The Hotlegs Runner Hydration Know-How | The Hotlegs Runner

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hydration Know-How

If there's one thing I learned during my training for my upcoming marathon is to stay hydrated --- Most especially during those long runs!

My hydration belt is like an extra limb.  I am terrified of getting thirsty, so if the run is more than 5 miles, I need to take my hydration belt with me, specially during the summer months.  But that's just me.

I would suggest you do the same unless you're like a camel that can survive for up to two weeks without drinking water.  If you're reading this... I'm telling you now... you. are. NOT. a camel. Ok? Ok.

Anyway, here are a few tips and tricks on how to stay hydrated without having to carry so much weight on you:

1.  Drink a tall glass of water before you run.  I don't think I need to explain this one.  I know you're smart. =)

2.  Always carry water with you -- examples: hydration belt, camelback or hand-held.

3.  Hide water bottles behind some bushes in different areas of your route so you can always go back to it when need be.  Just remember exactly where you left them.  If it's gonna be a hot day, it would be better to freeze the bottles the night before.  Nothing like a cold bottle of water to quench your thirst.  Aaaahhhh...

4.  Bring a little money with you.  Just enough to get you a bottle of water or some Gatorade at a convenience store or gas station.

5.  If possible, plan your route which includes areas with water fountains.  You may also include a family member's or friend's house so you can stop by, say hello, and get a water refill. 

6.  Ask your hubby/wife or friend to bike beside you and carry water for you.

I have done everything I mentioned here except number 6.  I suggested the last one coz I actually saw this being done during one of my runs.  The guy was running and the woman was on a bike, pedaling beside the guy and handing him a water bottle.  *light bulb moment*

My best bet is number 2 and 3!  I get really thrown off when I have to stop to buy water or get a refill,  so I'd rather bring water and/or "create" my own hydration stations by tucking in those water bottles behind some bushes.  However, there was one time I couldn't remember where I hid the other bottle.  That was both hilarious and stupid.

If all else fails.  You may also try doing this...

 Kidding! :p

  • Which ones do you also do out of the 6 that I mentioned?
  • Is there any other tip or trick you'd like to add here?  We could all use a good tip!

30 Days of Thanks (Day 15)

I am thankful for clean, life-giving WATER -- my favorite drink! I am thankful for having so many options as well: hot, cold, bottled, vitamin-enriched, distilled, spring...and the list goes on.  There are some parts of the world where they don't have running water or some have to walk a long way to gather it.  We have easy access to it and have it in abundance that's why it is often taken for granted.



  1. I always carry water with me...always. Long run are with my hydration belt and the shorter ones I have a handheld. I'm paranoid so I'd rather be safe than sorry.

  2. I plan long runs based on water fountains. I have never carried water with me on runs...I probably should when I do longer runs. I have also planned my route on a butterfly loop where I circle back to my house where a water bottle is waiting on the porch for me before I start the second loop.

    It's always nice to get that reminder to drink up!

  3. Number 3 is genius! What a great tip :) I am not only looking forward to having to make the financial in a water belt (they are pricey!) but I'm not looking forward to feeling like I have an extra limb ;) but hydration is important and I find that I really need that liquid boost.

    My friend Ang posted a link on my blog for this collapsable water bottle that you can fill with water and then when you're done, it folds up and you can stuff it in your pocket... that might be cool, especially in the cooler months where you actually have pockets.

    I find the only good thing about treadmill runs is the "dashboard" and the cup holders... but long runs on treadmills (I did a ten miler on a TM once) really blows. It's as interesting as watching paint dry...

  4. PS: here's the link for the collapsable water bottle in case anyone is interested. I haven't tried this thing yet but am considering it.

  5. way to guilt me over my lack of drinking. i disagree: i am a camel :P

    great tips. i usually try to plan stops at bubblers / my apt. i hate drinking water before i run because it goes straight through me!

  6. LOVE THE PICTURES!! What a great post!! Hydration is key to running! I ALWAY bring extra money with me to buy something at a gas station. I usually plan my route based upon where drinking fountains are!!

  7. Wow I'm the total opposite of you! I only take water with my if my runs are longer than 7 miles. I know that isn't smart, but I just don't do that. I drink 32ounces in the morning, 32ounces after my run, and then throughout the day I chug water constantly. I guess that's why I don't feel the need to bring water on short runs. I consider short runs less than 6 miles.

  8. water fountains are not an option for me. carrying liquid is my mode of operation

  9. In the summer months I had that belt on for anything more than 5 miles. Now that it's cooler I don't carry anything with me. I just plan my routes as out-and-backs from my house so that I come back by it at 10 miles to get a drink. On my long runs when it was hot, I drained the belt pretty quick! There were times I thought I was going to have to resort to lapping up a puddle like the pic!

