I'm training with my brother at the mo for a HM in January. I seem to have started to struggle on the longer runs with dehydration, at least I think thats what is causing me to have horrendous migraines (which I do suffer from but normally the tablet I take keeps them at bay). After running nearly 8 miles on Saturday averaging at 11.51 m/mile, I felt very ill all of Saturday afternoon/evening with a migraine :( and I really don't want to think about giving up on the whole HM idea. I'm wondering if maybe I did too much and ran too fast?? It was a mostly flat course and one that I've ran hundreds of times now only just a bit further on to loop back.

I took water with me and drank all of it by the time I got back, I had eaten a bowl of porridge and a piece of toast with peanut butter on so felt I had prepared although maybe I could have drank more water before I went out.

Any ideas??? suggestions???

Thank you :)

32 Replies

  • I wonder if you are depleted in electrolytres? I take a SIS tablet and pop it in my camelback with water. I also generally have a bag of crisps after to replace all the salt. The ammount of salt I lose in a run through sweat is scary. I often end up with dusty salt crystals on my face so i make a point of eating salt to replace it. I have no idea if anything I have said is helpful or anything but I know it works for me.... good luck with your training :)

  • Thanks juicy thats a huge help because I noticed that salt crystals thing on my face after I ran a 10k race!! I do sweat buckets and thought that was just me haha! So maybe the answer is in the amount of salt I'm losing, I have some energise tablets like barocca type thingies, will they do the same trick if I put one in my water?

  • I use Berrocca but you may need something like this:

    I use these and they seem to help!!

  • Ive seen them juicy cant remember where but they sound perfect for me thank you xx

  • I have noticed the salt on my face too, but not thought of taking anything other than water, but maybe I should consider taking both on a long run...Can those tablet cause similar issues as gels, i.e. do they need careful testing?

  • I dont think they are as bad as the gels and I use 1 tablet per 2 litres of water so its really diluted in my Camelbak.....

  • Thanks. Just realised I still have some High5 tablets that came with a trail running mag a few months ago, may give them a try. I have two small bottles in my belt, so can have one plain and one "special".

  • I use the high5 electrolyte tablets for long runs. Not sure if they help or not, but it sounds like I should keep using them.

  • Well, if ill effects are unlikely, I may give them a try soon :-)

  • Me too!! I think this is a very good point. I have just been adding enormous amounts of salt to my food. I think my body is craving the salt


    you may find this helpful...

  • Thank you for that link. I did find that useful. I hadn't realised salt was so important. You know what I knew my face was all salty and my partner commented on my salt i put in a soup and i just didn't match the two together. I think I will try healthier way to increase my salt.

  • I always take water but add a pinch of salt to it . I have suffered from really bad headaches during/after running and I think its because I dont drink enough water generally.

    I always do my best to increase my water intake before any 10k's ( thats the furthest distance I have done )

    Good Luck and I hope you find a way that works for you :-) xxx

  • Thanks poppy definitely think it must be a lack of salt then xx

  • 8 miles at 11.51 is 90 minutes. While your immediate issue is probably hydration you may have to look at re-fuelling too. Apparently we carry enough energy to run for around 90 minutes and after that we suffer.

    My experience backs this up. I can run 10k without problems, but if I go much further than 12 I really need to eat during the run. So far I've used gels, but they seem to have unfortunate side effects. I'm going to try shotbloks next, and then something like jelly babies or jelly beans. There have been a few interesting posts recently on re-fuelling during longer runs.

  • Thanks for that definitely worth a try and i love jelly babies ☺

  • Thanks so much for all your advice and ideas, this is why I love this forum so much, your never alone with a problem ☺ I feel so much better now xx

  • I agree with rmn - it could well be a fuel issue. The times that I've underfuelled in the past, the aftereffects have lasted a while. I use Shotbloks, and find them good. On long runs, I eat one every half hour from 30 minutes in.

  • Thanks steve sounds good and starting to think i really haven't thought this long distance running through properly and have learnt a horrible lesson as i felt really lousy 😕

  • We learn through experience. I certainly got to a point in my HM training where I needed to address fuel and hydration. I don't seem to have a problem with water - on the HM itself, I decided to rely on the water stations rather than carry water, and on the day, I only used two of them. Do think about in-flight refuelling, and make sure you eat properly in the days before the event itself. On the day, I had no problem at all, despite it being the first time I'd done the full distance.

  • Thanks steve great advice ☺

  • I use a 1/3 mixture fresh orange juice. 2/3 water and a pinch of salt for the longer runs. I agree with JJ I found my electrolytes were out on the longer runs due to sweating. I also have a snack as well as a meal, later the same day as the longer run, I have a snack of kettle crisps and homous. the Orange juice has some good carbs in it for the run, also helps the immune system. Vitamin c.

  • Thanks for that! ☺

  • People have actually died during a marathon - not from dehydration, but from drinking too much water

  • Wow!! Scary stuff but very good to know, thanks bazza ☺

  • A very good article!!

  • Apparently the sugars in grape juice get used more quickly, according to my son who is a keen club cyclist, so on any run beyond 70 minutes I take very diluted (1:4) water/grape juice with enough salt added to be able to just taste, as well as some kind of refuelling; jelly beans, muesli bar etc. and I intend to try dates next week.

  • When my son was dehydrated from illness the doctor said there was no need to buy expensive rehydration sachets but to mix clear fruit juice with water, a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. He said that was equivalent to about 3 of those sachets. This sounds very similar to some of the suggestions above.

    I have actually used this for a hangover too ( shame) and it perked me up very quickly.

  • Thanks! sounds like a good tip :)

  • Thanks for that definately going to take some sort of fuel with me on my next long run ☺

  • I can't add anything helpful, I'm afraid, but thank you for posting this because the responses have cleared up problems for me! After longer runs I was experiencing headaches throughout the day, and although I generally drink a reasonable amount of water and certainly am careful to rehydrate after running, the lack of salt thing could well explain this. I do sweat a lot, even when it's cold. Also, I found that my face was sore in patches and I didn't know why this was either. I reckon I've been rubbing at the salt crystals and irritating my skin.

    I hope you can experiment and work something out that will stop your migraines - that must be really nasty :( All the best with it and good luck with your training!

  • Thanks and glad that my post has helped someone else with similar problems, isn't this forum a wonderful thing?? :D

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