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Avoid Dehydration On Your Long Run With These Tactics

Which one do you prefer?

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Have you ever been out jogging on a hot day and said to yourself, “Man, a cold one sure would be nice right now?” Or maybe you’ve been in the midst of a long run, winding around curves, in and out of the shadows, and wished you had something cool to wet your whistle and quench your thirst? No, I don’t mean beer.

As the dog days of summer continue to get hotter and longer, it’s important to stay hydrated on the run in whatever way you can. And we will blame the heat for some of our forgotten methods of staying quenched—consider this a reminder of the many ways to make sure liquids are flowing as you move.

Plan a route near water fountains.

If you want to be totally hands-and-body-free on a run, then this option is for you. If possible, plan your run by a park or other facilities that have water fountains. This way you can stop and get water if you want without having to worry about bringing anything with you.

Stash bottles on the run.

Another way to stay hydrated on the run is to stash water bottles on your route. This method, of course, means you must both pre-plan your route and pre-stash your bottles before your run. Stashing bottles on your route means you don’t have the added weight of a hydration belt to slow you down; however, be warned. I’ve heard of runners’ bottles mysteriously disappearing. Apparently, there is a water bandit out there.

Wear a hydration pack.

I have to say I’ve tried this method, and it is 100 percent not for me. My husband and I purchased one of those bladders that you can fill with liquid and wear on your back while doing outdoor activities like hiking or mowing the lawn. I had the brilliant idea to fill it up one morning for my long run. Ummm, yeah, it holds two liters of water, and I don’t know what I was thinking. Granted it was nice to have it as I slogged along (because slogging was all I could do with that weight on my back), but I drank it rather quickly to lighten the load, and, well, I’m sure you can imagine the new issue I created. Thankfully, I didn’t pee my pants. If you go with this option, chose a smaller pack.

Buckle on a hydration belt.

I was very close to buying one of these last weekend, but I decided against it. Essentially, a hydration belt is something you clip around your waist that holds bottles you can fill with liquid. Most also come with a zipper pouch for items like chews, keys, ID, etc. I have many runner friends who use these and swear by them. Some brands claim not to bounce or chaff, so check them out.

Carry a water bottle.

Instead of the hydration belt, I opted for this baby. It is a hand-size bottle, holding approximately 9 ounces of liquid. It has “jacket” that surrounds it where I put my hand in, so I don’t actually have to grip the bottle; it just “hangs” on my hand as I run. It also includes a zipper pouch for gels, keys, ID, and other small odds and ends. So far, I love it because it holds just enough liquid for my long run, and the zipper pouch makes the chews easy to access, too.

I’m a hand-held kind of gal. What are you?

Related: Belt, Bottle Or Vest—Which Is Right For You?