Dopey Challenge Training - Week Six
by, 10-13-2013 at 08:00 PM (537 Views)
“Keep varying the program. Your body will tell you what to do.” ~ Joan Benoit Samuelson, 1984 Women's Marathon Olympic Gold Medalist
I’m a skinny-fingered person. Not quite Jack Skellington-skinny but there’s just not a lot of fat on those bones (unfortunately there is more than enough fat distributed elsewhere on my body but that is an entirely different discussion). So I’ve found it odd that during long runs my fingers can puff up like ten little pigs in a blanket. Same thing with my toes; ten little piggies. Rings hurt. Shoes hurt. And this puff takes all the fun out of what could be a good run.
While puffy extremities can be caused by any number of things, the most common issue is an electrolyte imbalance. On a typical day, the body can easily regulate the salt levels in your blood in order to prevent tissue swelling. Regulating that balance is more challenging during exercise if one looses too much salt via sweat or has too much salt in their diet. Either way, the extremities can swell.
Given that just about every runDisney race this year has been in hot and humid weather conditions, the members of the Team MousePlanet discussion forum have been offering up a variety of ideas that they find help them keep the puffiness down. No matter how many runs you may have completed, there is always room to learn something new and the group at Team MousePlanet are always willing to offer up great advice. Some suggestions revolving around using standard electrolyte projects you can find in running stores such as Clif Shots, Chomps, Nunn, Sport Beans, etc but there are a few simple options you can find in just about any kitchen that may work just as well.
• Salt packets: the most simple and easy to find product. While very effective in quickly getting sodium into your system, trying to swallow salt without the benefit of a McDonald’s French fry or pretzel can be difficult. There is also the question of getting the right water / salt balance to actually do much good but if you need a quick hit, regular table salt works great. As Team MousePlanet Community Leader adriennek discovered during a recent run, if you do carry salt on a run make sure it’s kept in a water-proof container to keep it from becoming unusable if it happens to get wet.
• Mustard packets: there is roughly 200 mg of sodium in one tablespoon of mustard which is the same as 8 ounces of Gatorade Endurance. If you like mustard, carry along a few restaurant packets along on your run might be an option for a quick sodium boost. Both adriennek and Team MousePlanet member fairestoneofall are fans of mustard (which may also help with leg cramps as well).
• Pickle juice: at 4x the sodium typically found in sports drinks, pickle juice is making a comeback as athletes look to more natural solutions. Team MousePlanet member Disneyphile carries a small bottle of pickle juice along on her runs to help with both sodium replacement as well as nausea.
• Soup: about six hours prior to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler I sipped a microwavable tomato soup that I brought with me from home. It’s high in sodium and although I didn’t think about it at the time, it may have helped keep my sodium levels in balance as for the first time running in high humidity and temperatures I did not end up hosting a sausage fest on my hands or feet!
Remember, puffy fingers and toes can be caused by not only low sodium but also high sodium levels in your body. If you already have a high-salt diet, these suggestions may actually increase the issues instead of resolving them. Test out a variety of potential solutions on your next long run to find one that may work best for you. Just remember to try any new products or ideas before you hit a starting line to see how your body reacts to the product.
Here’s to continuing the journey to Dopey and to a successful training week.
Training Week Six –
Monday October 14th – rest / Barre3 (cross-country travel day)
Tuesday October 15th – 3 miles / Upper-body strength training
Wednesday October 16th – 6 miles
Thursday October 17th – 3 miles / Lower-body strength training (travel day)
Friday October 18th – rest
Saturday October 19th – Per Plan/ 9 miles - will use this as my x-train day
Sunday October 20th – Per Plan / x-train - will be running the Nike Women's Half Marathon