Water yourself

I’ve said it before, well maybe I haven’t written it, but staying hydrated while running is insanely important. So important that I’ve spent quite a bit of time experimenting to find the best method for me. I’m sad to say that I haven’t found the optimal technique, but I’m still open to ideas.

During races I make sure to check how many water stations will be available.  If it is a short race (5 or 10k), I won’t take a bottle. For most trail races I come equipped with my handheld, trails are quite variable and three miles may take longer than expected.

This is also the water bottle that I have used during training. With 22oz of water it is perfect for an eight mile run.  When I am going to run longer distances, I try to plan my route so I can refill my bottle (you never want to be without H20). Although I’ve come to know and love my Nathan’s, some days I feel like it is weighing me down. I know it doesn’t weigh quite that much, yet it changes the distribution over my body. Another downside? When my hands get sweaty (which they inevitably do) it can be frustrating to hold something.

Seeing many of my fellow runners wearing them, I decided to purchase a waist pack. Again I went with the Nathan’s option and purchased the triangle waist pack. For my first trail run with the waist pack, I didn’t notice any discomfort. And then I wore it on a 12 mile training run. Less than four miles in I noticed that my stomach was bothering me. The pack was too tight around my waist and it was causing adverse side effects. Loosening it up, the pack just flopped around a bit. I couldn’t make it through wearing the pack and abandoned it after seven miles. After the difficulties I felt that day, I decided it would be best to research alternative methods. My friend’s mother is currently using my pack while she walks each morning. I hope she has better luck than I did.

Recently my coworker gave me a hydration backpack as an “early going away” gift. (Another way of saying he hadn’t used it in the seven years he owned it and it would be better off with me.) I’m not sure if I am going to try it while I run, but I think it will make a great hiking/biking hydration option. Unfortunately it is the no-frills model, there are no compartments for storage, but maybe that will make it lighter and less cumbersome.

I’m still looking into my options when it comes to hydration packs. I believe that there may be a more ergonomic handheld out there, which may be my best bet. Until then, I’ll stick with my Nathan’s. Gotta stay hydrated, especially in this ridiculous heat!

What methods do you use to stay hydrated while exercising? Are there any accessories you can suggest?

About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on July 12, 2011, in Running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I JUST heard about this thing called the GelBot and I think I want one if it would fit in a belt holster. Gel and water in one bottle. I currently use an Amphipod belt, which I like better than FuelBelt, but they are all super annoying.

    • Wow, the Gel-Bot looks like a pretty cool contraption. Although I’m afraid I’d squeeze gel all over myself while running (and I already look silly enough).

      And I agree about belts. Don’t know if there is one out there that would be right for my body shape.

  2. I hadn’t seen the gel-bot before, looks pretty neat but I”m like Michelle…not sure I’m that coordinated to use! LOL

  3. I think I have more hydration bottles and gadgets than shoes. I have a couple of fuel belts, both of which I love for anything over 6-8 miles. I’m not crazy about how they look or anything, but I like being hands free that far into it. Anything shorter and I use one of my Amphipod hand held bottles–I have a 12 and 20 oz and love them both. I thought using a hand held would drive me crazy, but that brand seems to just fit well in my hand and I really don’t notice it….nor do I miss finagling a bottle out of a belt and tripping. And, the amphipods have a nice zipper pouch that easily holds my car key and a GU or two.

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