most often, sabotage happens when we make irrational decisions – when we are over motivated, when we are thrown off by the unexpected, or when we are overconfident. Half the battle is recognising when we are over-motivated, overconfident, or thrown by the unexpected. The second half of the battle is finding someone you trust (i.e. a coach), and seeking a dose of perspective!

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Spilling The Beans on Caffeine


Hydrate, caffeinate, repeat. It’s a way of life for those with an active lifestyle. So what is it about caffeine? Can it really be that good for performance?

Who can benefit from caffeine?

Caffeine can have positive performance improvements across a range of different sports and in both males and females.

Performance improvements of ~3% have been found in the lab, however, it’s difficult to predict precisely the improvements we can expect from caffeine in ‘real life’ training and racing, as other factors such as tactics or weather conditions can influence results. It’s also important to know that individual responses to caffeine are highly varied. Some athletes may find that caffeine can have negative effects on performance while others find that caffeine offers them no benefit at all.

Why use caffeine?

It was once thought that caffeine increased the use of fat as a fuel thereby ‘sparing’ muscle glycogen. However, we now know that the most significant benefits of caffeine come from its effects on the brain. More specifically, caffeine is able to act as an adenosine receptor antagonist. By blocking the action of adenosine, caffeine influences the central nervous system. This can improve your perception of fatigue, resulting in a longer period of sustained work.

In simple terms – you can improve your ability to ‘go harder for longer’ before the effects of fatigue set in, improving your performance.

What caffeine product works best?

Coffee, cola drinks, caffeinated gels, caffeinated gum…the array of caffeine containing products available is huge. But is any one source better than another?

In general, no.

Studies have found that the beneficial effects of caffeine are seen across a variety of different products. Where it becomes tricky is that different products (and even different brands of the same product) have different amounts of caffeine. Knowing how much caffeine you are consuming is important as there can be a fine line between the amount which improves performance and the level at which negative side effects can occur.

It’s important to consider the diuretic effects of caffeine, always remember to stay hydrated with SOS Hydration 

The list below provides some examples of how much caffeine is found in a range of products – be aware though, formulations frequently change so it’s best to double check the packing to be sure.

Product Serve Caffeine per serve (mg)
Instant coffee 250ml cup 60 (range: 12-169)
Espresso Standard shot 107 (range: 25-214)
Iced coffee (commercial) 500ml bottle 30-200
Tea 250ml cup 27 (range: 9-51)
Hot chocolate 250ml cup 5-10
Coca-Cola 600ml bottle 58
Diet Coke 600ml bottle 77
Red Bull 250ml can 80

When to take caffeine?

Unlike some supplements, you often feel the benefits of caffeine soon after consumption (regardless of when levels peak in the blood). Performance improvements have been found regardless of whether the caffeine is taken one hour before an event, split in to doses over an event or taken only in the latter stages of an event when feelings of fatigue are most likely to really kick in.

The duration of the event will obviously have an impact on timing of caffeine intake. In shorter events (e.g. cycling criterium, sprint triathlon) where there is little opportunity to eat or drink during the event, having caffeine before the event is the most useful approach. On the other hand, during events lasting several hours (e.g. ironmanmarathon) having caffeine before the event and/or topping up during the event, or saving the caffeine for the final stages, is more likely to be beneficial. Individuals should practise a variety of different strategies to determine the approach that works best for them.

Regular coffee drinkers can relax – there is no need to stop having caffeine in the days leading up to an event if you want to use caffeine during an event. Withdrawing from caffeine offers no additional benefit and will more likely lead to negative effects associated with caffeine withdrawal (e.g. headaches, irritability).

SOS can be compared to an IV drip. It works just as rapidly but is safer and cheaper at combating mild to moderate dehydration. Try it here

How can I use caffeine during my training?

