You finally hit the 10-kilometer mark during your long run and the inevitable happens: you’re parched and desperate for water.
Don’t let dehydration slow your runs to a grinding halt. It can harm your athletic performance in the long run.
The following tips will keep you hydrated during long runs.
Begin with adequate hydration (but don’t overdo it)
If you become thirsty just a few minutes into the start of your run, chances are that you did not drink enough water beforehand. Water is fuel for the human body. Runners function like poorly-oiled machines without it. A Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise study found that dehydrated athletes were significantly slower when they ran longer distances, in comparison to when they ran the same distances while adequately hydrated.
But this isn’t an excuse to essentially chug an office water cooler before you embark on a long run. Your body has its own way of balancing things out. When you exceed your normal hydration level, the extra water you consume will end up in your bladder. Drink too much, and you will flush out the electrolytes in your bloodstream. Competitor advises that you drink just enough water to quench your thirst. They suggest that you should stop drinking at least 45 minutes before you pound the pavement.
Wear hydration vests or bags
The human body may not function like a camel body, but wearable hydrators can certainly give you a little boost. Don’t worry about what you look like while you have a hydration vest or a hydration backpack strapped on.
If it works for you, feels comfortable, and keeps you hydrated, that’s all that matters.
You can find some vests and hydratation bags (recommendable for really long runs) at Runnics Running Accessories.
Strap on handheld water carriers or water bottle belts
If you are not very fond of wearing a full vest or backpack, hydration belts and handheld water carriers might be a better option for you. Handheld water carriers are lightweight, secure and better for shorter distances.
You can find a lot of bottles and light bags at Runnics.
Plan pit stops along your runs
Not into wearables? Then just make quick and easy pit stops for yourself. One option is check out the water fountains around your city or trail and use them to your advantage by planning your long runs around them. If you are running on a fountain-less trail, walk along your route the day before and stash away a few disposable water bottles in locations that you will remember. Alternately, you can always try to tell a friend (and good Samaritan) to bring water to you at a point along your run.
Buy water as needed
When you are too busy to map out a precise route (let’s face it, you probably will be), stick a five-dollar bill in your pocket before you head out the door. If you run by a convenience store on the way home and you are feeling dizzy and dehydrated, you will at least have an emergency fund that allows you to purchase a water bottle to go.
There is no right way to stave off dehydration during long runs. Whether you prefer wearablesor a more hands-off approach, please maintain adequate hydration before you head out the door and see which option feels most natural for you.