Salt Tablets on 20 Miler

Today I finished my 20 mile run feeling fine. Last week I ran 16 miles and felt sick when I finished.

It was 75° when I started running today and grew warmer, but less humid, but it was the wind that was the best part. I know wind isn't always a runner's friend, but the wind blew over my sweaty skin and cooled me off. Last week was just hot and humid.

Because I sometimes have swollen hands, foot cramps or nausea at the end of long, hot runs, I use drinks and gels with more sodium in the summertime.

Today I used Succeed S Caps salt tablets (340mg sodium) in addition to Gu Brew blueberry pomegranate drink (245mg sodium) and Powerbar strawberry banana gel (200mg sodium). I used salt tabs because I only used the drink and gel last week and then I threw up - a first for me. 

Today I noticed that I felt thirstier than usual towards the end of my run - not a problem, though. I think I drank more water today. I didn't have swollen hands, foot cramps or nausea. 9:47 average pace today - I was slower last week. Today I planned on 18, but felt so good (maybe because of the weather and/or salt tabs) that I ran 20 miles instead!

(On the other hand, here's a Competitor Magazine article stating salt tablets aren't a good idea, that you should just use salt packets.)

Photo: taken on my 20 mile run in Scotland


  1. This is really interesting to me... my hands swelled rally badly and so did my feet in my last race. Makes me do some thinking.

    Glad your run went a lot better!!!

    Are you getting ready for something big with a 20 miler?? I don't see your next race listed on the side.

  2. I've only found only a little information on swelling online, but it's listed as a symptom on the Succeed S Caps page.

    My next race is a 10K on May 7, but I like running long so I'll be ready if I have a chance to run a longer race.

  3. How did they taste? How many did you have altogether on the long run? I need to look into this. My hands swell quite often on long summer runs. Always tweaking my hydration intake!

  4. The salt tablets are tasteless and are 7/8 of an inch long, but I swallowed them without a problem at the park water fountains. I took one at the start and one after one hour and the last one after two hours. I bought mine at

    I drank one cup of Gu Brew and ate 3 gels total. I took these at miles 3, 7, 11 and 15, though I normally would have waited until at least mile 4 to start. I just happened to be home at mile 3 to drop my dog off so I drank the Gu Brew. That worked well - maybe it helped to start early.

  5. I can't imagine eating the salt packets. Just seems gross and even when chased with water, seems like it would make me so thirsty.

  6. I know what you mean about eating plain salt. One of the nice things about Succeed S Caps - they don't taste salty.

  7. So glad to hear that you felt better after your long run today - NOT throwing up is a VERY good thing!!! Getting the electrolyte balance down is a hard thing - I can get a little swollen, too, but mostly Steve and I leave a lot of white salt rings on our clothes and hats. It is really hard to get nailed down.

  8. Oh, I know, it's so hard to get this figured out! I was trying to be scientific - I had the same breakfast, gels and sports drink both days and hoped to make the salt tablets my only change and then the weather was better this time. But, of course, that was actually good!

  9. I'm glad to read about your experience with the salt tabs. I've never used them before but think I'm going to have to for my half iron in July. I need to read up and practice with them when it gets warmer. Glad they are working for you.

  10. Interesting to hear stories of other runners feeling strange post-run. I sometimes end my run not knowing if I'm starving or want to throw up, but it's totally an uneasy feeling. Is that what you went through when you say you felt sick?

  11. Hi Monika! When I stopped running, my stomach hurt, I took a drink (hoping it might help) and then I vomited. After resting a few minutes with my feet up, I felt fine.

    I'm trying to walk a few minutes after a hard run - that might help. Hope we both get this figured out so we can finish feeling good.

  12. Hi Tina, just wanted to drop a line to say hi - thanks for commenting on my blog! I'm glad to find another fellow runner who lives in TX and knows the kind of heat we deal with, hehe. PS - I read your race times, that is awesome! Any tips on trying to run a faster 5k? My goal is to run a 24 min 5k but I don't know if I can handle it!

  13. Hi Michelle! Well, there's always speedwork, like 800's. That, and cool weather!

  14. Hi Tina! Thanks for reading my blog. It was fun checking yours out, especially the posts about running in Scotland. Trail running in Ireland or Scotland is one of my dreams. I have Houston ties, too. I went to college at Rice and ran my first marathon in Houston in 1997. I'm going to enter the lottery for next year's Houston, too.

  15. Terzah, I had so much fun running in Scotland! That would be great if you made it into the Houston marathon!


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