Here’s a quick summary of how you can use caffeine to help you go harder for longer:

  • More isn’t better. Usually ~1-3mg caffeine / kg body weight (e.g. 70-210mg caffeine for a 70kg person) improves performance. Higher intakes won’t offer an extra benefit and will more likely have negative side effects (e.g. shakiness or increased heart-rate)
  • You are unique! Individual responses to caffeine are highly varied – start small
  • Do the sums. Make sure you have a (rough) idea of how much you are consuming
  • Be flexible. Trial different amounts, types and timing of caffeine
  • Don’t sacrifice sleep. Will caffeine negatively impact your recovery?
  • Practise! Always trial during training to work out the best strategy for you


Running Clean in a Sometimes Dirty Sport: Joseph Gray – World Mountain Running Champion


As a youngster, long before I had dreams of being a fast runner, my first sport was basketball. Growing up, my competitive side was sparked by the influence of watching my father, and I quickly learned winning was not something that came easy.

I mimicked everything I saw him do when he practiced on our backyard hoop: his shot technique, dribbling, all the way down to the shoes he wore. I learned that Pops was dedicated and intense, and you could see in his eyes (especially during competition, even friendly one-on-one pickup games) that he intended to win, exerting every ounce of energy he had ‘til the end.

That defined competition for me.

I followed his lead, bringing my own dedication and intensity when I would challenge my friends and go toe to toe in a game of one-on-one. When we were kids, we used what we were born with. Sometimes you had a natural advantage over another—whether it was height, weight, quickness, agility or just pure desire to succeed. Thanks to my father’s influence, hard work was usually the deciding factor for me, as most young kids were not extremely dedicated or even motivated to push themselves to the limit in the name of improving the craft of their favorite sport.

As I got older and found myself competing in a new sport, much was the same. Once I became a distance runner, I found that being devoted and working diligently could lead to amazing outcomes. Still, accomplishing goals became difficult and, at times, failure was more frequent than success. I thought this was something that happened to us all, even the crème de la crème. Again, referring back to my father’s example, I believed the only way to continue forward was to work harder.

Early in my high school career, though, I began to hear stories of athletes using “medicine” to gain advantage over their competitors. Initially I paid it no mind, thinking: “How could medicine help you, unless you are sick?” Little did I know, this medicine was not being used to treat the sick, but rather to unnaturally boost red blood cells in healthy athletes. The medicine I had heard of was EPO, and it had been around for years.

I came across stories of the great German cyclist Jan Ullrich, whom I was a huge fan of at the time. The fact that a human could hold such a high level of power over such a long period of time in a cycling race was astounding. Being that I was making my shift into endurance athletics, seeing such a performance was inspiring. Watching Ullrich gave me the idea that maybe one day I could accomplish endurance feats just as insane. I had no idea he was cheating by using banned substances. The very day I stumbled upon various articles concerning Ullrich testing positive for doping, my impression of amazing performances blurred. Many performances of my favorite athletes at that time led me to start questioning whether they were using the gifts they were born with—or giving the genetics they were born with a boost to achieve success, win races and earn money.

A post shared by Joseph Gray (@joegeezi) on

This was a devastating moment for me.

It was probably comparable to the moment when a child finds out Santa Claus isn’t real. I started to think certain feats in distance running that I wanted to achieve were also unattainable. My personal goals seemed unreal now. Confidence fled the scene like a criminal.

At the time, many thoughts crashed my mind, even thoughts of the benefits and how remarkable of an athlete I could be if I too chose to cheat. Would it be worth it? What would my family think if I headed down that path? What would I think of myself? How could I sleep at night knowing I would be cheating? What would my health look like 10 to 20 years in the future?

But none of it felt right, and I never went down that road in my high school career, college career or now in my professional career. Turns out Pops’ example was spot-on for me. Stay true, keep working hard and you will find success.

I actually think most athletes are competing clean, but that’s what helps expose the ones that are doping.

As a professional athlete, you hear stories, rumors of athletes cheating or those that cheated in the past. You notice patterns in training in relation to performance for athletes who test positive for banned substances. I had even met athletes in my past who had doped in their careers. Hearing their stories of glory, only to be pained later in life with the notion that they didn’t compete fairly was more than enough reason for me to avoid that path. Many of these athletes I have come across have had health issues of somewhat unknown origins. I’m talking about cancers, diseases and other ailments—with some linked to drug abuse with products such as EPO, steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. If that wasn’t enough to deter, reading the stories from the few who were caught about how their lives changed drastically following the skeleton in their closet being exposed also served as a strong reminder of the negativity that follows a cheater’s lifestyle: Losing close friends, not being able to compete in the sport you love, seeing the look loved ones gave you following a positive doping test. All these things were a reality and a possibility.

