Monday, September 3, 2012

Hydration Solution

For a while now, I have been trying to find a hydration solution for my long runs. 

A few weeks ago, I purchased a Nathan Hydration Trail Mix belt

As I posted earlier, the hydration belt was  not a success. (You can read the post here.) Basically, the belt jostled a lot and didn't fit well at my waist. It pulled on my lower back. After a mile or so, I had to drop it off at my house and continue my run without it.

For my long runs of nine and ten miles over the last two weeks, I decided I would just try to pick up water along my run route. This worked pretty well the first week. I was able to stop at the local Cumberland Farms about half way through my run and get a quick drink in their rest room. I don't usually drink too much and the weather was mild. This seemed to be a good idea.

This weekend I tried the same thing, a stop at the Cumberland Farms, for my ten mile run. While I was able to get water there, the weather was a bit hotter. I ended up being very very thirsty towards the end of my run. Not good. I also found that I didn't like having to tailor my running route to go to the Cumberland Farms, which is located at an unpleasant and busy intersection. 

Clearly, I needed to rethink my options. Because I drink so little, I still thought that a hydration backpack wasn't really for me. I only needed maybe 10 or 15 ounces of water to be able to drink to thirst, my method for hydrating when I run. 

I did more research and scouting of the internet and came upon another Nathan product, the Nathan Quick Draw Plus Handheld Bottle Carrier. At $19.99, it was almost half the price of the $34.99 hydration belt. It carries 22 ounces of water -- more than I will need for my longest runs for my half marathon training.

Today, I went for a short 5K run to test out the bottle. This run was a lot of fun. Since I've been training for my half marathon, I've been doing longer runs. Over the last month, even my "shorter" runs have been 5 miles. It was great to do a shorter faster 5K run today and check out the new gear. There is a lovely loop near my house that is exactly 5K, an extra bonus for when I want to run this distance. 

I have to announce that the Nathan handheld bottle is going to be my solution -- here's the review.

The handheld bottle is comfortable in the hand and can conveniently be held many ways. For me, I found the best way was to just put my hand through the strap. The bottle stayed on my hand without me even having to hold onto it. The strap was comfortable and breathable. You can use the reflective strip to tighten the strap to your hand.

My hand did get a little sweaty against the plastic of the bottle. To combat this, I changed my hand positioning every mile or so and just grasped the strap.

I usually run with my iPhone in my left hand, so I didn't feel that running with the bottle changed my biomechanics. Everything felt comfortable. A great bonus about this particular bottle and holder is that the front pocket is large enough to hold my iPhone. This was a huge deciding factor for me. I was able to traded in holding my phone for holding the bottle strap. 

Another nice bonus is that the bottle holder has an ID tag. Here you can put your name, address, phone, and an emergency contact. That's comforting in case of a very unlikely running mishap.

All in all, I think this bottle will be a good solution for my longer runs. (For runs under an hour, I generally don't need water.) The bottle is easy to hold and has a great pouch for my cell. I didn't have any leaking problems with the water bottle; it's also easy to drink from while running. You can remove the bottle from the holder without too much hassle for cleaning and for chilling your water in the fridge.

I'm looking forward to using this product to bring water with me on my long runs. This solution will give me flexibility in my running route and allow me to drink whenever thirsty.

No comments: