Sprinting and dehydration

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Yesterday morning I decided to mix in some interval sprints with my usual walking here at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.  I grabbed a small cup of coffee, drank it while reading Stars and Stripes, then started my walk.  I worked in four sprints on the long side of the track, nothing too serious. 

Later in the day I felt a tweak high in my hamstring.  At first I thought it was a hip problem but later I recognized it as a muscle pull; I’d suffered almost the same injury 2 years prior, also while doing sprints in the morning.  

This is the third time since being in the Army  I’ve pulled a muscle doing sprints in the morning.  I believe that in all three cases I was dehydrated, which contributed to the muscle pulls.  We are most dehydrated when we first wake up in the morning.  I drank very little water yesterday morning and on the previous day only ate two meals.  Low food intake can contribute to dehydration.  Also, the the sun is very intense and the humidity is low in Kandahar.  I’d been walking for about 30 minutes before I began the sprints without drinking water. 

In any case, I’ll be drinking more water before doing anymore sprinting, especially in the morning.  The Army thinks training in the morning is best, but I don’t and neither do the US Marines.  The Marines usually train sometime around lunch, and only 3 times per week as opposed to the Army’s 5.  I think this is much better and the Marine’s results show.

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