Staying hydrated while running is an obvious necessity. While the solution is simple, the execution can be more complicated. Liquids are essential for runners and thankfully hydration packs are plentiful. From water bottles to backpacks, waist-packs and belts, there are plenty of options to choose from depending on your running style and what you’re comfortable with.
Backpack Hydration Packs
One of the more recently popular hydration packs is the backpack or vest style. As you can imagine, there are plenty of advantages and disadvantages when you place this “mini-cooler” on your back. Let’s be a glass is half full runner and start with the advantages. Most obvious is that you are easily transporting a large quantity of water with you that you can continue to drink and stay hydrated throughout your run.
Depending on the pack, you can also enjoy the coolness on your back as your heart rate increases. Some of the larger packs such as those from CamelBak also include compartments if you need to bring along keys or prefer to store your phone. Moving on to the glass is half empty spectrum, a backpack can be heavy or annoying to some runners, including minimalists. The added weight could be cumbersome and if you don’t feel comfortable drinking while running, you will stop multiple times which will interfere with your steady stride.
Hydration Belts and Waist Packs
Moving the hydration pack to your waist is preferred by some runners. Generally, the waist packs or belts are smaller and don’t interfere with your running style. On the plus side, you can easily bring one with an accompanying water bottle to your next run and see how it feels. On the negative side, you won’t be able to transport as much as water as you would with the backpack version.
Running with a Water Bottle
For decades, runners have brought a water bottle along and kept it secure in one hand or the other. This may be a simple solution, but if you are not used to running while holding the bottle, it may feel strange. It could become further complicated if you are also attempting to carry a phone or device that plays music. Some runners feel it is distracting and if the bottle is large enough, it has the possibility of making them unbalanced.
While any of these options may feel awkward at first, with a little practice, carrying water with you will become as natural as putting on your running shoes.