With warmer temperatures approaching (for some of us, at least. Ahem.), I decided to round up the chicks to discuss how we stay hydrated- on long runs, during a race and everything in between.
I’ve tried different hydration aids when I’m out doing a longer walk or run. The chewy ones (GU Chomps, Clif Shot Blocks, PowerBar Energy Chews) are fine. They sit well in my stomach. I don’t know that I feel more hydrated, but they’re not unpleasant. I assume as I conquer longer times/distances, these will come in handy. However the gels are just not my cup of tea. The taste isn’t always the issue, it’s more the sweetness and texture.
But mostly, I’m a straight up water girl when it comes to hydration. It’s funny, I don’t love water. I know all the benefits, but it’s an effort for me to just sip away while I’m at my desk all day. But once I’m working out, I drink ALL the water.
I hydrate with good old H2O before runs and races. Strangely enough, I am obsessed with reusable water bottles and finding the cutest one (I like to accessorize, what can I say?) so I have a few different SIGG bottles that I rotate depending on my mood. And, honestly, my outfit.
My standard drink when I go out to a restaurant is always water with lime so one could say that I’m a water fan. Therefore, hydrating before a race ain’t no thang for me! I don’t really have to remind myself to chug, chug, chug because it’s something that I do regularly.
I have a handheld water bottle that I’ve used exactly ZERO times while racing. Yeah, that’s right. I purchased it, put it in the drawer and pull it out occasionally for a training run but haven’t actually held it during a race. Instead I rely on the water stations and the good volunteers along my route. Thankfully, I’ve never experienced dehydration during any of the half marathons I’ve done.
However, now that I’ll be running a full in the Fall, I’ve started considering the options for a hydration pack. I’m not sure it’s necessary, given that I’m not running for time and the water stations give me an opportunity to slow down and sip from a cup (which I pinch so I can walk at the same time) but might help the flow of my running if I can keep chugging along!
My hydration hinges on a the given season and can vary widely. That’s right, I don’t hydrate the same when I run in the snow and subzero wind chills as I do in sweltering 90-degree heat. Throughout the year I try to hydrate well during the work day, as I guzzle water at my desk. I fail miserably at this task when on assignment without access to a bathroom. What goes in must come out and that’s not happening while covering a murder trial or police standoff.
On my long runs year round, I bust out my FuelBelt. It’s old and cranky and has four little bottles (so I can fill some with Gatorade and fill others with water.) But it works. And if it ain’t broke…. I don’t use it as much in the winter, as I can squeak by with a handheld when its really cold. Plus, it often freezes anyway and is like carrying a block of ice.
On shorter runs (5 miles to 9-10 miles) in the spring, I use my Amphipod handheld water bottle. It carries less water than the belt, but that’s not a bad thing. I don’t really want to strap on the belt for a mid-length run.
I typically drink maybe a ½ bottle to a bottle of water before I head out the door for a run. (And I make sure to hit the restroom before I start running so I’m not incredibly uncomfortable the entire time.)
Once I finish a run, I head straight for the water – or low calorie Gatorade (G2-purple.) Sometimes I drink nuun instead, but I am typically too impatient to wait for the nuun tablet to dissolve before drinking so I reserve my nuun for non-running hydration.
During long runs, I carry water with me. I’ve gone through a few different water bottles- my amphipod, which I loved, and a Natahn quickdraw, which leaked a lot and was thrown into the recycling bin after the Princess half in February. Since then, I’ve used my son’s Klean Kanteen bottle, which is okay but somewhat annoying to carry and not really big enough since it’s meant for a child and not for running. I’ve been researching water bottles and based on Sara’s recommendation, I have a new one to try- so I’ll let you know how that works out soon.
It’s hot and humid in Florida most of the year, and I’m prone to exercise headaches after long runs (10 miles or more) if I don’t hydrate enough. For races, I drink coconut water the day before and the morning of the race. I alternate with water (that I carry) and whatever electrolyte beverage is given every few aid stations. This has worked well for me during my last two races. I follow the race with a nuun tablet because it’s easy to carry with me. I don’t drink quite as much for regular weekend runs but I follow a similar routine, only I finish with coconut water again instead of a nuun tablet. I like it plain, but the Zico chocolate flavor is a nice treat.
How do you hydrate? Any water bottle favorites? What about electrolytes? It’s time for a Friday chat!