Staying hydrated when running is of utmost importance. So why is it that only the “newbies” carry water whilst pacing out the streets, and how do the “pro’s” get away with it?
I’m a firm believer in staying hydrated during exercise. After all, being just 1-2% dehydrated can see a detriment of 10-20% in your sports performance, turning your 40 minute 10k into 44-48 minutes. Yet, you won’t see me carrying a water bottle hardly ever, even during marathon training.
When I first started running, I’d carry an awkward 500ml bottle of water, you know the sort – the smallest size Evian container. It was frustrating as not only was it extra weight to carry, I rarely drank it & I felt it wasn’t really helping my overall balance. I ditched the Evian bottle, in favour of a handheld running water bottle. This was easier to carry – and I felt more professional, but still, I rarely drank & it was simply additional weight to carry.
As soon as I dropped the water bottle, I ran faster. It was more comfortable and more enjoyable to run. I felt as though I was free. so, what about when I got thirsty?
My route took me around 7 miles, I’d carry a couple of pounds in my shorts in case I needed to run into a newsagent and buy refreshments (which was extremely rare), and I’d always drink a pint of water an hour before I knew I’d be leaving for a run. This way, I’d have time to get rid of the extra H2O before I hit the streets & I always knew I was hydrated enough for regular running conditions.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my time as a runner, it that you need to listen to your body. Eat right and it’ll be easier and more enjoyable to run. Breathe however suits you, not how someone else tells you, and drink whenever you need to, not because you feel that you must.
Finally, I’d like to add that earlier I mentioned that during marathon training, I’d not carry water with me. This is true, though I will always take on additional fluids for a training run over 13 miles (or if it’s really hot around 10 miles). A great tip is to plan your route beforehand, then prior to your run, take a drive to a mid point and place an energy drink in the bushes – this never failed me and it saved me carrying a bottle of drink for 13 or so miles.
Do you carry a water bottle with you during a run? If not, how long does your run have to be for you to consider carrying liquid refreshment? 5 miles, 10 miles, 15 miles…?