4.08.2011

Are you a sipper or a gulper?

As runs increase in distance and intensity, the need to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes becomes more imperative. I have seen runners utilize different techniques to get their needs met - some carry a bottle (freely or with a strap), some have bottles strapped around their waist, and some use a camel pack.

Personally, I hand carry my drink and I love it when it is nicely strapped on because I like to keep my hand muscles loose and relaxed as much as possible when I run. If at all possible, I will only carry my little 10 oz sprint bottle since it is nice, light, compact, and fits well in my hand. I also like how it releases the water with a spout designed perfectly for sipping because I am indeed a sipper.

I traditionally take little sips along my run starting after about 20 minutes into the workout. And to be honest, sometimes a little sip and rinse is only what I need. I have learned that this is the technique that is best for me and it prevents too much fluid in my stomach at once. The main thing I need to remember is to just keep sipping, which is usually not a problem because I have trained myself to go for a sip based on how I am feeling. I have learned my thirst cues.

One thing I have never done is said I need x-amount of fluid for a run of x-distance. I do not think I will ever formulate a plan that specific because I realize my personal hydration needs are dependent on my level of hydration pre-run, the intensity of my run, the duration of my run, and the elements.

So can I always run with a sprint bottle? No way! At times I need to carry my standard water bottle and just deal with it. I train with both methods, or even no bottle, in order to be prepared for whatever I will decide to do on race day.