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2870 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Aug 10, 2009 10:54 PM by HanHail
Noel90298 Amateur 13 posts since
Apr 4, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 7, 2009 4:49 PM



I am a first time marathoner and I have a question about hydration during the race.



I am a 5 1/2 to 6 hour marathoner so I am out there for a long time.  In my training 'long runs', I have been drinking about 18-20 ounces per hour.  It seems like this would be pretty hard to do by getting a small cup from the water stations every two miles or so...



So here are my questions...


  • Do people often take sports drink with them?  And if so, how?  (Belt pack, back pack, etc.)

  • Is there more water available than I think on the course?

  • Am I just drinking too much and should begin to cut back?

  • What kind of water/sports drink do they make available on the course?  Do I need to use this same kind in my training to be used to it?



Thanks for your help!






  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 7, 2009 6:02 PM (in response to Noel90298)
    Re: Hydration





    I'm sure you'll get other answers, but here's mine.





    • Do people often take sports drink with them? And if so, how? (Belt pack, back pack, etc.)





    People do, though I wouldn't use the word often. You will see some fuel belts, some back packs, some belts with single or double water bottles.





    • Is there more water available than I think on the course?





    There will be tables set up about every two miles. Cups are usually about 9 to 12 oz, and most will be about half full. I usually take two.






    • Am I just drinking too much and should begin to cut back?





    I don't think you're drinking too much. Though it will likely be cooler and you may need less for the marathon. (I drink less, but probably should drink more than I do.)








    • What kind of water/sports drink do they make available on the course? Do I need to use this same kind in my training to be used to it?





    Powerade Mixed Berry Blast. It is worth trying it ahead of time, unless you know you have a cast iron stomach.  If it bothers your stomach you'll have to carry something with you. That could be sports drink or something like gels to take with water. On-course water is just tap water as far as I know.





  • mikehelvey Legend 516 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Aug 8, 2009 10:32 AM (in response to Noel90298)
    Re: Hydration


    I'm a first timer also, and training with a fuel belt.  Haven't decided what to do on race day though.  Len is right, train with the poweraid that they will have available.  I carry 36oz for a 2.5 hour run in my fuel belt.  I take an extra 12 oz bottle for further.  I dont' find it uncomfortable to carry, and empty it first.  I like to add heed to the poweraid in two of my water bottles on the belt and alternate between poweraid/heed and water. 



    To plan for the race, take or stash water at the same intervals on your long run and see how you do...if you want more frequent waterings, I'd suggest taking some with you in a belt or a bottle with a hand strap.  (I don't know what those are called).



    Grace and peace,



    Mike Helvey



       "We enjoy warmth because we have been cold. We appreciate light because we have been in darkness. By the same token, we can experience joy because we have known sadness.." -David Weatherford

  • ColdForged Pro 145 posts since
    Apr 1, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Aug 9, 2009 7:01 AM (in response to Noel90298)
    Re: Hydration

    I'm a first-timer as well, but I'm planning on primarily carrying my own. I have a fuel belt that came with 4 8-ounce bottles and I bought 4 10-ounce bottles as well. I typically head out with 2 of each filled with a diluted Gaterade mixture. I then tend to refill about every 7 to 8 miles which entails planning loops in my training. For the race my wife has graciously agreed to set up at about miles 8 and 16 with my replacement bottles so I can switch out on the go, though I my not need it so much in the relative cool of October in DC.

    2009 Marine Corps Marathon Finisher

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  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Aug 9, 2009 8:00 AM (in response to Noel90298)
    Re: Hydration

    I train with a belt for anything over a hour, but find no need to use during a marathon.  I do use a fuel belt during the marathon.  I find plenty of water aid stations.  I mix a cup with 1 cup of whatever the other fluid is (poweraid, ect) this has work well for me, I have only run two marathons.    Good luck

  • relomas Amateur 9 posts since
    Aug 9, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Aug 9, 2009 11:49 AM (in response to Noel90298)
    Re: Hydration

    Don't pack fluids with you on your race, they will only weigh you down, and you can't take enough with you anyway. There's plenty of water along the course; water stops are usually every two miles or so.


    On a hot day, you could lose a quart or a liter of fluid every 30 minutes.  That's about 4 pounds an hour.

    Drinking 18-20 oz per hour is usually ok, but it all really depends on how long you are out there.  You can lose 40 oz per hour, though drinking 40 oz per hour may be too much.


    You will probably lose some fluids overall during the race, but you should be ok as long as you keep your losses around 4% of body weight.


    You might want to drink the sports drink that they hand out at each water station, but make sure you try it on your long run beforehand.  Don't take anything containing High Fructose Corn Syrup, because when your body is stressed around the 20 mile mark, high fructose syrup can give you abdominal cramps and worse.


    If you experience a sharp drop in your pace, drink 2-3 cups of water and take a gel or two.  You will probably feel better about ten minutes later.  If someone tells you that you appear dehydrated, believe them, since most dehydrated people aren't aware of their condition.  Likewise, if you see someone who looks dehydrated, tell them to get some water.



  • Stevemustangred Legend 681 posts since
    Oct 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Aug 9, 2009 2:38 PM (in response to Noel90298)
    Re: Hydration


    MCM is one of the best supported marathons in the US.  You 'll be able to get more than enough hydration from the tables.  One or two cups are sufficient for most people.  Just because you aren't thirsty, don't skip the first aid station.  Carry a couple of gels packs or a bag of cliff shots or similar for an extra boost.  Carrying extra liquid at MCM is just dead weight for no reason.   If you are running a trail marathon where the aid station distances are more than two miles or you could get lost then carrying a bottle or camelback is a great idea.



    Lies Spectators tell Marathoners:   1) Last Hill!    2) Almost there!  3) You look great!

  • HanHail Legend 219 posts since
    Jan 14, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Aug 10, 2009 10:54 PM (in response to Noel90298)
    Re: Hydration

    Noel -


    My answer to most of your questions is "to each their own". And on the last question, for MCM, they give PowerAde, which many people have reported not going down too well for them, but that again is very subjective.


    I just have one comment about carrying fluids for a big race like the MCM: It's probably a good idea to carry a small bottle with you, for, the first couple of water stops will be a zoo with the number of people rushing to the volunteers and creating a mini-stampede. The crowd does thin out by about the third water station or so, and you have easy access to fluids from then on.


    Happy running!

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