Running without headache

One of the biggest problems with my long distance (10K or longer) weekend runs was the post-run headache. I would be perfectly alright immediately after the run but slight nagging headache would start after a few hours. It would continue for the rest of the day unless I sleep for 2-3 hours post run. This would mean that most part of the day would be gone. Although taking a headache tablet is another solution, I do not prefer taking tablets frequently.

I started researching online and found out that there are three main reasons for post-run headaches – dehydration, bad posture (neck area) and exposure to the sun. In my case, the posture seemed to be fine so it had to be the dehydration or the sun. I’m generally a bit sensitive to long exposure to sun but the main reason turned out to be dehydration. I used to carry enough water during my runs and also used to have one coconut water (~250-300 ml) after my run but that wasn’t helping.

I then realized that the excess loss of salts during the runs could be causing the headaches. Sports drinks like Gatorade was an option but I hate these chemical filled drinks. That is when I started having extra coconut water after the runs. I started having at least 2 coconut water (~500 ml) for every 6 – 7 km of my run. I’ve tested this multiple times over the last few weeks and can confidently say that this is working perfectly for me. I am finally very happy to have found a solution to the post-run headaches. Now the only worry is to make sure I have enough of coconut water stocked on the race day when I go to other cities for my runs. If possible I think it’s good to have one coconut water before the run as well to keep myself well hydrated.

Coconut water has been working wonders for me and I strongly recommend it to all runners/cyclists. I also make my own energy drink by putting some sabja (also called chia or falooda) seeds in the coconut water and allow it to soak for sometime. I carry a bottle of this during my long runs and also on the race days instead of having the chemical filled electrolyte drinks given on the race days. We are really fortunate to get fresh coconut water in every nook and corner here unlike in other countries where coconut water is also sold as packaged drink with added preservatives.

Run Rocky Run

I have been participating in the TCS 10K runs for 4 years now but it’s been only an year since I got more serious about running. After last year’s TCS 10K run, I decided to train well and also run regularly instead of running just a month or two before the runs. That’s how I got into registering for half marathons. Airtel’s Hyderabad Half Marathon in 2014 was my first one. I trained for almost 2.5 months for the run and the only target was to complete the run without much focus on the timing. I did it in 2 hours 47 minutes. After this, Half Marathons in Kaveri Trail Run (KTM), Bengaluru Midnight Marathon and the Auroville Half Marathon followed. I felt really good after completing each of these runs. I really enjoyed the scenic KTM run and Auroville run. I was very impressed with the living style and the greenery in Auroville. The trail was in the green zone and the muddy trail was perfect for the run. At the end of four Half Marathons, my current timing is around 2 hours 40 minutes.
Born To Run
I’m looking forward to these runs this year as well but the target now is to get my timing under 2 hours 30 minutes consistently. My long term goal is to be able to run in at least a few of these awesome runs –

I got a cycle (Btwin 5 Original hybrid bike) for cross training for my runs. However, I have also been using it to cycle to work for over 6 months now. Also, I took part in the Vodafone Cycling Event in Bangalore recently and finished 40 kms in 110 minutes.

After finishing the race
After finishing the race