When it comes with hydrating during a race, I think I’ve almost tried it all. I wrote about the first five ways I’ve tried hydrating here. At one time or another they were all my favorites. But then something about them annoyed me, and I moved on.
My most recent half marathon was a trail race, and there was only one aid station for each 4+ mile loop. Maybe you can run without water for 4+ miles, but I knew I needed something more.
I can carry more water
Like way more water. And it really helped me in training for my trail half, as I ended up running on some very hot days. There were times I had about 50 ounces of water in the bladder; the most I can carry with a handheld bottle is 20 ounces, and the most I’ve carried with a fuelbelt was thirty.
I can put ice cubes in to keep the water cool
It is much easier to put ice cubes into than water bottles due to the larger opening.
The only drawback is the water in the drinking tube will heat up because it’s exposed to the elements, so sometimes you’ll get a little warm water until you reach the water from the bladder.
Apparently some people keep their bladder half filled in the freezer, which also helps to kill bacteria (darn things are difficult to dry out, I found out) — I didn’t try this, and I rarely have a whole lot of room in my freezers anyway.
It feels lighter
To me it feels much, much lighter than any other way I’ve tried to carry water. Not everyone feels that way — I chatted with a friend who tried one and to her it felt heavy.
It frees up some space in my pockets
I am able to put my phone in the zippered pocket in back. And a small first aid kit. No water bottles in my pockets.
I have plenty of space for food in my pockets!
It frees up my arms
One of my big problems with both a fuel belt and a handheld bottle, although for years I happily used both, is that it effects my arm swing. The bottles on the fuel belt always seemed to get in my the way of my arms, and of course carrying a bottle in your hand definitely effects your arm swing.
So let me know in the comments:
Favorite way to hydrate during a race?
Could you race 4+ miles before an aid stop?
Do you ever find yourself running out of pocket space? No matter how many pockets I have, it never seems to be enough!