There are a surprising number of ways to hydrate during a race. Maybe relying on the water stops works for you; maybe they’ve let you down in the past. Today I’m sharing some of the ways I’ve hydrated in races (and one way I’ve yet to try).
Rely on water stops
There’s the obvious choice: simply rely on the water stops. When you’re BOTP, however, you can’t always expect that water will be waiting for you. Sometimes you can’t expect it if you’re fast!
Some of my best races have been races where I did choose to rely on water stops. For most races that are 55F or more, I usually have at least one alternative handy.
Use a handheld water bottle
I know, I know, you’re thinking you would hate to ever have to hold a water bottle in your hand. That’s what I thought, too, until I won a small handheld water bottle one day and then tried it.
Those little handheld bottles have helped me get through more than one race when the water stops, for whatever reason, were out of water or cups. Most have a small pocket, which allows you to carry keys or gels, too.
There’s no getting around the fact that it can alter your gait, and yes, it can be a little tiring for your arms. The good news is that it gets lighter as you drink your water.
Use a fuel belt
I used a fuel belt in the beginning for quite a few races. I settled one from Amphipod, similar to this one (Amazon Affiliate link), and I loved the fact that it was easily customizable.
I could carry four 10 ounce water bottles and have pockets for my fuel and phone, too. It was comforting to know I could carry all my own water (and not have to worry about fighting over to a water stop in large races) and be able to drink when I was thirsty.
Eventually, however, I got tired of the bouncing and the fact that it would cause chafing on my back.
Flipbelt water bottles
This is my current method of choice to carry a little water with me in a longer race. As you can see, I have tried a lot of different methods, and they all have their pros and cons. this past training cycle (spring 2017) I’ve been experimenting with drinking more water on the run.
I love the fact that the 6 ounce Flipbelt water bottle (Amazon Affiliate link) will fit into a pocket, whether that pocket is on a coat, a skirt, tights or capris. I’m covered if I get thirsty between water stops and I can also have the volunteers refill my water bottles, although be aware that sometimes they aren’t really prepared for that and you might lose more time than you’d like.
Use a hydration pack
I haven’t yet tried a hydration pack. I know that people seem to really like them and it sounds appealing to have your hands free and more water at your disposal.
I worry about tearing up my pretty running clothes. I know fuel belts used to do that.
So let me know in the comments:
Do you use a hydration pack? Does it rough up your running clothes?
What’s your preferred way to hydrate in a race?
Have you ever weighed yourself before & after a run to determine your hydration needs ?