Are You Hydrating?
March is here and the spring half marathons and marathons are fast approaching. As the long runs are getting longer and the weather is warming up, I ask you, are you hydrating?
With all the cool new gear out there luckily we don’t have to do things like this:
Yes, he is getting his water straight from a mountain stream. I don’t recommend that in New Jersey folks. What I do recommend is one of two things… or three things if you have really patient and willing to help family members/friends. But I will get to that.
This first thing you can consider doing to stay hydrated while you are out on your usual routes, is get yourself one of the ever-growing list of water bottles and holders that have become available to us.
I’ll start with the Nathan Quickdraw Plus. This little handheld has everything you need .
It holds 22 oz. of the refreshment of your choice.
The zippered pocket is big enough to slide in your id, credit card, some cash or keys, whatever you will be needing.
It also comes with a waterproof I.D. and medical emergency card.
The detailing around the outside of the bottle is reflective! Always a bonus!
And for those of you that need to know the weight of everything, it is only 4 oz.
This is a good choice for any distance under 20 miles. If you are going longer, need more fluids, or just need to balance it out, have one in both hands!
But are you horrified by the thought of having to carry anything in your hands? Want them completely free and available to gobble copious amounts of GU or Clif BLOKS?
Some of us do like to have at least one hand free to wave in the kindest of ways to rude motorists. Well if this is the case with you, I have a solution for that too.
Multiple solutions in fact.
Let’s start with FuelBelt:
You can go two bottle or four. There is a great side pocket (shown above) that will hold basically anything you might need on your run. If you cut the crust off your pb&j sandwich it might hold that too. The range of colors is almost as crazy as the shoes on our wall. Each bottle holds 7 oz. of your choice of fluids. Use one for water and one for Gatorade, or go a little crazy and throw some Coca Cola (or Pepsi if that’s your thing) in one of them. This may be a little much for you marathoners out there, but for you ultrarunners, we know you do this… along with having friends meet you with a pizza out on your 50 mile training run. Don’t forget to wash these bottles out after your run. Yeah, they can get sticky, and the smell… really undefinable.
There is also Nathan’s Speed Series, again available in two bottles or four bottles. This is another great choice. Each bottle is 8 oz. and they slide in and out of their streamlined, molded holsters with ease. The waist belt has a pill pocket that is conveniently waterproof and the mesh pocket will hold your stuff of choice. Like its little sister the quickdraw plus, it has reflective detail and incorporated waterproof I.D. and medical emergency card. Jot down on that little guy any allergies or conditions you might have, or if you are afraid of anything crazy like needles, bees or a zombie Apocalypse. Just to make sure they know everything they need to know about you. Heck, if you have room write your PR on there. Just so they know WHO they are dealing with. But hopefully none of us will ever be in that situation, or ever have to face a zombie Apocalypse for that matter.
Joining these two great companies, adding a brand new flare to Sneaker Factory’s hydration options, is Amphipod!
The moveable pouch expands to hold sunglasses, keys, ID, and other essentials to your run. As a bonus there are up to 4 slots for your gels and an extra pocket for cards, keys and cash.
The bottles are 10.5 oz., go with 4 for the long haul and 2 for the out and backs that don’t require as much fluids.
There are a lot of other options too. Hydration packs can be great run companions. I have multiple Nathan packs and have used them on hikes, long runs and long trail runs. They don’t bounce around like you would think, and they wrap around you like a vest with easy access pockets in front. These are great for hydration, and when you are hiking or running out in the woods they are great for storing an extra layer in case of emergency.
There is a wide variety of packs from Nathan that will accommodate any adventure, with a range of bladder sizes.
If you are dreaming about crossing that ultra marathon off your bucket list, this could be a great choice for you. Imagine wearing this guy and arming yourself with two quickdraw plus in each hand as you traverse the mountains from aid station to aid station. Awesome.
If carrying anything on your person isn’t for you, option #2 is to stash water bottles along your route. This works, most times. Drive along your route morning of, or the night before and find a few convenient spots to stash a water bottle. It will be like your own personal aid station. Another way to do it would be to find a nice loop course, like the Manasquan reservoir, where you can leave a bottle or two at the beginning and know it will be waiting for you there after each loop. Unless there is a water/Gatorade bandit lurking around. Don’t laugh. I had some kid steal my GU once, it can happen to you. A curious animal might take a liking to your stash as well. I have seen a porcupine drag off some poor kids boot before, foot not attached. But you wont have boots at your aid station, and last time I checked there wasn’t much of a porcupine issue in New Jersey. Yet.
Now as promised, option #3… we will call this your mobile aid station. Some folks are lucky to have someone foolish enough to agree to this option. Whether it be your mother or father, brother, sister, wife, husband or naive best friend, ask them, they might comply. Have them meet you at designated areas with whatever goodies you feel you might need. This is also good for a little extra motivation in the middle of a hard long run. You can look forward to seeing their smiling (hopefully) face greeting you with a cold beverage and a yummy treat. If they really love you, and you are really sick of running the same old routes, you can pull what I used to request of my dear dad. You run your long run from point to point and then have them pick you up. This way you avoid a loop or an out and back that can get quite boring. Run twenty miles from home and have that smiling face (again, hopefully) waiting for you at the end. Make sure they have your recovery shake of choice in hand for optimal timing!
So many great options, it is good to be training for long distance isn’t? It’s good to be a runner. If you have any questions about staying hydrated or about the methods shown above, come on by one of our stores. At least one staff member at each store is gearing up for a spring marathon or half marathon themselves!!