How Do You Hydrate During Your Long Runs?

I’ve made my mind up (pending any potential sidelining injuries like I’ve had in the past) that my first full marathon will be in Pittsburgh in May of 2014!!  Wahoo!  Here it is, August of 2013, and I’m already super stoked about it (yeah, I’ve already mapped out my training schedule, which starts on 12/29).  My bestest running friend Emily will be joining me throughout the training and the race itself.

Last night, Emily (who is just as stoked as I am) mentioned that she is looking into buying a Camelbak to carry on our longer training runs for hydration and asked for my thoughts.  My first thought was that a Camelbak would be heavy and uncomfortable for running, but would provide plenty of water for our 20 milers on the trail.  So, immediately I knew there would be pros and cons.  Of course, this got me thinking– we really will need to find a good hydration solution for our long runs, and I never buy anything without doing plenty of research to make sure I’m making the best choice possible.  I needed to hear the pros and cons from people that have actually used Camelbaks and other hydration vests during their training.

Next step: Googling.  I love Google.  You can find just about anything on Google.  And I love the blogging community, especially the running blogging community, for their candid reviews based on past experiences and their willingness to share any info that will help others in their running ventures.  So, I started Googling “best hydration vests for long runs” in search of blogs and other reviews that would give me an honest opinion as to what has worked for others.

Want to know what I found?  Not much.

Not much recent info, anyways.  I found a few older blog posts and reviews for products that might be helpful, but I fear that new products and advances in technology have rendered those reviews slightly less useful.  I don’t want to buy a hydration vest that was kick-butt in 2007 but doesn’t hold a candle to some of the products on today’s market.

I currently run with a hydration belt, but it tends to bounce around a lot and generally drive me crazy in the process!  I would love a vest for its water storage capacity and easy access to water/gels/etc.  But I don’t want a vest that’s going to be hot, bounce up and down, or make annoying sloshing noises (I might be asking too much here!)  I’m eyeing up the Nathan Intensity vest because it’s designed with women in mind (and, well, because it’s pink), but I’m not quite sold on it yet.


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So I’m sending out a cry for help to my fellow marathon-running blogger and non-blogger friends– how did you hydrate on your longer training runs??  What worked for you?? What didn’t work for you??  Have any interesting distance-running-hydration tales to tell??  I’d love for everyone to share their stories with me!!  I’m hoping you can help me and any other readers out there that are asking the same questions! =)


8 thoughts on “How Do You Hydrate During Your Long Runs?

  1. I hate carrying too much hydration on my runs- it feels heavy on my body. When I go on my long runs, I drive the course the night before and strategically drop water bottles in bushes along the way. This carried me well through my first marathon training.

    Good luck!


  2. I second the strategic water bottle placement option. I’ve never had a problem using that strategy and I hate carrying stuff when I run.
    The one thing I would be wary about with carrying something on your back is irritation on your shoulders or back. Things that aren’t bothersome for a couple miles can become problematic on long runs. Definitely try one on before you buy one, if you go that route, to make sure it has a snug fit.

    Best of luck to you!


    • I’m with you– when I’m running, the lighter the load, the better. And my HRM ALWAYS rubs my skin when I run; I’m hoping I can find a vest-type hydration system made of a material that does not. That’s definitely a major concern, though. Thank you!!!


  3. I run loops that put me back at home at strategic moments. I found out that about every 4 miles is good. I put a couple Ball jars with lids in my mailbox and just drink and head back out for another loop. I keep doing this for the amount of distance I want to cover.


  4. I LOVE my Coleman hydration backpack for long runs! Here is a link to it I got it on clearance at Target for about $20 – it’s burnt orange which is NOT my color at all (pink is!) but I couldn’t pass it up. It’s got lots of inner pockets for all my essentials, so I don’t have to carry anything in my hands or around my waist or even on my arm if I don’t want to. There’s a small pocket at the top and I put my phone in it if I wanna hear tunes (without headphones). It’s very comfortable and the straps are very soft, so no rubbing the underarms! Good luck in your search!


    • Thank you!! I never even thought to check out Colemans– I’ll scope it out!! I’d LOVE to score a great hydration pack for $20!! They can get to be so pricey. Thanks for sharing!!


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