An Average Runner’s First Half Marathon: My Journey at the Cleveland Half Marathon 2024

Jun 6, 2024 | Ideas

Hi, I’m Victoria, a biomedical engineer at SweatID. As someone who helps design systems that make people run 60 to 90 minutes for exercise sweat tests, I wanted to experience what our users go through. So, I set out to train for longer distances, aiming to run within that 60 to 90-minute interval. My journey began with preparing for the 2023 Akron Marathon Relay, where I ran the first leg, covering 4.2 miles for the SweatID team. That experience sparked a new goal: training for and completing the Cleveland Half Marathon, my first-ever half marathon.

I’m thrilled with the results and the extensive training I did with the SweatID System, which prepared me thoroughly for race day.

Training and Preparation

Training for a late spring race in Northeast Ohio is always a gamble when it comes to the weather. On race day, temperatures soared from 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees with 75% humidity. Despite not being fully acclimated to the heat, I managed to devise a solid hydration plan for race day, all thanks to SweatID!

As an average runner clocking 15 to 20 miles a week at a slow pace, I now feel much better while running. Knowing my sodium concentration and sweat rate has been a game-changer. My SweatID sodium concentration is about 30 – 34 mM (690 to 780 mg/L), which is on the lower end of the spectrum for the average person’s sweat sodium concentration. This insight means I don’t need as many electrolytes, allowing me to drink them before a run and stick to plain water during the run. Instead of feeling bloated and tired from overconsuming sodium, I now feel more in tune with my body and better hydrated.

I’m in a unique and fortunate situation working at SweatID to have had more than a hundred exercise sweat samples tested in the lab while developing the SweatID Beta Prototype System. This wealth of data means I am extra prepared with a solid hydration plan tailored to my needs, regardless of the day’s conditions.

Pre-Race Hydration

  • 1 packet of LiquidIV Lemon-Lime Sugar-Free in 16 oz water
  • 32 oz plain water

Hydration During the Race

  • 40 oz plain water
  • 2 Gu Gels
  •  Espresso Love (60 mg Sodium) at Mile 4
  •  Vanilla Bean (60 mg Sodium) at Mile 9

 Race Recap

Overall, I am elated with my performance in my first half marathon. My initial goal was to finish in under 2 hours and 30 minutes, and I smashed that target with a time of 2:21:35! As the heat started to rise, I worried about making it to the finish line. But at miles 12 and 13, crossing the Guardian Bridge, I reminded myself of all the preparation I had done. I knew I would reach the finish line within my goal time.

Understanding my sweat sodium concentration allowed me to adjust to the hot and humid conditions better than a trial-and-error approach during practice runs would have. The scenic racecourse and beating my time goal have motivated me to run the Cleveland Half Marathon again next year. My new goal: to finish in under 2 hours and 10 minutes!

Reflecting on this journey, I am immensely grateful for the insights and support from SweatID. My experience underscores the importance of personalized hydration strategies in achieving running goals and feeling your best. If you’re a runner looking to optimize your performance and hydration, I highly recommend trying out the SweatID System. It’s been a game-changer for me, and it can be for you too.

To learn more about how SweatID can help you understand your body better and enhance your training, visit SweatID and start your journey towards smarter hydration today.

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