As a professional athlete you can weigh the good and bad and, in my eyes, the bad far outweighs the good when it comes to doping. I’m not oblivious to the fact that many people have different value systems and beliefs. It would be ignorant to believe that principles that I value, which deter me from doping, are also valued by every other athlete. There are many athletes who do not care about the dangers of doping, or the negative aspects that will tag along in their lives long after they’re done competing.

I came across one such an athlete early in my professional career. My first experience losing to an athlete who later failed a doping control test was one of the most frustrating moments in my life. I had raced this athlete in the past and had never lost to him or seen him post stellar results. We toed the line in a half marathon on a crisp morning in California. He was aggressive from the start, but none of the guys in the lead group seemed concerned as we all expected him to drop back. But this day he was different. He was not coming back easy; in fact, he was continuing to distance himself from us halfway through the race. At first thought, I figured maybe he was injured or just out of shape when I had raced him in the past.

After talking with him and others who lived near him, I found out that was not true.

This runner had been healthy and been training consistently for years with good but not great results. And here’s something you need to understand: Unlike the world of recreational running, injuries or lack of fitness are not usually factors in the elite ranks. Why? Professional athletes do not improve so drastically due to the nature of their lifestyle, family or work scenarios, which might play a role in their ability to train. Most pro athletes typically have the opportunity to prepare and train hard for extended periods of time, especially for races with a good amount of funding/prestige. They toe the line when they are ready, hoping to achieve optimal results. But top-tier contenders rarely show up out of shape for a high-level race.

That’s why the phrase “the athletes always know” rings true even before coaches, administrators or the media start asking questions or pointing fingers.

Typically athletes within the same tier know who the most likely dopers in their sport are. We know how our competitors are training, so when we see something fishy from someone whom has been on the racing scene awhile, we naturally become suspicious. When you see a monumental improvement from an athlete you’ve known for some time who wasn’t injured or was not merely out of shape most of their career, you immediately scratch your head and wonder.

Following the race I described above, many of us who had been beaten that day were left in shock without much to say about what we had just witnessed. During my cool-down run with a few other runners, the chatter started to heat up. A few athletes were questioning how this guy improved so greatly over such a short period of time. Where there is smoke—especially that much smoke—there is usually fire. Sure enough, time went by and one of his training partners was busted for EPO use. A little more time passed and the athlete who lit us up in that half marathon was busted for the same. It was a huge disappointment and also gave me a twinge of discouragement.

I knew I would wind up eventually receiving more prize money from that race, given the disqualifications. I also began to contemplate the use of PEDs myself. The moment of glory coming across the finish a position higher was stolen from me. Money couldn’t give me that moment back. This guy was not someone who should have been capable of even placing in the top 3 in this race, yet he destroyed the field. This left me briefly contemplating the benefits of PEDs. I was tired of having money taken from my pockets without the certainty that every athlete ahead of me was clean.

Before even investigating how to purchase performance-enhancing drugs, I sat there and asked myself a series of simple questions. Why am I in this sport? What do I want from this sport in the long term?

I loved running not solely for the competition or winning, but also because of the exploration and camaraderie behind it. When I’m older I want to be able to look at my career and say, “I won this race or ran this time with the gifts God blessed me with.” There is nothing more satisfying in my opinion than knowing that you’ve worked hard to earn every goal, gift, victory and personal achievement you collected with natural ability and work ethic. Anyone can cheat, but not anyone can work hard and handle intermittent failures only to rise again.

I always admired the athlete who could consistently compete with the best rather than the athlete who rarely competed with the best but once in a blue moon dominated the field. Not anyone can be consistent. Dopers usually aren’t consistent. The ability to be consistent requires a never-ending commitment to being your best and requires a strong mental state.

