It is crucial you stay hydrated during a long race. But does that mean you should carry water with you while you run? Let’s find out.
Does your race have water stations?
Many races, such as marathons, provide runners with water stops along the way. Generally, they are spaced two miles apart. However, don’t assume that every race will have water stations. Many trail marathons and small-road marathons require you to carry your own water. So, check out what the situation is for the specific race you’re running before the day of the event.
What are the advantages of carrying water during a race?
If water stations are provided on the racecourse route, you have the option of using them or carrying your own water bottle. Whether it is best to take your own water is very much a personal choice. It’s about whatever works for you. But there are advantages to carrying your own fluids. For instance, you can avoid crowds at water stations on the route. And you can drink whenever you are thirsty, without having to wait.
You may think that carrying a water bottle with you during the race is tricky. Having an item in your hand when you run could potentially be distracting, and a standard bottle could be hard to grip. However, the latest generation of running water bottles have come a long way in recent years. They are designed to have good grips; and the newest type of handheld running water bottles come as a soft flask – which makes it easier to carry and collapse down when empty.
For longer runs, you have the option of using a hydration belt or pack. Hydration belts are worn around the waist or hips, and they are able to carry larger amounts of fluid than a bottle. Distance runners often favor hydration packs. They fit comfortably on your back and are insulated to ensure the water doesn’t get too warm during a race.
Why is it important to stay hydrated during a race?
Lack of proper hydration during races that last more than 45 minutes will result in a slower pace, discomfort, and general poor performance. To keep your body strong and appropriately fueled, you need to hydrate before, during, and after a race.
To stay properly hydrated, experts recommend drinking about 16 ounces of water before you begin a long race. But you don’t want to drink more than that, or you will want to take bathroom breaks along the way. During a long race, a general rule of thumb is to drink seven to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes. If you’re running faster than eight minutes per mile, drinking six to eight ounces every 20 minutes is the ideal amount of water to consume. But if it is extremely hot, you could require more. It is essential to drink water after finishing the race, too, to ensure your muscles don’t cramp. So, consider carrying water with you when you race.