Hydration Systems for Long Runs

Since hydration plays such an important part in training, finding the pack that works best for you will become crucial to having comfortable, efficient long runs. An important component of selecting a hydration pack is making sure, in addition to being able to carry fluids, you need at least a small zipper compartment to store other items such as Cytomax, Gatorade, gels, or sunscreen.

THE FOUR TYPES OF HYDRATIONS SYSTEMS:
Hand Held Bottles
These are the fastest and easiest to fill. They tend to take some getting used to and they typically do not have any additional room to carry any extra Cytomax, gels or energy bars, cell phones, money or keys.

Hip Bottle Packs
These packs allow you to run hands free. There are hip packs that can carry one or two bottles (one is fine) and another version of smaller plastic bottles that go all the way around the waist (this is called a fuel belt) The belts with the slanted water bottle make it slightly easier to get to the bottle and get it out.

Hip Bladder Packs
This sits on your waist just like a hip bottle pack, but then it has a bladder inside and allow you to sip from a hydration tube. These are great for longer runs, but some find them very heavy to run with.

Backpacks
These are the camel backpacks which are more suited to the walkers. Some runners do like to carry them and they allow you to carry large amounts of fluids. (Probably more than you really need, but if you like it and it’s¬†comfortable, go for it!)

Volumes vary as to what the different systems carry, however you want to shop for a bottle or system that would allow you to carry a minimum of 16-20 ounces. Bring your water bottle with you filled so that you can switch it to the pack you are testing and see what it feels like with a full water bottle. Try on several different types to find the one that works best for you. The earlier you do this into your training the better, there is nothing worse than going for a long run with a pack that doesn’t work well!