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.