In preparation for New York City Marathon, Gatorade invited Anthony Pangilinan and I for a Gatorade Sweat Test, a test conducted by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) more commonly to elite athletes from Philippines National Teams to the Azkals. They’ve also done the test for the Polo Tri Team.
The Gatorade Sweat Test basically analyzes an athlete’s sweat rate and provides an adequate hydration program to ensure that the athlete performs at his/her best. For Anthony and I, Gatorade offered to conduct the test to help us plan our hydration for NYC Marathon on November 6.
Gatorade Sweat Test director and consultant of GSSI, Nino Sinco, a 3:20 marathoner, mind you, gave us a briefing. Here’s what I learned about hydration:
- For every 2% below proper hydration level, you experience a 20% reduction in performance. For us runners, this could mean months of training flushed down the drain just because we failed to drink properly before or during a race!
- Our sweat rate does not change whether in hot or cold weather. This means that regardless of the amount of sweat you feel, you should make sure you are hydrating properly because you sweat the same amount whether you’re running in Manila heat or New York winter. In cold weather, you’re just less soaked because the sweat evaporates quickly.
- Most athletes—including you, dear runner—start a workout dehydrated without even knowing it. I plead guilty.
A week before the test, we were informed that GSSI would simulate race conditions for New York City Marathon. What did this mean? They booked a function room at Mandarin hotel, brought two treadmills in, and reduced temperature to 55 degrees. Only a limited number of people were allowed in the room to keep the temps low. The kicker: two fans were placed on each side of the treadmills to simulate wind chill! Brrrrr. My Li’l Miss Bull Runner must’ve felt the cold because she asked: Is it also going to snow in here?
Before I got into full NYCM Gear, GSSI took my weight and urine sample. Once done, I was not allowed to eat or drink anything but water or Gatorade.
Nino then placed two patches on my body: one on my forehead and another on my forearm. This would collect my sweat and would be removed until it was fully saturated. They did the same with Anthony.
We were handed 1 bottle of Gatorade and 1 bottle of mineral water and we could drink as much as we wished. Our heart rates were taken and would be monitored every 10 minutes or so during the entire run.
BREAKING A SWEAT
Anthony and I hopped on our treadmills ready for the long and cold run ahead. We were instructed to run for 1 hour and 30 minutes at any pace we desired.
Ooh boy. I love to run, BUT not on a treadmill. It is dreadfully boring for both the legs and mind and I do it only as a last resort. I was thankful that Anthony was there as company. (Gatorade, I only do this for you!)
We agreed to keep our pace at 4. But, when Anthony wasn’t looking, I increased mine to 4.5 haha. When GSSI staff checked on us, I learned he had increased his speed to 4.6 and proudly announced to them that he was faster. So, of course, I hiked mine up to 4.7! Yes, Mr. Pangilinan, you were 0.1 faster than me for uhm 5 seconds hah!
We talked about New York preps, running, triathlon and more as the X-Men DVD prepared by GSSI staff for our entertainment played on. We talked about how we were slaving away like hamsters while GSSI and Gatorade people were probably dining at a buffet in the warmer room next door. Once in a while, Anthony would sprint or run sideways like a dancer. It may have been out of boredom, but it may also have been an attempt to distract me from finishing the run. I suspect it was the latter!
During the last 20 minutes, Nino removed my patches because they were saturated with sweat already. I then began my countdown to the finish. I would yell: 19 minutes to go…10 minutes to go…5 minutes…1 minute. It was around this time when I recall Anthony saying: Ang kulit mo pala! Poor guy. The Gatorade Sweat Test must have also been a test of his patience and tolerance with The Bull Runner tsk tsk.
WE DID IT!
We both ran all 1 hours and 30 minutes. It was the longest I had ever gone on a freakin’ treadmill. Wow, I felt like a winner when I finished.
Once we were done, we had another weigh in to check fluids lost. Anthony then proceeded for the post-test interview first and I followed.
AND THE WINNER IS…
Even before the Sweat Test ended, GSSI had confirmed that I was dehydrated when I started the run. Scary how I felt completely fine and I was completely oblivious to the risks I was putting on my body!
Our full results will be released early next week before we leave for NYC Marathon and I’ll post them up here. I’m pretty excited because the info will surely be useful in planning our hydration for the race and all other future races. They will be able to tell us exactly how much fluids we should be taking during the race and how often. How cool is that?!
As for my running buddy (or was it fierce competitor?), he texted me that evening: I won Part 1!
What Part 1?! Why didn’t anyone tell me this was a race?! And how exactly did he win it?! Apparently, Mr. Pangilinan’s basis for the win was that he accomplished the urine test + actual run + interview faster than I did! Much to my hesitation, I conceded. After all, he did leave hotel premises earlier. And, the Gatorade Sweat Test was just that – a test.
Too bad Mr. Pangilinan didn’t know that Part 2 was the Adidas KOTR 21k the following day. I ran the 21k while he stayed in bed to rest and recover. As soon as I crossed the finish line that day, I declared myself the winner of Part 2!
As for Part 3, let’s see who crosses the finish line first at the NYC Marathon! Care to place any bets?
Thanks to Anthony for keeping me sane during the run. I couldn’t have thought of a more hilarious and entertaining treadmill running partner for the day. See you in NYC Marathon and carry that flag for us with pride! Thanks to Gatorade for giving me the opportunity to undergo this test. You can make me your guinea pig or hamster anytime and I’ll willingly run another long and boring treadmill run just for you. No sweat! And, no pun intended!