Housekeeping: Oops. I announced 4 miles for Half Marathon hopefuls before Saturday's workout, but it should have been 5. I know I lot of you self-corrected and got in at least 5, but I fear I cheated some of you (including myself) out of a mile.

To help us stay on track, I will use Sunday blogs to post the coming week's routine. The final number in each graphic is your total miles for the coming week, and the red box is our long run on Saturday.

If you're doing 10k then Half Marathon

If you're doing 10k then Relay Team

If you don't know whether you want to do the Relay or the Half in September, you should be trying to stay on the Half Marathon schedule so you're ready for the greater distance. You can drop the Half and switch to the Relay at any time if you decide it's not for you.

Of course, our 1-mile walkers should do what they are comfortable doing.

On Saturday, BLB hosted another guest speaker. This time, Cortney Myer, a sports physical therapist with Akron Children's Hospital, gave us guidelines on hydration and nutrition - two topics we have not really addressed in depth before. She stressed their importance by saying more than half of success in running comes not from the actual running, but from managing things like sleep, nutrition, hydration and strength training.

Here's a brief look at some of the points she made:


* While running, you should be drinking the same amount of fluids you are losing through sweat. Try weighing yourself after a run and see what you lost. If you lose 2 pounds, that's way too much. You need to be drinking more during the run. (She was surprised that the majority of us were not carrying water on the trail.)

* Find a urine color chart on the Internet and learn what color a healthy urine is, then look often and use that as an easy guide as to whether you are drinking enough water. (Coffee drinkers would have a different color from non-coffee drinkers.)

* Reduce the fluid you lose through sweat by wearing the proper running clothes. (She thought our group looked appropriately dressed.)

* Headache is the first sign you're getting dehydrated. Other symptions like dizziness, fatigue, nausea, disorientation mean you may be advancing to the more serious stages of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

* For every liter of water you lose, your heartbeat goes up 8 beats per minute.

* People who fear being dehydrated can overcompensate. Do not overhydrate. That drops the sodium content in your body. Some races have chicken soup or other things with high salt content for runners who are losing too much sodium.

* If you are running over an hour, you may need to supplement with sports energy drinks. Don't water down the energy drinks. If you can tolerate them, salt tablets or electrolyte tablets may be helpful. In shorter distance races, you might not need to consume these things during the race, but rather afterward.


* Always eat before you run, and make it carbs and sugar. Not protein. Most should stay away from peanut butter (though some are known to tolerate it) because peanut butter and other proteins can cause "runner's runs." Myer makes homemade "powerballs" with oats, chocolate, honey and other ingredients.

* If you are running over 45 minutes, you should get some glucose in your body right after you're done. Carry something little in your pocket like a Chips Ahoy Granola Bar so you can eat right away. For every 45 minutes you run, you need 100 calories. But watch for things that have caffeine in them - it can upset your tummy.

* Starting 5 days before a race, the majority of your meals should be carbs. Even for distances as small as a 5k. It takes that long for glycogen to store up in your body. The pasta dinner before the marathon is a fun tradition, but it's too late for purposes of building glycogen for the race.

* Betwen tapering and carb loading, it's normal to gain 2-3 pounds in the week before a race. It's tough on you mentally, but it's okay. You'll lose it. Your body is storing fuel and energy for the race.

* Don't eat anything new on race day that you haven't tried during training.

* Walkers burn almost as many calories as runners, so nutrition tips are the same. But hydration may not be quite the same because walkers will sweat less than runners.

If you want me to blog more in depth about any of these topics, shoot me an email at Otherwise, I'll pick some that I think are of general interest and revisit them more in depth over the next couple of weeks - maybe starting with the recipe for those homemade powerballs Myer said she eats before running. She had me at "chocolate" :)

- Paula