|By Amanda Thomas|
See, in order to move muscle, you need water. Without enough water, your muscles aren't getting enough electrolytes and resultantly muscle strength (and control) is weakened.
One of the challenges of an adventure race is to maintain hydration throughout. In severe conditions/high race pace, it's particularly easy to become dehydrated. Thirst is not always an indicator of fluid requirements, so it's important to evaluate sweat losses/fluid needs well ahead of time.
Body temperature increases during training in direct proportion to exercise load. Our resting temperature is approximately 37 degrees Celcius. Your body attempts to maintain this through sweat, which evaporates, thus cooling you down.
However, at the same time blood also has to carry oxygen/nutrients to the muscle and remove waste, but the higher your core temperature, the more blood you need for cooling off and less is available for your muscles. Hence, the cooler you stay during exercise, the better your muscle function will be.
AR participants must balance 'carrying weight' with 'minimum water intake requirements' as it is essential that you carry enough, as you cannot always refill during the race. Always plan ahead and realise that you will lose more water in hot or challenging environments than you will in cooler ones. If you don't intake enough, your performance will suffer.