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Trying to avoid the wall (take 2)

February 27, 2010

Last week’s long run was hampered by dehydration rather than exhaustion. Having finally decided to do something about the inevitable sluggishness at the end of the 20-odd mile runs that mark my Sunday mornings, I opted for a spur-of-the-moment DIY solution. Needless to say, I’m not trying that again.

Tomorrow things are going to be different…

For the final 40 days of training for the Paris Marathon, I've invested in a Camelbak and a substantial quantity of carbo gels

Gone are the days of improvisation – a two-litre water-carrying backpack and a bucket-load of carbo gels should crack the problem

If you want to stay hydrated when running, you have a number of options open to you:

  1. Some form of gym bottle, or just a bog-standard bottle of water. Fine for some, but they’re not the most convenient thing to lug round with you. (And a little prone to get flung off at random angles if your hands get a little sweaty or if you decide to give it some arm-pumping oomph up a hill.)
  2. Runners’ water bottles, designed like a handle to make gripping the vessel easier when running. It might be just me, but there is a certain similarity in their design to a baby’s rattle. Good for carrying a small amount of water, but still something that needs to be carried in the hand, leading to a slightly one-sided gait.
  3. Wearable water vessels, such as the Camelbak rucksack pictured above. Probably the most hardcore solution to the problem, they’re designed to try to minimize the amount they affect your movement. Carrying two litres of water will require some additional effort, though.

Only time will tell whether this is overkill (although I’m sure it’ll be essential for long runs in the height of the summer). It also has the added benefit of somewhere to store the carbo gels – while gloves may be good for storing marzipan, there’s little denying that a zipped pocket might be a little more purpose built…

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