When you cheat you are basically succumbing to the idea that you have a weak mentality. Weak-minded athletes look for an easy way out, shortcuts or even excuses to underachieve. I’m confident that a study covering the relationship between mental toughness and doped athletes vs. clean athletes would conclude that dopers have mental instability to go along with a weak mentality. The answers and revelations to those simple questions reaffirmed who I was and were more than enough to leave me satisfied with my natural abilities and never taking the steps of crossing that road to cheat.

Sport is a gift that we are able to share with our community. Through sport we can show respect and admiration for others who also share the same passion. Doping is highly anti-sport, anti-community. If you truly love a sport and what it brings you, why slap your peers in the face and piss on your sport by cheating? I mean, after all that, who are you supposed to enjoy the sport with?

I compare my love of the sport to my passionate endeavors in gardening. I can’t truly call myself a gardener if I simply plant fully grown pepper plants from a store and skip the nurturing process from seed to plant. When you love your sport—in my case, running—you even love the struggle of being out of shape, the struggle to accomplish goals, even the days where you might have a bad workout as you become motivated to work harder. Taking short cuts only leads to an artificial feeling of happiness. A cheater cannot truly be happy with their feats because, deep down, they know they are dirty. In the end, as an athlete we have to live with ourselves, and our internal thoughts impact our lives far more than external appreciation from other athletes, media, rivals and supporters.

So, to truly be happy with what you accomplish and plan to achieve in sport, you must respect sport and the community surrounding it. Being genuine is simply being natural and pushing yourself to reach your potential. When you have to cheat to go beyond what is natural, then you have lost touch with the moral, ethical and existential fabric that holds sport together.

Keep it clean my friends, and run strong!

A post shared by Joseph Gray (@joegeezi) on

via MotivRunning.com

How to Recover Like a Pro


How listening less to college coaches and more to Lance Armstrong will help you run faster… legally.

There is a timeless saying, “you don’t get fit when you’re running; you get fit when you’re recovering”. If training was only about running then you’d barely stop, and Dean Karnazes would win every event from the 5,000m to the marathon at the Olympics. Thankfully, that isn’t the case.


The current obsession about weight in running is incredibly disconcerting. When female athletes become fixated on becoming as thin as possible it is rightly seen as a health concern, yet amongst males it is becoming an expression of masochism and bravado.

The head cross-country coach at Colorado State Art Siemers has become one of many coaches in the NCAA known for fixating on the weight and appearance of his athletes.

Heidi See

“Thin to win” is his catch phrase, and it’s a terrifying precedent to set on young, highly impressionable athletes.

Weight is just one variable in the training equation of stress, recovery, and adaptation. This is a delicate equilibrium that if thrown off balance can have devastating effects. Weight should not be used as a catalyst to precipitate training adaptations; rather it should be a carefully managed bi-product.

If we accept that fitness gains are made during recovery, then carrying less weight through diet restriction to complete a workout faster will only result in an inability to recover properly.

Eat good food; you need it.



There are plenty of ways to skin a cat. Some are more effective than others, but the point stands – hydration has to be taken care of before all else.

Products used for recovery like chocolate milk are crucial for repairing muscle damage through protein synthesis, yet for this process to be as efficient as possible the muscles must be well hydrated. Without hydrating, protein synthesis will be less effective and increase the time needed for recovery.

Balance is also crucial, as our bodies endocrine system is affected by electrolyte losses. If one electrolyte is consumed in high volumes without the correct balance of the hormonal processes will be disrupted.



In a 2015 interview with Joe Rogan, Lance Armstrong stated, “naps are performance enhancing”. He’s not wrong. Sleep is when the magic happens, where the money is made, and most of us aren’t getting enough of it.

When we sleep, our body repairs damaged tissue. During the deeper stages of sleep, human growth hormone (HGH) is released into the bloodstream where it helps rebuild muscles and convert fat to fuel.SOS Hydration

The point is simple; when we don’t get enough quality sleep it becomes harder for our body to recover. The modern world isn’t making it easier; it is now commonplace to be looking at your phone in bed, with the emitted light telling your brain to remain awake and vigilant.

Try to avoid your phone, tablet, laptop or anything emitting that kind of light for an hour before you want to be asleep. A good rule of thumb would be 9hrs before you need to wake up. This can have an exponential effect on your ability to have quality sleep and recover.

