Have a hydration plan!
If you are going to be running for longer than an hour then it’s important to have a hydration plan. Plan your route and distance and check the weather forecast, to determine what fluids you should take pre, mid and post longer runs to stay well hydrated. Don’t get caught out! Some days might not appear to be warm, however if there’s very little cloud cover then you can quickly start to become dehydrated when exercising.
Work out how much fluid you’ll need to take with you (working on an intake of 150-250ml every 30 minutes) and prepare drinks in advance. Putting fluid in the fridge the night before can make it much more pleasant to drink when it’s hot and humid outside. Including some electrolytes will help you absorb the fluid better and electrolytes are also an anti-diuretic. Drinking some fluid before you set off is also a good idea, about 300-600ml of water 2 hours before you run is advisable.
There are lots of options for carrying fluids. At Run4It we divide our hydration range into 3 main categories: Bottles, Waistpacks and Backpacks. Which one you choose is dependent on what sort of distance you train for, intensity of exercise and what fits your body’s needs the best. Everyone is a different shape and some styles of hydration carriers will work better for one individual than another.
Experiment with these products to find a winning solution…
Bottles are a great option for runners who hate carrying anything on their waist or back. They are perfect for short runs or longer runs if you can fill up along the way.
Staff Top Picks:
High5 Run Bottle: This bottle has a thin handle so that it fits your handshape. It’s very comfortable to run with and has a leak proof top. It is BPA free and you can put it in the dishwasher. It carries 330ml of fluid and comes with a tube of High5 electrolyte tabs and an energy gel too. Price: £4.99 (Incl Zero/Gel)
Nathan Quickshot Plus Running Bottle: This is a 300ml bottle held in a fabric strap. The strap fits over your hand meaning zero effort’s required to grip and hold on. It has a race cap top so you can just suck from it to drink but it will not leak. It also has a small zipped pouch to hold a card, keys or some electrolyte tablets. Price: £18
Waistpacks are great for medium to long runs as they allow you to carry more fluid. You can head further off the beaten track knowing you won’t need fill up along the way. Running waistpacks also mean you can run hands free, which many of us runners find liberating and more comfortable. Running waistpacks are designed so that the fluid is evenly distributed around the waist and this stops one side bouncing around which can be annoying and unbalancing.
Staff Top Picks:
Nike Lean 2 Bottle Running Waistpack: This is a great value waistpack. It has two 170ml bottles that sit on the left and right part of the lower back so that they will not bounce around. The easy squeeze bottles slot in to a pouch on either side of the belt at ease. There is also a central zipped pocket for carrying any extra essentials. The fully adjustable elasticated belt means it can customised to fit every runner. Price: £22
Nathan Trail Mix Plus Hydration Running Belt: This is the best running waistpack out there. It has two 300ml Nathan quickshot bottles – ideal if you’re going to be out running for a couple of hours or more. The belt is bounce free and very comfortable to run with. The zipped pouch on the back is big enough to carry an iPhone 6 and means it is possible to stash several gels or even a jacket. There are two cords which feed around the belt, which you can pull tight to secure extra items like gels in the gaps. Price: £36
Backpacks are hands down the best way to carry fluids if you are running over long distances and do not have regular access to water stations. Backpacks are great for longer runs and on the trails and mountains, to get easier access to water!
Staff Top Picks:
Salomon Agile 2 Set Running Backpack: This backpack is designed for those who have minimal extra stuff to carry but want to take plenty of fluid out with them. It has a 1.5L bladder that is easily removable via a side zip. This amount is perfect for a few hours in the hills or a very long road run. Its vest-like design with fully adjustable straps means it fits all shapes and sizes and won’t bounce around like many packs do. It does have some capacity to carry some extra nutrition and other small items. This has been designed to be as sleek and lightweight as possible though, so you will hardly know it is there! Price: £60
Salomon S-Lab Advanced Skin 12 Set Running Hydration Pack: This is simply the best running pack around. It’s the result of endless testing with the best athletes in the world and is the pinnacle of technical design. It’s guaranteed not to bounce around, as the vest-like design hugs the back and chest perfectly. It has the capacity for a bladder, but arguably works best when soft flasks are used with it. There are two pouches on the front straps which hold two 500ml soft flasks (soft flasks deflate as the liquid is drawn out of them and they have bite valves which means they do not leak). You can drink from the soft flasks without removing them. Biting down opens the valve to release the fluid. The pack has a 12L capacity so can hold a full set of waterproof clothing and has lots of pockets to carry nutrition, your phone and other essentials. If you are going to be out for several hours or simply want to run in ultimate comfort, then this is the pack for you! Price: £140
Need further help or advice? Head instore and speak to our team of experts. Or check out our Hydration Guide online!