Add this to section of your website

Meet a Cyclist Turned Runner

This is the time of the year where two conditions can work against you: dehydration and hyponatremia. The best defense is to ensure that you hydrate during the day if you are training in the late afternoon or evening. During your training you should have some type of sports drink and not just plain water. It does not take long for dehydration to set in. One way to tell is if you feel thirsty then it is too late. There may be a tendency to over drink to remedy the dehydration and it can cause the other condition hyponatremia. These two conditions affect your performance and they are preventable.

Dehydration is a condition that can occur when the loss of body fluids, mostly water, exceeds the amount that is taken in. With dehydration, more water is moving out of individual cells and then out of the body than the amount of water that is taken in through drinking. Medically, dehydration usually means a person has lost enough fluid so that the body begins to lose its ability to function normally and then begins to produce symptoms related to the fluid loss.

In addition to drinking water, the body also needs replacement of electrolytes (for example, potassium and sodium) lost with the above-mentioned conditions, so drinking water without electrolyte replacement may not complete the balance of water and electrolytes the body has lost. (WebMD)

Hyponatremia refers to a lower-than-normal level of sodium in the blood. Sodium is essential for many body functions including the maintenance of fluid balance, regulation of blood pressure, and normal function of the nervous system. Hyponatremia has sometimes been referred to as “water intoxication,” especially when it is due to the consumption of excess water, for example during strenuous exercise, without adequate replacement of sodium. (

I would like to share some comments from Arnoldo Loaiza of Costa Rica who has been a frequent competitor at the annual Army Ten-Miler (Washington, DC).  Arnoldo is someone who has years of experience training year round, including during these hot summer months.  He is always careful to avoid dangerous conditions that could impact his performance.

As you talk with others who are in the sport of running you learn that there were other sports which consumed their time and running was casual or nonexistent. “I was a semi-professional cyclist for 15 years, then I quit cycling, but honestly just started running only for fun and to keep myself healthy.”

It has been the last six years which Arnoldo has devoted more time to the sport. There are many attractions to the sport of running and usually to stay healthy can be one reason. After awhile, a person gets consumed and more time is given. Arnoldo started with the shorter distances, but over time his passion developed for the half-marathons and marathons on the road. When it comes to trail running, distances of 60K (37 miles) are his preference. It goes without saying that his focus over time progressed and being healthy became second nature.

In order to meet the demands of the sport, it takes more time to train than an actual event. A difficult question is regarding how much time is needed to train for a marathon or even a 10K. It takes a balance of workouts, and so I asked Arnoldo about balance. “I have no idea when it comes to balance, it’s is just pure and simple courage. I try to train in the morning before work and then in the evenings hit the  gym or pool (if necessary).”

The memorable moments from competitions have always involved the support of his family members. For the 2018 Correcaminos Marathon in Costa Rica (3 hours 14 minutes), “My dad was supporting me and waiting at the finish line.” During the 2015 Rock ‘N’ Roll Washington DC Half Marathon which was his debut at the distance (1 hour 24 minutes 37 seconds), “My dad was supporting me and waiting at the finish line,” and his debut ultra-marathon at 60K in Monteverde Costa Rica, the Moon Run, “My dad was supporting me.”

Pre-Boston marathon there was not such a heightened level of awareness when it comes to safety and security. Today, this is a common concern around the globe. Arnoldo said, “In terms of security and support, the support from the states is awesome as always.”

When it comes to injuries there are ways to prevent them, “With regular physiotherapist and functional training at the gym.”

There have been events where the effort and results did not add up, “Always think twice, before you act. It’s true that  the body does not always reflect our training, and sometimes the body has other plans. So I always listen to my body. Running is 60% emotional, and I am a 120% competitive runner.”

Part of Arnoldo’s philosophy?

“Believe in yourself. The training is the difficult part, racing is just the fun part. Believe me, if you made a good preparation for your race, the race itself will be a fun run (a walk in the park). My parents, they always taught me to perform my best and do it with love and be grateful.”

Every athlete has challenges no matter what their chosen sport is, and they learn along the way, “Sometimes my work (which I love it, I am a Computer Engineer by the way) demands more time than usual, and I don’t get enough rest, and some minor injuries. I have learned that there will be ups and downs. You can’t always perform at 100%, you need to be patient and choose your races wisely. There is always chance for improving, when time passes, you settle down, and analyze your previous mistakes or prepare harder for any specific race you want to improve.”

The view which Arnoldo wants to present is, “I’m just a simple Costa Rican living in Czech Rep, working, running, and always looking for new experiences to be amazed of. Let’s chat, I’m a funny goofy guy with advice to always help others to achieve their goals.”


  • George Banker

    George Banker is the Operations Manager for the Army Ten-Miler (US Army / MDW), the second largest 10-mile road race in the United States. Since 2003, his responsibilities include the operational planning, logistics, community outreach, design of the course, volunteer recruitment, and support to medical and police jurisdictions. Prior to joining the Army Ten-Miler, he worked 25 years at IBM serving in administration and management within the federal marketing environment in Bethesda, Maryland. He is retired from the U.S. Air Force (enlisted grade Technical Sergeant), where his experience included ground refueling supervisor and cryogenic fluids production supervisor. He received 14 military decorations including the Air Force Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (1969-1989). Since 1983, he has worked as a freelance photographer and journalist, senior writer for the Runner’s Gazette, contributor to Running Journal newspaper, and He is the author of “The Marine Corps Marathon: A Running Tradition”. He is an avid runner, with 114 marathons completed. You can find our more about him at


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mission: Milspouse is a
501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

EIN Number: 88-1604492


P.O. Box 641341
El Paso, TX 79904


Pin It on Pinterest

Verified by ExactMetrics