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8791 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2011 6:24 AM by Alder2011 1 2 Previous Next
Alder2011 Legend 203 posts since
Apr 8, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 15, 2011 8:11 PM

How often do I need water while running?

Plain and simple.  I am a biker, and carrying things is easy, cause I am on a bike, with compartments for food and snacks, pump, computer, lights, and water bottles.  But how do you carry water while running?  And even more importantly, do I even need to carry water while running?  Where is the threshold between when I should not need to carry water with me, and when I should definitely take some with me?  30 minutes? 1 hour? Certain number of miles?  I see people on the greenways while I am biking who have fanny packs with water bottles on them, but that seems like it would bounce too much.  Are those just for walkers and hikers?  And what about those belts some runners wear, that have like 5 or 6 miniature bottles?  Is that for hydration, or medication?  Just kidding.   I just did W2D1 and noticed how thirsty I was when I was finished.  Was that because I didn't drink enough before I started?  Or because the pollen in the air is choking me to death? Or should I be carrying water, even for these 20 minute intervals?  I know this is more than one question, but I think they can all be summed up into one answer.  Thank you so much in advance. 



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  • KleinFireman Expert 45 posts since
    Dec 27, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Apr 15, 2011 9:45 PM (in response to Alder2011)
    Re: How often do I need water while running?

    YES ;-)  But seriously, you should be hydrated before running. It doesn't take much to dehydrate yourself and depending on your fitness level it could be as little as W2 D1. On a hot day the body loses upto 4 gallons of water per hour outside, so if you add running to that, you go past a safe threshold pretty quickly. An easy way to see if you are hydrated is your urine color, the clearer the better. An old soccer coach told me, if you are not peeing every twenty minutes then you aren't drinking enough. A little harsh, but it got the message across. I have had heat cramps due to a situation I was in and it really is pretty scary.  I hope this helps.

    God created Firemen so Cops could have heroes too.

    Week 1 Done, bring on Week 2.

  • Guayquilwriter Legend 511 posts since
    Mar 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Apr 16, 2011 4:25 AM (in response to Alder2011)
    Re: How often do I need water while running?

    I generally follow the advice of Bob Glover and it has worked well for me, both now as I am losing weight as well as 20 years ago when I was a runner who did 10k.


    First it is important to stay generally hydrated in your everyday activities, which means as a base about 8 cups of fluid everyday of which at least half is plain water. I actually drink 10-12 cups of which 8-10 is water, but I am a big guy so I need a bit more. Exercise hydrating is in addition to this.


    1-2 cups of water about 10-15 minutes before exercising.


    During exercising you really don´t need any water if you are exercising 30 minutes or less. If you go more than 30 minutes then you should be taking a cup of water about every 10-20 minutes depending on how much you sweat. The bigger you are and if you are male you should drink at the high end of the scale. If you are exercising an hour or more than you should also use sports drinks like gatorade to help replace electrolytes. If you are exercising more than 90 minutes you should start eating some carbos while you run, such as energy gels, bananas or fig newtons.


    1-2 cups of water after exercising.

    OVER 50 PRs

    5K - 31:50 5K La Joya 2011 - Aug 2011

    10K - 1:14:30 at Guayaquil Half Marathon - Jul 2011

    Half - 2:32:22 at Guayaquil Marathon - Oct 2011

    2012 Races

    InterAmerican Family Fun Run (5k) 36:04 (Previous Year 39:22)

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  • ZombieKnee Amateur 25 posts since
    Apr 6, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Apr 16, 2011 6:14 AM (in response to Alder2011)
    Re: How often do I need water while running?

    I dunno, I consider myself a pretty hydrated person, I go through about 3L of water a day, but I still find that I wind up needing water when I work out. Especially running outside, my mouth gets really dry and almost filmy feeling if I don't drink halfway through, and I only just finished week 1 (had to redo a couple days because I had to stop early a couple times cause of my knee). I always just figured it's because I am outside, and have the sun beating down on me, that I need to drink something.

  • atlrun37 Rookie 5 posts since
    Dec 1, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Apr 16, 2011 8:24 AM (in response to Alder2011)
    Re: How often do I need water while running?

    Your issue is that you are not hydrated enough. The pollen and hot/humid weather really sucks the water out of you. The fanny packs you are talking about are "Fuel Belts" and are only really necessary for long distances - beyond an 8K - or if you are asthmatic or diabetic so need to carry necessary items. The most important thing is to hydrate before running. You should be drinking at least 45 oz. of water a day but ideally up to about 64 oz. If you think about your average nalgene, it's a lot, but this becomes even more important as we enter summer. You should be fine to run without water as long as you drink lots during the day. Drink at least one to two glasses as you wake up and get ready for the day, then keep drinking by utilizing a reusable water bottle and refilling it throughout the day. Don't drink more than a few sips right before you run, but make sure you drink afterwards. If you feel you're appropriately hydrated but still thirsty, try running along paths where you know you can find public water fountains. Many designated trails will have these, or, if you run along the streets, stores will have water fountains inside or nearby. Generally, though, I would say you should be fine without water while you run as long as you drink a LOT during the day.

  • ORcoastrunner Pro 83 posts since
    Apr 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Apr 16, 2011 10:57 AM (in response to Alder2011)
    Re: How often do I need water while running?


    One of the threads I had been following in the Newbie Cafe had a post with a photo of a nice little water bottle with a hand strap.  The person who posted said that the strap kept it in her hand without really having to grip it, and she was very happy with it.  I am only up to running 5K, and here on the Oregon Coast where the weather is usually 50 degrees and drizzling, I haven't felt the need to carry water.  I do hydrate before I go, and I do want a drink when I finish, but I don't really need to carry anything.  On the other hand, if I was living in the desert and the weather was a little warmer, I'd probably need more hydration.  If I can find the photo of the water bottle, I'll post it here.

