Hydration Help + Stopping During Long Runs

I always blog a lot less when I’m in between training cycles. I guess I just feel like there isn’t much exciting training to share, so why bother sharing anything? But I also know it’s helpful to share all the details of training – not just when things are going great or I’m logging 20 mile runs.

I’m still in the building stage from Boston. I’m up to about 45-50 miles/week and have been enjoying the fewer miles, shorter long runs and lazy mornings. But NYC is rapidly approaching and training will really start to pick up soon, so I’m trying to get back into routine of early morning running as well as core and strength work regularly.

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First sunrise run in a while!

I had been planning to run the Memorial Day 4 miler for months. After a few days off for my hamstring pain, I was ready to give Monday a go. But, my coach and I made the call Saturday afternoon to scrap the race. I felt no hamstring pain – and hadn’t for several days / runs. But there were points where it felt tight – and my gut was telling me not to chance things on a race that wasn’t even a goal race.

I was bummed to not race – mostly because I was looking forward to seeing so many local runners that I know – but it was the best decision for my long-term goals. So coach swapped out the race for a longish run (13 miles) – longest training run since Boston!

It was a really great run – lots of elevation gain and beginning to practice running in the higher heat and humidity. 13 miles in 1:40:28 – 7:43 pace. I started on the slower end and worked down as the run went on.

1. 8:15
2. 7:47
3. 7:47
4. 7:48
5. 7:38
6. 7:44
7. 7:39
8. 7:40
9. 7:36
10. 7:41
11. 7:38
12. 7:43
13. 7:26


The run was a reminder to me that I need to figure out a better hydration plan for summer months. I can get away with little to no water for most of my training (long runs included) during the winter months, but it’s a whole ‘nother story during the warmer months.

Here’s what I struggle with: I really don’t like running with water in my hands – the constant sloshing is distracting and makes me feel off balance. I also really dislike hydration belts – I have tried no less than five and each one bounces and is just so uncomfortable.

But I also don’t want to leave water someplace and stop multiple times. I did this for years and felt that the constant stopping during long runs was hindering my long run endurance. Maybe it was a real thing. Maybe it was in my head. I would only stop for a minute or so each time – long enough to drink water, take a gel and drink some more water. But I don’t stop for water during a marathon so why was I doing it 2-3x during each long run?

This winter, I decided to minimize the stopping for water or fuel – I think I only stopped on two long runs the entire training cycle (and each run was only once). I got a lot of nonstop long runs in and felt that it made a difference come race day.


So in regards to hydration, I’m not sure what my options are. Years ago I trained with a camelbak (even ran a few races with it!) – and did okay with it – so I may return to that for my long runs. I would love any recommendations, however, on belts or bottles that are easy and comfortable to run with – maybe I’ll give them one more try!


60k in 2011 with my camelbak!

Hope you had a good long weekend!


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    37 thoughts on “Hydration Help + Stopping During Long Runs

    1. Pingback: Orange Mud HydraQuiver Vest Pack 1 Review! |

    2. Pingback: Warm Weather Pace Adjustments -> Don’t Fight It |

    3. I’ve been thinking the same thing lately. I used to leave a bottle on my training route, but it’s a bit of a hassle to drive to leave them out before you run. I’ve ran a few races with a small hand held water bottle, but i think this might affect my balance and form.

      I haven’t tried a camelback, i’m wondering how it affected your running?
      James @ HalfMarathonJames recently posted..Half Marathon Training Plan Starts At 5 AMMy Profile

    4. I’ve always used a camelback. I agree on the handheld water bottle – I’d rather be hands free! And a water belt you have to bend your arm behind you and get the bottle out – another dislike.
      Easiest way to drink water I’ve found

    5. I do my long runs in the summer with a Nathan hydration vest (the zeal) and though it’s bulky it doesn’t chafe, and I figure the added weight will only help me once the fall marathon comes and I don’t have it anymore. It has tons of space for anything and everything else you could need for long runs too. I originally bought it for trail races but wound up using it all summer long for marathon training.
      Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted..Summer Loves and Plans – TOLMy Profile

    6. Pingback: A Healthy U Conference + Memorial Day Weekend |

    7. I have the same dilemma. I do not carry water with me–I drop water along my route the night before and/or hit up water fountains along the way. But, as you mentioned, this requires stopping for a few minutes for each water break, and I have always worried that this is counter-productive to my training since I do not stop at water stations during a race (I slow down to grab and drink but do not walk or stop). I’ve always shied away from carrying water because I don’t like to be encumbered when I run, I worry that a pack on my back or something bulky around my waist would be too distracting or annoying (or that it would chafe), and carrying something in my hand makes me feel off-balance. I think the Orange Mud pack looks like it could be a good option for me and might have to give one a try. If you try different options, I would be very interested in a follow-up post : )

    8. I second the Ultimate Direction Jenny vesta. I’ve used it since late last year, drink my 50k training, and it is just great. I don’t even notice it, and I, too, don’t like to carry anything with me, either! It’s female/ergonomically great, too.
      erin recently posted..‘for the hell of it’ milesMy Profile

    9. I ran a 3 miles recovery run on Mon and almost fainted from the heat and dyhydration(totally under estimate the weather). In the cooler months I rarely carry water unless I have to run more than an hour. I use a belt with water bottle attached to it, but it never really stay tight and tend to wobble. So this post is just perfect for me to read!

    10. After doing more ultras than marathons I’ve become very used to/addicted to my Ultimate Direction Jenny Vesta. However, many marathons do not allow bags/hydration packs anymore so moving into marathon training now I feel lost all over again ha!

