If you are a long runner you are probably familiar with the inconvenience it is to stay hydrated. Drinking water is imperative when running longer distances (10k+), specially under hot weather, but carrying a water bottle for over an hour can get annoying really quick. While some people just opt to have a big gulp before starting and then drinking after they are done, this is not recommended at all. A lack of hydration will not only affect your performance, but your overall health. So what can you do to avert this mistake without the annoyance:
1) Run in a circuit
If you already run in a circuit this might be just about the most useless advice I could give, considering you probably already do this. But the best solution is to bring a bottle with you and leave it somewhere you are sure to pass by regularly. You might have to stop to drink a bit, but better than avoiding it. Hey that’s what the pause function on a GPS is for. If you live in an area where people might steal your bottle for some odd reason, you could also make your own mobile aid-station. Bring your car, put a cooler in it and you can have fresh cold water whenever you run by it. The only problem is having to run in circles. If you run very long distances (like a marathoner for an instance), then it can boring quick. So let’s move to the next alternative.
2) Plan you route
Many cities have fountains with clean fresh water at anyone’s disposal. So if you plan your route correctly you might pass by enough of those. Alternatively you could line up your route with stores or vending machines, where you can buy bottled water. The problem with this is that, depending on when you run the fountains might be dry and the stores closed and then your left literally out to dry.
3) Hydration belts
I personally am not a fan of these, but many runners use them constantly. Basically it’s a belt with many small, ergonomic water bottles. The advantage is that you don’t have to carry them in your hand and, since they are small, they don’t bounce around too much, as if you were carrying a bottle in your pocket. They do bounce enough for me though. And, since they are constantly out in the open, the water gets hot quick under the sun. On a hot day that can be awful. It’s still better than no water. There is an alternative though.
4) Water packs
Those are big water bags that you carry on your back or as a vest. They are much preferred by cyclists. If you hide it in a bag it might retain it’s temperature for longer and you can carry anything between 1 to 5 litres of water. The drawback is that you’ll have to carry it, obviously. That means adding the weight of the water to your own weight, which means a higher degree of effort.
Whichever option you choose, just remember to drink enough water during every run.
NO LEGEND IS MADE ALONE.
Photo credit: Tim Geers