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A Sloshing Distraction August 3, 2007

Posted by Joe in frustration, hydration.

So I went running this past Tuesday afternoon when it was very hot. I was going for a four mile run (which would have been my longest run yet) and thought, “I should take a bottle of water along with me to sip at each mile.” This was a terrible idea.

The biggest problem was that the bottle was a constant distraction, and not the good kind. “Should I hold the bottle so it doesn’t slosh, or should I not care and let it slosh away?” Either way that little plastic container was getting way too much attention. On top of this the water was warm by mile 1. Yeah, that’s refreshing. By mile 2 I was frustrated with it and threw it in a bush. I don’t need anyone to tell me this is bad policy. I know it. In fact I think such an act is unethical – throwing trash on the street of my community, garbage on God’s earth. What an idiot. My run was only 3.1 miles. The next day guilt moved me to go back and pick up my trash, but it was gone. So I spent some time cleaning up all the garbage the other idiots threw in the same area.

So – back to the point. What about carrying water bottles? Is there a bottle that will keep the water cool? If I am properly hydrated, how long of a run requires a water bottle? What do you use?



1. *lisa* - August 3, 2007

I like to put an almost full bottle in the freezer, sort of diagonally. On a hot day, it will melt fast enough to produce (cold!) water, but won’t slosh around too much, as it’s partially still frozen. (the frozen part of the bottle also doubles as a fantastic way to cool off the back of your neck, which helps all of my feel cooler). In the summer, I take water if I’ll be gone longer than 30ish minutes.

2. Joe - August 3, 2007

Thanks Lisa. That’s a great idea.

3. Running Ragged - August 3, 2007

I totally understand your frustration. At first, when the bottle is still full all is well and just goes downhill from there. But I have gotten used to it over time.

On my short runs (3 to 6 miles) I run with a gatorade bottle (12 oz) in my left hand. I don’t hear it sloshing because I am busy listening to music. I do occasionally re-grip the bottle so the sloshing is not as bad; I can feel it my hand/arm.

But it is a great substitution for a horn/bell! People can hear my bottle sloshing and get out of the way before I come up to them. This way I don’t have to say “runner on your left/right” and have them jump because I caught them off guard. lol I have thought about leaving the bottle laying somewhere, but I am afraid it won’t be there when I come by again. I think they make some pretty good belts that you could wear, but you’ll have the sloshing none the less, it will be in the back instead of the front though.

I don’t mind drinking warm beverages (the European coming out in me), so keeping it cool is not a concern I have.

Thanks for your comment on my blog, I enjoy reading your blog as well. It is great to see your success and I am on the sidelines cheering for you all the way! ~ sorry about writing a book! 😮

4. Nick - August 3, 2007

Joe: Personally, I never run with water unless it’s over 10 miles. Then I use a fuel belt. It is almost unnoticeable while you are running, and is also helpful when you get into using nutrition products like gels and such. These are very popular on race courses and have proved helpful to me time and time again. But, if it’s less than a 10 miler, I just hydrate well for a few hours prior to the run and then hit it hard soon after. We often get into a mindset that pushes us to actually drink more water than we need… you should be alright without if you do the work pre and post run.

5. Joe - August 3, 2007

Thanks Running, and that’s really helpful Nick. I am good about hydrating before (most of the time) and haven’t felt like I really needed water during a run – though they have only been 3.5 miles at the most. Today I am planning on hitting a four mile course.

6. Brian - August 3, 2007

I agree with Nick. You don’t really need to bring water unless you are running the longer distances. I regularly will run for an hour, or about 7 miles, and not have to bring water with me.

Anything longer though and I will usually bring water. A benefit though is that on some of the longer runs there are water fountains along the way, so I don’t even have to bring water for those.

I like Lisa’s idea, I will have to give that one a try. Unfortunately, though, there really isn’t a way around the sloshing and the water getting warm. Oh well. If you find a way to keep the water cool let us all know!

7. Joe - August 3, 2007

I need to talk to “Doc Brown.” He’s always inventing cool stuff.

8. Brad - August 3, 2007

When the temps start moving above 70-75 degrees and the humidity is not far behind, it’s a good idea to have water with you, no matter what the mileage. 3 miles in 90 degree weather is very different from 6 miles in 65 degree weather!!
There are lots of water bottle/camelbak/belts out there. I personally like handheld bottles.

9. runchilde - August 4, 2007

the fact that you went back to get your discarded bottle is endearing, sounds like someone else beat you to it, but you did a little “penance” anyway. karma baby, karma. i hadn’t thought of running with water, even when i was running before (3 miles-4 miles) it didn’t occur to me. I remember reading someone else’s blog where he would go ahead on his route drop water in some hiding place so he’d have it when he reached that point. i think this was longer runs though….

10. ianheath653 - August 8, 2007

Congratulations on the four-miler the other day! I stumbled across your site from Runners Lounge. I’ve always been told the general rule is that if you’re going to be out there for anywhere close an hour or more, you definitely should have some fluids out there with you, and if it’s hot and humid, to have them with you even if your run is a bit less than an hour. Personally, I don’t mind using hand-held bottles, but maybe I’ve just gotten used to the sloshing. I’ve also noticed that if I’m thirsty enough, I don’t really notice the water temperature, either. I’ve been lucky to have amassed through the years a few ergonomic hand water bottles that hold about 20-24 ounces or so for free (they usually have some financial company’s logo stamped on them), and since they fit my hand well, I don’t notice them much while on the run. On longer runs, I’ll usually run an out-and-back course twice, so I’ll stash a bottle somewhere at the beginning so I have a fresh one half-way through the run.

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