  10. Generally, I carry my handheld... during hot months, even during short runs... during the cold, for anything more than 6 miles.

  11. I've had water bottles taken when I hide them, I think sometimes the neighborhood do-gooders go cleaning up all the trash and go digging in bushes - so I only do that when I do hill repeats and can keep an eye on it. Otherwise I take my fannypack fuelbelt or my Camelbak - works best. I've also been known to eat some snow once or twice when desperate. Ewwww.

  12. I am with MarathonMaiden as evidenced by my 18 on Sunday with little to no contact with water over that course and it all had to do with:

    Just remember exactly where you left them.

    They were out there I just couldn't remember where they told me they had put them.

    I put in 12 before I found the first one and then again at 15 but that was it for me.

    Since I drink water all day long I am really well-hydrated enough to endure going 9 miles without water but my race strategy for the upcoming marathon is:

    1 GU and 1 sip or two of water every 4 miles. That worked for the 1/2 so I am going to try it on the full as well.

  13. Hand held bottles always - Easy to use, refill, and clean. Most of my long runs are on trails which loops back (6-9 miles each loop) to the trail head / parking lot which I keep a cooler full of ice water in.

  14. I usually just drink from the water fountains, but now that they are turned off for the winter I'll be carrying my handheld with me on runs more than 5 miles.

  15. I love my amphipod fuel belt. I take it anytime over 4 miles.

  16. I've worn a camelbak during SUPER humid conditions in South Carolina but not usually. Occasionally #2, Usually #3 and if I'm really lucky #6! I have not yet had to resort to the lapping of the puddle-funny!! Yep-fresh clean water is quite a blessing!

  17. I haven't run anything farther than 3.5 miles YET. I do make sure I drink water before I leave the house, but I also run past our house so I know I could duck inside if I'm really in need.

    I think as I start running longer distances, I'll get a hydration belt.

    Yes, clean water is a blessing and a privilege that we too often take for granted. :-)

  18. I'm all about the camelback. I can't stand things around my waist or carrying things so it is the only thing that I have found that works for me :)

  19. love the picture! that made me laugh!!!! I am so bad at carrying water, must improve before the half marathon!!!

  20. This post sure was timely, LOL. I will carry my water belt! Thanks!

  21. I'm over from Momma of 3 on the Run and am so glad I stopped by. Great post! I too get panicky if I get thirsty and don't have water at the ready. I drink before hand, carry 2 bottles of water with me, stop for water if it's on my route, and once I had a friend go to the gas station and get us some more bottled water and meet up with us in her car down further along our route (best tasting water ever . . . or at least MOST appreciated). Once I "stole" water from someone's outdoor faucet - no shame for me.

  22. Great Post, a very important one. Hydration. Well, I usually will have at least 2 liters of water a day, not counting the hydration I need for the run. I do this by always having with me a 1 liter bottle and sipping through out the day. The thing with running long and doing long runs, is that you want to be in a "Continued" state of hydration. You can not just wake up and decide, "Oh, I will go for a long run and neck down a lot of water" Your body has to adapt to the amount of water that you are putting into it. For a long run over 10 miles, you need to start hydrating at least 2 days prior. If, however, you are just doing short runs, then hydration is not as tricky for you. The best way to check if you are hydrated is to see what your urine looks like. As previously stated, for a long run, you can NOT just neck down water and be hydrated. It will just run through you. I always bring a hand held 20 oz with me for runs longer than 6 miles. Anything shorter than that? I SHOULD already be hydrated. You should ALWAYS be hydrated. Along with that comes the amount of electrolytes, sodium, etc.. Gets crazy. For more great hydration information, see episode 27, an interview with Nick Morgan. Here is the link. Sorry for the long comment. lol. I believe one of the reasons why I hit the wall so hard in my marathon was that I was dehydrated. The water stations were NOT enough. You think that they will be, but I think that they are ok for runners completing under 3, because they are not out there as long as the 4-6 hour runners. Thanks for sharing. There is this park that I run at that actually has water fountains at every 1.5 miles. Great for refilling my sports bottle. Take care, and drink drink drink,,,,,slowly through out the whole day. Wake up with 12 oz and go to bed with 12 oz. ok, I think I am done now. lol. Seriously , go and check out You will love it. It has helped me out a LOT.

  23. I don't know if my last long comment went through or not. Give me a shout out if you didn't get it. Hydration, you can not over stress the importance. Take care.

  24. I like to run with my camelbak if it's over 6 miles in the heat or 10ish in the cold.. I don't like the extra weight but it's better than being thirsty!

    I like number 6.. I might have to enrol Mike as my official water carrier ;-)

  25. I always drink water before I go out and take my hydration pack on long runs. I sometimes run two loops or routes passing my house somewhere in the middle of my run. I set up a complete aid station for myself. I do this on very long runs…50km and more.


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