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5ksandcabernets: Salt tablets in my future?

5ksandcabernets

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Salt tablets in my future?


I'm feeling better and better during my long runs as of late. At the end of a 13 miler two weeks ago and a 15.5-miler last weekend, I've been strong enough to end each run by running a sub 8-minute mile.

But I still feel like something is missing. About an hour into both runs, I could feel a slight twinge in my right quad, and by mile 10, I'm doing the splish-splash: Fill your shoes up with water and run and you know what I'm talking about.

One of the coaches I was running with last Saturday heard my feet squishing all over the place and he said, "Man, you sweat a lot." I told him I was having a little twinge in my leg. He said, "Man, Kevin, you are not breathing hard, you are talking, you probably should try some salt tablets."

At the time, I'd had a few gel shots, and at every water stop, I'd had two cups of water. I was drenched in sweat, but my sweat did not taste like salt. Also, my pace at the time was about an 8:15 or so mile, but the temperature was in the high 70s. So part of me thinks the quad twinge was in part because of how hot it was, and that maybe I need to spend more time running long distances. Still, I bet taking some Hammer endurolytes before and during my long runs can't hurt.

And it just so happens, the Hammer people sent me some freebies when I ordered their chocolate gel shots a few weeks back. So, I'll try these endurolyte tabs during this weekend's 12-miler and see how I feel. I also know that I need to stretch a lot more than I do.

Anybody take salt tablets like Hammer or Succeed? Do they help?

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7 Comments:

Blogger Jenny said...

I'll be interested to hear how those tablets work out for you! My husband sweats a lot and had terrible cramping, so now he downs a salt packet (from a fast food place) right before the start of the marathon. He hasn't any more problems. Your tablets sound a lot fancier, though.

August 26, 2008 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Sadie J said...

Succeed has a much higher sodium content. My husband has tried multiple brands and likes the Succeed brand best. He has not had cramps or the lingering headache after a long run since he started using them.

August 26, 2008 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Derek said...

I've been using Endurolytes for over 2 years now and have never had a cramp, or even the hint of having one. Taking 2-3 per hour works best for me, and I've used them on 4 hour runs and 6 hour rides!!

August 26, 2008 at 8:01 PM  
Anonymous slowwhiteguy said...

Wow! I've never ran far enough to worry about that. I sweat a lot, but I rarely exceed 6 miles on my runs. Not really enough time to develop significant sodium imbalances. I feel like a slacker now.

August 27, 2008 at 1:25 AM  
Blogger GandaMan said...

I've been using Succeed caps since moving up to the ultramarathon distances and have been very impressed with them. Earlier this summer, I went on an 80 mile bike ride in 95+ degree heat and my left hamstring started cramping. I immediately pulled over and downed a Succeed cap and some gatorade and when I started up again a few minutes later, the cramping had subsided.

Keep in mind, though, that you need to be careful when upping your sodium intake, especially if you are not running too far and/or not sweating too much.

August 27, 2008 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Victoria said...

I use s-caps on long (i.e. ultras, or stuff that is over 12 miles at least) runs-- when I did my first ultra last year, a woman at one of the aid stations told me to take them, and I felt great throughout. (Well, relatively great- but no cramping.)

August 27, 2008 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Linden said...

Oooh, I am definitely interested in how these work for you. It seems like the carb shots are working just fine for me, but I should do what Jenny's husband (above) does if it's hot on The Big Day.

I'm a very salty sweater: I have visible white powder on my face after a run. Even my hat gets salty lines on it (like Vanilla's Red Sox hat, and yes, I tasted it, but just once). Knowing that has bothered me a little, but since I don't think I've had any side-effects, I haven't worried about it yet. It's just good to know there are such a thing as salt pills out there and to hear how well they are working for people. :)

August 27, 2008 at 6:42 PM  

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