Train hard.

Eat a lot of good food.


Go to sleep.

Easier said than done, apparently.

Team New Balance Manchester Blog


Courtesy of Team New Balance Manchester, Blog #17

This weeks blog will focus on hydration, mainly because it is often a neglected element of training amongst athletes, but it can have a huge effect on both performance and recovery.

Hydration may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of training in the UK, especially in Manchester. However, keeping hydrated in a cold and wet Manchester is just as important is it is would be anywhere else in the world! Our requirements here in Manchester probably aren’t quite as high as they would be in a hot, dry desert, but nevertheless, it is still important!

It’s hard to estimate our exact fluid requirements as it varies from individual to individual depending on sweat rate, body size, training load and the environment (temperature, humidity level, altitude). In a normal day, the average person loses 2L of water just through breathing, sweating, urine and bowel movements. Add exercise to your day and this figure can be significantly higher. It’s possible to loose up to 2L per hour through exercise which is quite staggering! A 2% loss in body weight due to dehydration can result in a 20% drop in performance mainly due to the fact that dehydration leads to increased heart rate, increased use of muscle glycogen stores and increased lactate production. None of which are particularly conducive for optimum performance! Along with water, we also loose two main electrolytes in our sweat; Sodium and Chloride. Sodium is the main electrolyte in our bodies, and serves many functions from regulating fluid balance to enabling muscle contraction and controlling blood pressure. Re-hydrating is therefore not only about replacing water.

When it comes to hydrating, here at Team NBMCR we like to use the best, and are very fortunate to have the support of SOS Rehydrate. It is a company founded by international athletes and Doctors. They produce a great tasting oral rehydration formula which is in line with the standards set by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, and is also trusted by Informed Sport. The combination of electrolytes in SOS Rehydrate can be as effective as an IV drip for mild to moderate dehydration. It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying sports drinks which are branded to be rehydrating, but the reality is, they often often aren’t particularly effective in combating dehydration as they don’t contain quite the right balance of electrolytes and glucose. What this means, without going into too much scientific detail, is that despite taking in lots of fluid in the form of sports drinks, the body doesn’t actually absorb all the fluid and a lot will be lost from the body. The SOS formula on the other hand has the perfect mix of electrolytes and glucose for optimal absorption and hydration. Our bodies can absorb 3 x more water with SOS compared to just drinking water alone!

This image, taken from the SOS Rehydrate website, gives a description of its key ingredients

SOS comes in convenient sachets, which you just pour into water, give it a little shake or stir, and then all you have to do is drink up, which is pretty easy as they taste great too! They come in four flavours: berry, citrus, mango and coconut. Fortunately we all have different favourite flavours on the team so there aren’t too many squabbles about who gets what flavour! On an average day in Manchester, we probably get through around one sachet a day each, but slightly more when we’re away at altitude or warmer climes.


More information can be found here on the SOS website http://sosrehydrate.com/. We at team NBMCR are big fans of SOS and would definitely recommend it for all your hydration needs!


Just as a side note, here are ten random facts about water and hydration for anyone who’s interested!

  1. Koalas and Kangaroo Rats are two creatures that do not need to drink water to live. They are able to get all their water requirements from other sources such as eucalyptus leaves

  2. Camels can drink 94 litres of water in less than 3 minutes- don’t try this at home!

  3. Breathing in and out uses more than half a litre of water every day

  4. The average human brain is 78% water

  5. You begin to feel thirsty when your body looses 1% of water

  6. A person can live without food for more than a month, but only a week with no water

  7. Hot water freezes faster than cold water

  8. An air traveller can loose approximately 1.5 litres of water during a 3 hour flight

  9. Sound travels almost 5 times faster underwater than in air

  10. The food with the highest water content is cucumber at 96.7% followed by iceberg lettuce and celery

Away from hydrating, we have also been busy training and racing. This weekend Lauren and Jonny are heading to Cheshire for the Alsager 5 mile road race, while Andy is is continuing his indoor season racing a 3,000m in Mondeville, Northern France. Good luck guys!