    I may not be good, but I'm slow!

  • KIRK_T Legend 279 posts since
    Jun 25, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Apr 16, 2011 11:04 AM (in response to ORcoastrunner)
    Re: How often do I need water while running?

    I have a two bottle belt and it does not bounce around at all.

    No matter what the temperature is I always carry water or cytomax for runs over 5 miles, & I drink every 2 miles.

    I also am always well hydrated all the time, and that really helps a lot.

    Kirk: Started running again at 50.

    2010: 4-5K 1-3.5 mile 2-Half Marathon

    2011: 3-5K 1-3.5 mile 1-8K 1-10 mile 16-Half Marathon 1-Marathon

    Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon 01/15/2012 3:28:33 PR & BQ

    F^3 Lake Half Marathon 01/28/2012 1:48:34

    Shamrock Shuffle 8K 03/25 43:29

    Chi Town Half 4/01 1:57

    Illinois Marathon 4/28 3:56

    Wisconsin Marathon 5/05 3:56

    Lake Geneva Marathon 5/12 3:56

    Rockford Marathon 5/20 4:08

    Soldier Field 10 Mile 5/26 1:31

    Run for the Zoo 5K 6/03 19:57 PR

    13.1 Chicago 6/09 1:50

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  • ORcoastrunner Pro 83 posts since
    Apr 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Apr 16, 2011 11:38 AM (in response to Alder2011)
    Re: How often do I need water while running?

    I found it!  Here's the water bottle:

    Doh!  I should have cut and pasted the whole post...

    I may not be good, but I'm slow!

  • flamomof3 Legend 1,928 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Apr 16, 2011 11:49 AM (in response to Alder2011)
    Re: How often do I need water while running?

    I have a 2 bottle fuel belt that I run with. I live in Florida, so I'm bringing water with me.

  • freesia777 Pro 98 posts since
    Mar 13, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Apr 16, 2011 2:49 PM (in response to Alder2011)
    Re: How often do I need water while running?

    Yes, that hand held bottle is the one I now swear by.  It holds about 20 ounces and is perfect for me.  I am about 1/2 way through C25K so I am not running a lot, but I am oh so thirsty through out and I need that water!  HIGHLY recommended!  They also make smaller ones too if 20-22 ounces is too much.

    Kate in NH

    Started C25K: 03/16/2011

    First 5K: 06/04/2011 (Over the River and Through the Woods 5K, Concord, NH): 40:30!!

    Second 5K: 08/04/2011 (Thunder Chicken 5K, Portsmouth, NH): 39:32!!

    Third 5K: 10/09/2011 (Great Island 5K, New Castle, NH): 38:18!!

    Current words to live by: "4 mph is faster than the couch" --FaithInSC

  • RunninUgly Expert 56 posts since
    Dec 30, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Apr 16, 2011 7:58 PM (in response to Alder2011)
    Re: How often do I need water while running?

    I hydrate well before all my runs and I take water with me on every run. I have a Nathan hand held bottle that I take on my short runs, a 2 bottle fanny pack for moderate runs, and the hydration back pack for my long runs. I have had no problems with any of them as far as bounce goes. The back pack took a little getting used to, but now I don't even notice its there. The nice thing about all three is that there are pockets for key's, gels, money etc.


    Upcoming Races:

    Warrior 5k 11 Sep 11-doing this with a couple friends. It will be their first race.

    Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon- 1 Oct 11

    Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge- 7-8 Jan 12

    "Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never

    dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push

    through the obstruction."  William James

  • drbojangles Pro 110 posts since
    Mar 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Apr 18, 2011 8:28 AM (in response to Alder2011)
    Re: How often do I need water while running?

    I'm up to W8 now so running for around half an hour. I make sure I'm well-hydrated before I go and don't, at this stage, feel the need to carry anything with me. I am not overly thirsty when I finish (though it's worth bearing in mind that I don't live somewhere very warm - this will likely change as the weather heats up and I sweat more). As I increase my runs for more than three miles I am going to get one of these:

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Apr 18, 2011 8:42 AM (in response to Alder2011)
    Re: How often do I need water while running?

    There are so many variables that it is impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer.  But generally speaking, unless it is VERY hot and humid, you can probably run at least 30 minutes before you need water.   For example, most runners don't take water in a 5K race.  Even in a 10K (about an hour of running) I don't take water unless it is very hot.


    I live in Georgia, so I know about running in heat and humidity.  Here are my general water experiences that work for me.  Most of the time I run at a park with a 3 mile loop so I can leave water bottles at the beginning of the trail and take a quick water break when I come around.  That saves me having to worry about toting it.  Another park where I run is out and back but they have water fountains along the way.  NICE!


    For long runs - and I'm talking about 2+ hours - when it is warm and I don't have water along the way, then and ONLY then I carry a hydration belt.  But that is absolutely the last resort.  Think about it, you don't even need water until about an hour into the run, but then for that first hour you're carrying the extra weight of that water around your waist.  I've never tried a camelbak, but I'm guessing its about the same.  I pretty much use any other method to avoid carrying water.  Exception....sometimes I grab a disposable bottle of water along the way if I know there will be someplace to throw it away when I'm finished.   That way I only have to carry it a short time.


    Keep in mind that in races you WILL have water stations, so its not like you have to train to carry water.  It is closer to the race experience if you stash your water somewhere along your route for when you need it.


    Hope this helps!

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