The rule of thumb for runs over an hour is 4 to 6 ounces every 20 minutes of exercise. If running longer than 90 minutes, you should also include a sport drink like Gatorade to replenish sodium and electrolytes. For people who have sensitive stomachs it helps to drink smaller quantities more frequently – like 2 ounces every 10 minutes. Also it’s important to hydrate well a day or two prior to your long run and at least an hour before hand. Personally, I drink a glass of Gatorade in the morning an hour+ before the long run which seems to help and I take a sip from my Camelbak every mile (8-10 minutes).
Several people have asked the best way to carry or get fluids. I have tried everything and different things work for various distances:
- Under 10 miles: I use my FuelBelt which carries up to four – 8oz bottles. I put Gatorade in three of the bottles and water in one or on shorter runs I’ll just carry two of the bottles. For fuel, I safety-pin my gel packets to my FuelBelt for easy access. When you tear off the gel packet, it automatically rips open the top.
- 10 to 15 milers: I’ve frozen extra bottles and put them out on the course to replace what I’ve drank. Some people use their car as an aid station and will run a 7-10 mile “loop” so they can replace their fluid every time they pass their car.
- 16+ miles: What I have found to work the absolute best on long runs (16+) is my Camelbak. It’s carries 50oz of fluid; small and snug on my back; pocket for my phone and key; and super easy to take a sip without fussing around with a bottle. I then carry the gel in my pocket and have a bottle of Gatorade, or ice cold chocolate milk, at the finish!
What are some ways you stay hydrated during hot summer runs? I’d love to read your comments below.