    11. Here are some of my tricks:
      1. I take a “half pint” size Poland Spring bottle. It’s small and light and i can refill it at water fountains. It’s also not some expensive bottle so if I want to dispose of it I toss it in the trash!
      2. I stick to routes with water fountains. Miller field to the Verrazano is a great spot for me. It’s 5 miles per round trip and I can do that 2-4 times depending on if I need 10-20 miles. The drawback is no shade and monotony of repeating but at least I can run free of bottles.
      I will also run along the service road and pop into Bloomingdale park for water fountain access.
      3. I sign up for half marathons when I can for 18-20 mile runs. This gives me easy access to water for most of it and it’s most similar to race day.
      4. I have an amphipod handheld bottle that I can live with. It has a strap and an ergonomic shape for minimal slosh. :)
      5. Pay a friend’s teenager to ride their bike and be your “pit crew”. They can keep your water bottle on their bike. And $20 might just make them super excited and willing :)

    12. Follwing these comments to get these recommendations as well! I have a handheld that works well, but I’d rather have my hands free. I also have two different Nathan belts (my BIL gave me both, and one I HATE) and I find that they move around, and the bottles even leak sometimes. I’m curious about the Nathan vest that Sarah Evans posted about and will be doing some more research!
      Lauren H recently posted..I ran a Half Marathon!My Profile

    13. You might look into a Simple Hydration bottle. It tucks into the back of your shorts or SPIbelt and I barely notice it there (only when it’s completely full). I know some runners can carry 2 at a time, although I’ve never tried it. Amazon carries them.
      Judith recently posted..Scenes from the RunsMy Profile

    14. I don’t like stopping at water stations, during races, because I find them to be too crowded. Plus, I like having control over drinking when I want to have a drink. For those reasons, I carry a hand held bottle. It isn’t ideal but, after trying a few, I found one that worked for me.

      I use this one… http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/BPA-Free-Runner-Water-Bottles-Runner_60072420327.html
      Kaella (KaellaOnTheRun) recently posted..Training Tuesday– 5 Days until the Calgary MarathonMy Profile

    15. I use the Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 and love it for long runs. Holds two large bottles and plenty of gels for long runs. You can even take additional clothing along in case it rains or whatever. I would recommend to order the body bottles (or even body bottle plus) as that will cut down on the sloshing noise quite a bit. I have the regular bottles and the sloshing does not bother me, but your mileage might vary.
      Christoph recently posted..Have you run the Frankfurt Marathon ?My Profile

    16. I highly recommend an Amphipod belt. A little pricey, but completely customizable. The bottle clips easily slide on ands off – up to 4 bottles (8 or 10 ounces), different pouches/sizes and stays put! I love that I can mix some kind of electrolyte drink in one or two bottles and keep the others just water. I also love my Osprey Rev 1.5 pack. VERY well-made and doesn’t chafe or slip, even on super humid sweaty runs. There’s so many options – I’m sure you’ll find one that works for you!

    17. Michele, I love my hydration pack and have tried half a dozen of them until this one fit perfect, no bounce and comfortable. I use it on the trails or long runs that aren’t too speedy or that I won’t have water access. It can carry a 2L bladder but you can put a smaller bladder in there for less volume (or just fill the 2L up with less water). Make sure you always suck the air out to eliminate water jiggle. You can mix match whatever bladder you prefer.

      Just recently I went for a search for the smallest handheld water bottle I could find. I wanted something to just take sips from on hot days and could refill from a water fountain along the way if needed. The Amphipod handheld ergo-lite is pretty great, only 10oz and doesn’t seem to bother me to hold. It molds to your hand fairly well that you don’t need to grasp it or hold onto it at all, just let it ‘be’ in your hand as the strap molds around to keep it in place.

      Just my 2 cents on what I have found works for me! But I do agree that running without anything is the most comfortably and freeing, but I also figure it’s another hurdle to train through and you’ll feel that much lighter and less cumbersome come race day!

    18. I have the same troubles with hydration during running! I have a Nathan Belt, but I’ve been thinking of looking for a Camelbak for running for awhile now. Can I ask…what specific Camelbak do you have for running????

    19. I have tried to run with water bottles and hydration belts but never found belts comfortable (they don’t stay put!) and bottles are super annoying to carry. My favorite option has always been the hydration pack – I have the Nathan Intensity vest and it’s really comfortable! In the summer, it’s definitely my lifesaver. It’s worth it to go with the pack and run without having to stop 😀
      Charissa recently posted..Marathon Training Week 12 (5/18 – 5/24)My Profile

    20. I feel your pain! I struggled with belts and anything in my hands drove me insane. I was grossed out by the CamelPaks… its the tubing and the bladder. But I’ve fallen in love w/ a backpack from OrangeMud! I use the single barrel one and its awesome! Super easy to clean… my husband got it for me a week before my first marathon and I can’t live without it now. I’m up in Boston and we have wicked humidity in the Summer. It’s totally a lifesaver! Here’s the link… and I love that it comes in different colors: http://www.orangemud.com/collections/running-packs/products/hydraquiver?variant=402522413

    21. I’m curious about this as well. I will be following comments. I have only run one half, and I trained over the winter for it, so I never worried much about water. I chew gum when I run and that usually helps. However, I start training for my 2nd half in July (race is in October) so I will have to figure out the whole hydration thing.
      Amy @ Running on Faith and Coffee recently posted..2015 Marion Arts Festival Half Marathon RecapMy Profile

    22. I don’t like to hold anything either. My Camelback worked great for me during long runs.

      I believe I have the “Dart” version – which is not too big… holds about 50oz…. so it got me through the long runs during marathon training and was a comfortable size.