It’s that time of year… Christmas, New Years… all that good stuff. Holiday’s are great, except they create some unique challenges when it comes to training.
Runners are creatures of habit; we create routines for ourselves to manage stress and   stay on top of all the variables associated with training. Basically, runners build their own micro ecosystem.

If there is one thing that can disrupt that ecosystem, its travel – which is why you will regularly see runners’ hotel rooms looking like a workout room. The bare necessities for normal humans are a suitcase and a bathing suit. For the runner it’s a foam roller, stretching rope, lacrosse ball, theraband… the list goes on.

Chances are this holiday season you will be travelling, and that your family will still never be able to comprehend why you are “going for a run”, or why you can’t just “fit it in” some other time. Then there is trying to explain why you are so tired all the time, and telling Nana as politely as possible that you already eat a lot and don’t need “fattening up”. Add to that the fact that you’re likely going to be either sharing a room with three other relatives or sleeping on the sofa. Last but not least you’re probably going to be in a place that you don’t do a lot of training in. There is no 4 mile loop that you can shut your mind off on and just lap a couple of times, or your trusty favourite workout spot.ssrun5

Just like exam time during University, the above is all added yet underrated stress on the body. Runners are constantly dancing around and across a very thin red line of peak fitness or injury and illness, and it often only takes a few new variables for the scales to quickly tip. With this in mind, we have put together some simple yet effective tips to help you manage training during the holiday season.

For those lucky enough to be runners in America, annual leave virtually does not exist, so chances are you will be back home in about two or three days.



Sounds simple, yet it is one of the easiest things to forget about. It often feels like Christmas is the day after Thanksgiving, and you go from your Turkey Trot to having lunch next to that weird Uncle who still wants to teach you how to wrestle.

Finding good training spots in new areas is now more accessible than it has ever been, particularly with the rise in popularity of applications like Strava. Look for some popular loops, parks or paths and plan your training accordingly. The data will give you a good sense of where you can run fast, and where you can run without dealing with traffic or a lot of people. University campuses are usually a pretty good starting point, as even if you are in the middle of the town where they made ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ you will probably find a track or some bike paths to run on.



There is no point taking any risks while you are running in a new area. By that I mean if you find a decent little park or grassed field somewhere, run it to death. There is nothing worse than trying to do a recovery run and also figure out where the hell you are: stopping and starting, looking down at your phone and trying to navigate out of iTunes and into Google maps. If Bowerman TC can do a 15 mile run on Ronaldo field at Nike WHQ (which is 3 laps to the mile) then you can run around a shitty high school football field for an hour.



24hr gyms are everywhere, and they all offer free-trials for a couple of visits. Set one up in advance and head there before and/or after runs. That way you can get into your tights and lay around on the floor with your various shaped balls and stretching ropes without your family thinking that you’re some kind of burlesque performer.

By heading to a gym you can dedicate all the time you need to pre-hab and re-hab and not need to worry about any running-related activities while back at the house. Not only is this easier logistically, its also a lot less stressful as there isn’t any chance you can be made to feel bad for doing your bum exercises while Nana is fisting the turkey with stuffing and everyone else is pottering about the kitchen.



It is perfectly acceptable for people aged 50 or over to fall asleep absolutely anywhere, yet runners often have the energy and motivation levels of the elderly. The advantage Grandad has is that he can turn his hearing aid off and instantly be in nap-heaven.

If you are not lucky enough to require the use of a hearing aid yet, buy some earplugs from the supermarket. If you are a seasoned traveller you will likely have some noise cancelling headphones. Add to this a sleep mask and you have a ripping day-time sleep set up that signals your intentions for a nap and will make people feel bad about trying to wake you. If you can add to this a feet-up situation that involves a blanket and/or a pillow you will have successfully mastered the task.

Target your most important daytime sleeps for after meals when there is a higher likelihood of your family doing the same after they have eaten themselves halfway towards diabetes.



Once again, sounds simple, but it can be a huge help. Don’t worry about pace or distance. If you normally cover about 10 miles for a 70 minute run at home but are now somewhere where you are still not quite settled, just do 70 minutes rather than trying to hit an exact pace or distance.

GPS watches are a great tool but can often be more harmful than helpful. Don’t try and force the pace and distance of a run you know inside out back home in an area where you aren’t as comfortable.



