Drinking, as everyone should know, is very important while running longer distances, especially in warm weather. Quite when one starts to take water on a run and how one carries it is down to personal preference. Here are some suggestions on how to carry drinks while running.
One of the simplest ways is to carry a water bottle, there are bottles specifically designed for this, for example the Runaid Runners Feed bottle which comes in 2 sizes – one pint (580ml) or 1/2 pint (275ml), or the UP Kielder Handheld (600ml).
If you don’t like having something in your hand while you are running, there are bottle belts which fit around your waist or backpacks which carry water in a bladder. There are many different types of bottle belts – the most basic one has a 500ml bottle and a small gel pocket, such as the U.P. Ribble Bottle Belt. If you need more water and storage space there is the Camelbak Delaney bottle belt, with a 710ml bottle and a small pocket on the front of the belt.
If you are hill running or just need more ‘stash space’ for waterproofs etc other options would be the Camelbak Flashflow which has a 1.5L bladder and a 2.5L storage compartment, or the Inov-8 Race Pro 4 fits the 2L Inov-8 Bladder and has an even larger main compartment as well as 2 side pockets and an external bungee. These are all designed to fit around the waist. Ideally you would want to try them on to find which fitted and felt most comfy.
There are also some waistpacks which have an elasticated belt, for example the Nathan Speedbelt 2. This allows them to sit on the hips rather than having to have the belt round the waist. Women particularly sometimes find this a better solution.
If you don’t like having something around your waist or in your hand, or if you need more than 1.5L of water, then a Camelbak backpack or another type of backpack with a bladder could be the solution. If you already have a good running backpack, often it will have a special compartment for a bladder – this will protect your bladder from any sharp objects you might be carrying. Camelbak bladders are available in 1.5L and 3L.
The Camelbak rucksacks also carry between 1.5 and 3L of water. The smallest is the Camelbak Hydrobak (or women’s version, the Camelbak Charm) is ideal for marathon training, with a resevoir of 1.5L and a small zip pocket for gels. It sits quite high on the back and is extremely light. If you need more water there is the Camelbak Classic, which comes with a 2 or 3L capacity, gel zip pocket and an external bungee cord. All these larger Camelbaks come with a chest strap, but a chest strap can be bought separately if needed. There are also larger Camelbaks with more space for longer runs or hill runs, for example the extremely lightweight Camelbak Octane Scudo which has a 3L bladder and a 13L storage space, with 2 small external zip pockets as well as 2 larger storage areas.
Of course if you don’t like any of these options you can always put your gels in your pocket, take some money and buy a bottle of water during you run – the most important thing is to make sure you drink!