This summer has been a battle with dehydration. The season has had higher than normal temperatures and humidity and I have found myself very dehydrated following runs which had ill effects when running on consecutive days. Before every run, I have been trying to consume 16-32 ounces of water before hitting the road. Additionally, to beat feeling thirsty I like to chew gum (cinnamon Trident is my favorite) during my runs. This generally is my current plan, which I will adjust as my fitness
hopefully gradually improves:
1-3 MILES: I figure for short runs that no additional hydration is necessary. The water I drink before setting out will carry me through.
3-6 MILES: With the increased miles, I like to have the security of a splash of liquid refreshment when dry mouth sets in. For this distance, I like my Nathan handheld water bottle:
I mostly carry it in my left, but occasionally switch it, but with only 12 oz. of liquid I don’t think the weight is a factor. I prefer this model because it fits comfortably in my hand and I hardly notice it’s there until I’m looking for a quick swallow of water. I’m guessing that I’ve used this bottle for close to 100 runs and it has held up well. You squeeze and then bite the top to get the water. The top shows no sign of wear and there have been zero issues with mildew, even after long periods without use.
6-9 MILES: For longer runs (finally have built up to a couple lately), I choose to break our my Camelbak. I purchased mine in 2015 once I ventured into double digit mile runs.
This pack carries 50 oz. of liquid. I like this amount because I worry that anymore liquid weight could result in some chafing on the shoulder from the straps. This pack accompanied on one of my most memorable runs a few years ago, circumnavigating Rangeley Lake:
Cue “Glory Days” here…Oh to be able to run that distance again or even to consider doing it without second thought. Maybe down the road???
Fact is that despite some heavy pre-hydrating, I think I sucked the pack dry by mile 15. The lesson learned was to carry cash or credit in the zipper pouch for a pit stop on the route (not that it is always an option). Like the Nathan handheld, this pack has held up to biting on the tube end for water and has had zero mildew issues after a
seriously long layoff from use. I did however use a bleach solution to sanitize the pouch and tube before setting out a couple of weeks ago on my first venture back to an extended distance.
For training the hydration packs are essential. For races however, I have used the handheld more often since most event will have a fair share of water station for refills which is much easier with the handheld. I’m hoping that both my hydration systems get plenty of use in the coming months.
See you on the road!