Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hydration On The Go

I popped over to the Running Lab today to see Frank to get myself a fuel belt. I normally don't carry water on me when I run and most times, though I know hydration is important, my runs turn out fine. Besides, during races, there are hydration stations along the way (well, most races anyway). But there are days, especially on longer training runs, when the weather is hot and the air is drier than the Sahara and halfway through the run, when the throat feels like sandpaper and craves for hydration is when I long to have water with me.

I'm not the kind to hide bottles of water along my preplanned route or to even hold a bottle in my hand while running. The routes I run also don't pass any convenience stores or sundry shops where I can stop for some fluids so most times I just struggle along in thirst.

A couple of months ago, I bought a Camelbak Fairfax and though I've tried using it on three long run occasions, I found it to be a little distracting and bothersome. While I enjoyed the benefits of having ice cooled (along with the ice cubes) water/Gatorade at my disposal, I was really distracted by the water sloshing sound and the shifting (no matter how tight I pulled the bungee) of the Camelbak. The unit has been lying in my wardrobe collecting dust since then. I don't know, maybe the Camelbak is just not for me.

So it was back to running without the benefits of available fluids. I do most of my runs in the late evening when I get home from work and it's a touch and go thing, especially with the weather. Evening runs can be pretty darn hot, humid and dry, especially if you live in my area where the traffic is heavy in the evenings with people heading home from work. The body will start craving for hydration pretty fast and the throat can dry up in a jiffy unless of course, it rained earlier, then the weather would be just about beautiful to run, with or without fluids.

Running without fluids tend to affect my performance and I finally decided to cave in and go look for something that I could bring fluids along in my longer runs on a hot evening that wouldn't be too much of a distraction and settled for the Fuel Belt Helium 4. After checking with Frank who told me he had stock, I went over today and got it from him.


I like running with the least amount of stuff attached to my body and having this four bottles attached around my waist was giving me the hibby jibbies. I was pretty darn skeptical but couldn't wait to give it a try. So when evening came, I filled two bottles with Gatorade and the other two with plain H20 and headed out the door. It was pretty odd having four bottles hanging around me as I ran and I felt so darn self conscious. The wife said I looked like a suicide bomber ... hahaha!

Well, the verdict is, while it was a tad heavy, especially when full, it did serve its purpose of providing fuel on the run, though I'll only be using it for my really longer runs on a particularly hot day. I still like the feeling of running light. I find the fuel belt to be a little distracting and though the website said it would fit really snug, it still moved around as I ran, as Frank said it would. But at least now I'll have an option besides the Camelbak on a really hot long run session. Besides, the wife said she'll smack me on the head if I just keep it in the wardrobe since the thing is not really cheap ... LOL!

Anyways, what do you guys think? Is having hydration at your disposal albeit it being a hindrance a good thing or not? What do you do to solve your thirst on a particularly long and hot run?

16 comments:

  1. LOL at your wife's comment. Beware in case police decide to stop you in the middle of your run to check that "suicide bomber" belt. Kakaka

    BTW, I've been meaning to ask you; on the day of your races what do you prepare? Do you bring anything along to the race?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lina, I actually ran past a cop car and he did look at me with this weird look! LOL!

    I've got my silly superstitious nonsense but essentially you just have to show up. Try to bring the minimum items if you drive there cos car break-ins are a concern.

    Race attire wise, don't use anything new and untested, use the stuff you're comfortable with and you're set to go. Just go there and enjoy yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Nick,
    Thanks Nick!

    LOL. The Cop must be thinking - what lah this fella doing? Kakaka

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lina, you're welcome. All the best in your inaugural race.

    Actually a lot of people were looking at me with a weird look la ... hahaha!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I also have a thing against carrying stuff even water until the Ultimate Direction (bottle) and the Nathan HPL (hydration vest).

    Gem of a comment from your wife. Never thought of the belt that way until I read it! But I'm surprised people think it's unusual. I would've thought with the number of races and more taking to running, these accessories would've been commonsight.

    Anyway, think of the belt as a device to slow you down on days you need to slow down LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Once I was looking around for the hydration pack/belt etc., but now I settled with a 500ml Gatorade bottle (with Gatorade or Water) on my hand, when I planned to run more than 60 minutes or >10km.
    So far no issue on hand-carrying (did that in both Seremban & Ipoh Half Marathon), but not sure if I can take it for the 42km. I will be able to find out very soon :P

    ReplyDelete
  7. if i see someone with these small bottles on their waist... i'll know its you la *LOL*

    do you feel like a cow with this small cute bottles attached to you?

    urmm.. i should probably make my exit now :p

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jamie - I think it's cause of the very few running specialty shops that we have. People are still just getting used to seeing specialized running gear, I guess. Even when I run with my calf compression on people tend to look at me one kind ... LOL!

    Yes, I'll use that belt as a device for a slower pace :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. Neoh - Aiyooo, if I carried a bottle in my hand, I'll probably get cramps ... LOL!

    I like the feeling of lightness when I run but I also appreciate having fluids so sometimes it's a tough decision whether to bring fluids on my runs or just go fluidless ...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anny - Yes, especially in USJ you'll definitely know it's me ... hahaha ...

    Hahahahahahaha ... feel like a cow, now that you mentioned it, I have to rethink using the fuel belt or risk being labeled as a cow!

    Yup, you'd better start running now! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nick,
    Actually, my inaugural race would either be the KLIUC unity run (have yet to register but thinking of doing so) or Pudu Charity Run (which I registered in fit of panic after registering for the PNM). xD

    And in another fit of jitters, made hubby drive me to PoJ and round PICC so I can check out the 10K route for the PNM. ;p

    ReplyDelete
  12. Lina, Wah, you signed up for the Pudu run? Good for you. I didn't cos too pokai from signing up for too many races till year end ... LOL!

    But good of your hubby to recce the route with you. The route is pretty flat except for area area behind the PICC section. After you're through that stretch, it's home free with flats all the way.

    Good luck on the Pudu and KLIUC runs.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nick,
    Pudu run clashes with the Siemens run. So while you and your wife doing the Siemens run, I'll be pounding the road for Pudu run. :)

    Scared stiff though. I bet I would be among the last ones to finish the race. And I know I'd hate that!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lina, Okay now I know why I didn't sign up for the Pudu run cos it clashed with the Siemens run ... hehehe ...

    Don't fret too much, just head there and do what you normally do on your runs which is to have fun.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lina, looking at your training pace and amount, you will definitely not the one who will finish at the last place in the Pudu run. My trained amount for my first run (MPSJ Run 2010 10km) was way below your amount, and I am still not the last place :P

    ReplyDelete
  16. Neoh, I agree with you. She'll do fine judging by her training.

    ReplyDelete