The obvious way to stay hydrated during a long run is to wear a hydration pack or carry a water bottle. But with just one liter of water weighing approximately two pounds, lugging around an adequate amount of fluids isn’t ideal, especially if you’re focused on getting faster. So how do you keep your thirst quenched and your body primed to perform sans extra gear? You embrace your surroundings. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned over the years.
1. Plan A Park Run
One of the easiest ways to staying hydrated on a training run is to choose a park route that passes predictably placed water fountains. I know what you’re thinking: “Running loops in the park? Boring.” But remember, you don’t have to stay in the park the entire time. You can design an out-and-back or point-to-point training course that passes the water sources as often as needed.
2. Make Use Of Restaurants
It might sound like strange advice, but fast food restaurants and gas stations could be clutch on training runs. No, I’m not talking about fueling with burgers and fries; I’m talking about making use of their water (and bathrooms!). Asking for a paper cup to fill with tap water can be a great way to hydrate on the go.
3. Stash Your Liquids
Before your run, hide bottles of water or sports drinks along your route so you can grab them on the go. Just don’t forget to dispose of your trash (or pick up your reusable bottle) when you’re done.
4. Recruit A Friend
Good friends are worth their weight in gold… and water. Once you know your course, have a friend hop on their bike with a water bottle or sports drink and meet you on the path. See if they’re up for riding along. Afterall, workout buddies can help you stick to your plan, make you feel more positive about your routine, and—in this case—keep you hydrated.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.