Getting fit is about a balance between stress and rest. Chances are you will probably be going to sleep later and up earlier than you normally would be. Being surrounded by people every minute of the day can often leave you feeling a bit drained from being ‘on’ so much.

Play it safe and schedule a day off during the week so you can enjoy a lunchtime beer and kick back like a normal person for 12 hours. This will help to restore your reputation as something more than the fanatical ‘exerciser’ in the family.

Toeing the party line like this for a day may cause temporary insanity, given it will be a consistent recycling pattern of sitting, eating and the same stories over and over and over. Still, it will be good for the body and is also a great chance to bank some emotional capital that you will need for leaving early during the opening of presents for your tempo.


Enjoy the Holiday’s, and don’t forget to hydrate!



Better Beer Miles with Josh Harris



Tomorrow Josh Harris (@_JoshHarris) will take on the world’s best at the Flotrack Beer Mile World Championships. Having recently run a solo 4:56 personal best as part of a time-trial, Harris enters the competition with a ranking of 8th.
Along with defending World Champ Corey Gallagher (@CoreyGallagher4) and superstar Lewis Kent (@lewiskentmiler), Harris is part of a Trio of SOS athletes who will toe the line in Austin with expectations of the podium.
We caught up with Josh before he headed out from his short stint in Colorado Springs to Texas for the Big Dance.

Walk us through the race this weekend… 

This has been my goal race since I resumed training after the Berlin Marathon (Ran a 10km PB, 29:42 the day before I flew out). I’m spending a few days with some friends at altitude in Colorado Springs before heading into Austin two days before the race. Once the race is finished I’m headed to New York for the first time with Canadian Beer Miler Lewis Kent.15536847_10210897104165065_771214771_o

What are the goals that you’re setting for yourself? 

I think I’m 6th fastest of the guys running the race on Saturday, as i’ve now slipped down to about #8 all time over the past year. I have a list of 5 goals that I would like to achieve in the race, and I would like to tick off as many of these as I can.

  1. Top 3 finish
  2. Sub 4:50
  3. Top 5 finish
  4. PB/AR: 4:56.25 Don’t spew

The Beer Mile is becoming a pretty popular event, what are some tips that the everyday beer miler can incorporate into their training to knock off some time? 

There are a few key strategies some of us use to be successful in the Beer Mile. Apart from some obvious race day tips that are around on the internet I’ll give 3 specific training methods that I have been using to try and maximise my performance:

  1. I have been incorporating beer strides to get some training in after the occasional run. (3 x 60m, beer, 60m, walk back)
  2. Try and build your capacity! I’m smaller than most of the other elite guys, so I do this by drinking some beers, while eating as much as I can. I occasionally fill a beer bottle with water and chug as many of those as I can in a row.15555377_10210906012747774_33107980_o
  3. Do a race simulation before race day. There’s nothing more specific than actually going out and doing one. It doesn’t have to be a full Beer Mile but try and do at least 3 beers, with race pace running. My weakness is not being able to run anywhere near mile pace on lap 2 & 3, which is why I need several practice workouts to get up to speed.

With all the beers available, what do you use on race-day?

To be official the beers need to be at least 355ml (12 oz) and 5% alcohol content, which limits the choices considerably. The easiest beer i’ve had that fits both criteria it the Budweiser Light Platinum. The beer is 6%, but it’s the volume that is the issue in the race, rather than the alcohol content.

You can’t always mix business and pleasure, what is your go-to beer on the off days? 

When I’m drinking casually I love to drink Van Dieman products. They are a local beer from back home in Tasmania and have been a really great supporter. They are a brand doing good things in the Tasmanian community. I really enjoy their Pale Ale, and I would say that it would definitely be my current beer of choice. 

Given that not all Beer Miles are on the track, what footwear will you go for? 

It depends what surface the race is being held on. The Beer Mile is still a somewhat underground event, so they can be held on the track, grass or road. I would wear the same shoe I would race a standard mile in. If the race is on the track I would use the Brooks Wire 4, but if it is road like the Flotrack World Championships I will use the Brooks Hyperion for a fast, lightweight feel.


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