Jeff Browning recently completed the Moab 240s, a 200-mile plus distance race, and set a course record in spite of the heat.
In this podcast interview with Peter Defty, Jeff expresses his enthusiasm for the challenge of the Moab 240s, but also emphasizes the importance of strategy in ultra-running, including logistics, crew, pacing, sleep deprivation, hydration, and electrolyte balance.
One of the key takeaways from the race, according to Jeff, is the importance of understanding your hydration needs. This can involve testing for sweat rate and sodium per liter. Jeff notes that while sodium per liter is genetic, sweat rate is trainable. He suggests that anyone can test their sweat rate at home by going for a run without drinking or peeing, and then weighing themselves before and after the run to calculate how much liquid they are losing per hour.
Remember though, that sweat rate is VERY dependent upon environmental conditions and intensity levels.
The discussion covers the challenges of dealing with water retention during a race, and notes that Jeff retained a lot of water on the first night of the Moab 240s due to overdrinking. He notes that it is hard to get rid of the extra water and that it takes a long time to pee it out. We also discuss that sodium sweat tests can be misleading and that more data is needed to understand the relationship between sodium and hydration.
Hydration is one of the most dynamic factors in performance.
Jeff's Moab 240 experience highlights the importance of proper strategy, training, and preparation in ultra-running. Jeff also emphasizes the need to identify and address weaknesses beforehand because they are sure to rear their head in an ultra. Finally, the importance of testing key factors such as sweat rate and sodium per liter and fueling etc. under the conditions you will be performing in, in order to optimize performance.
To see the full podcast or download the audio click here