Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What's Your Hydrating Plan? And Pros and Cons of a Camelbak


In any long distance race, you'll want to make a hydration plan! Will you be stopping at the provided water stations or will you be providing your own water? If you plan to provide your own water/beverage how will you be carrying it?  Will you do hand held? Backpack? Hydration belt?

I've gone through many thoughts as I contemplated  what I was going to do for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I've ran 13.1 miles before without taking a sip of anything ( which I know is not a smart thing to do) but am pretty certain with the Florida heat and humidity that I will need to stay hydrated.

I made up my mind that I wasn't going to bother bringing my own water because there would be plenty of water stops along the half marathon route (approximately 9 water stations).

But when corral placement came out and I was able to see just how many runners would be participating in this race I started to get nervous. What if it's too crowded? What if I can't get to a water station when I need too?  I don't want to get too close to a water station because I don't to slip and fall on a wet spot or a paper cup that someone threw.   I know these are things that I more than likely don't need to be concerned about, but why take the chance!


My second option was obviously to carry my own water.

 I have this perfect little hand held bottle that straps on to my hand. I bought it at the Wicked 10k expo last year in VA Beach.  It's very light weight, has a pouch on the side for gummies and GU, and I've even taken it on some practice runs to see if I could still manipulate my camera while holding in my hand, and I can!


But then, I was approached with a third option.

The people from Camelbak sent me this ARC 2 hydration belt.  At first I wasn't sure that I would use it for the half marathon  ( it looked like way too much water).  Shortly after I received it I strapped it on and took it for a 4 mile run. I wouldn't normally carry water with me for this short distance, but I wanted to try it out.  As you can see, it comes with 2 bottles. I took one of the bottles off the belt for this run ( I didn't need both).

 My Pros and Cons list for this hydration belt.

Pros
* Lightweight
* 2 Bottles ( plenty of water when you need it)
* Jet valves on water bottles make it easy to just squirt water in mouth
* Very easy to remove bottles from belt and place them back quickly
* Loops to carry GUs
* Zipper pouch
* Hook inside zipper pouch ( not sure what I would us it for yet)
* Loved that I can carry water Hands Free!


Cons
* Sizing ( They come in S- M- L: I received a Small and it fits, but it is very tiny. I consider myself a small person to begin with and this belt is kind of snug on me)

* Small Pouch. I am glad that this belt has a pouch on it, but it's very tiny. I can fit my phone in it but that's it.  I feel like I would have to wear my Spi belt as well if I wanted to carry cash with me for after the race, or anything else.

* I wish it had more pockets and loops to hold other things.

With all this being said, I am very pleased with the Camelbak Hydration belt but not quite sure if I'm going to use it for the Princess Half marathon. If I do, I probably won't fill both of the water bottles up. I guess it will depend on what all I feel I will need to take with me on race morning. I do really like the fact that I can run Hands Free!  I'm thinking if I do use the Camelbak, I can carry both water bottles so my running partner ( my mom) can run hands free as well!

*I was provided this ARC 2 hydration belt from the very generous folks at CamelBak, but all opinions are of course my own.

If you'd like to determine how much water you will need for your height, weight, and distance you plan to run, check out their site here: http://www.camelbak.com/

What is your hydration plan for longer races? What will you be doing for PHM?

36 comments:

  1. I have never felt it was necessary to carry water in any of my races at Walt Disney World or anywhere for that matter. The number of water stops on most race courses is always sufficient. I think you will be surprised to find that you could go without your handheld.

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    1. This was pretty much my first thought too! I will pack my bottles with me and see how I feel on race day!

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  2. I carried water at my first Disney race, and never have since. There are crowds, yes, but I honestly never had any issues getting to someone with water/powerade. A lot of people go straight for the first volunteers holding cups, but if you run a little further into the water stations, it is much less crowded and there are no lines at all :0)

    As for hydration belts, I try not to wear them (especially if I'm running somewhere with water fountains) because they pull on my stomach and make it hurt, and running with an upset stomach = noooo fun!! I do have my FitSip, which I love, and definitely use that on shorter runs.

    Great post!!

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    1. Thanks for the tips Lauren! Now I wish I had a fitsip!

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  3. When I was training for my first half last year I used my house as a water station. Luckily my town is set up where I could run 3-4 miles in any direction, loop back to get water and GUs, and then keep running in a different direction (so I didn't get bored!). For my second half, my mom bought me an early Christmas present which was a hydration backpack. I used it my on 10 and 11 miler runs. I worked well. The only thing I didn't like was the swishing of the water! At first it bothered me, but as I got into the run and my music, I noticed it less. When I ran both the halves, I just used the water stations which worked out well for me. It's hard to determine all these things when training!

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    1. Yes it is hard to determine and makes one more thing for me to stress over!

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  4. I think the hook inside the pouch is for a key. So even if the pouch comes open, the key will be hooked in and you won't loose it. Thanks for the review!
    @heatherlas

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    1. Ahh! That makes sense! Thanks for telling me about the hook!

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  5. I like to feel "light" as possible in runs so with the half I did I only had a very tiny belt that carried my Gu and kleenex. There were PLENTY of water stations, but then again I didn't mind slowing down or walking to grab one. I guess if you were going for a PR then it would be hard to slow down or stop.

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  6. My main issue is hydrating BEFORE the race, especially being at Disney for 2 days when I throw caution to the wind and usually drink diet coke as a treat the whole time. During running I don't drink a ton so I plan to use the stations. I already feel like I'm carrying so much! LOL

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    1. I know what you mean about carrying so much. I feel I have enough room in my spi belt but not the hydration belt.

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  7. A timely post, I just ran into my first noticeable dehydration this weekend on a 16 mile run. I only have a small 10 ounce hand held Nathan bottle right now, and clearly need to upsize my water options. The belt you show here seems interesting, I'm also considering the larger 22 ounce hand helds, although they seem bulky.

    Thank you for writing this post and sharing your thoughts on the product. Excellent food for though.

    If you're interested, here's a link to my story about coming up with a hydration plan.

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    1. Thanks for visiting! I checked out your link! Funny that we both wrote about the same topic today!

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  8. Not a fan of hydration belts. I am okay with belts for keys, snacks, my race bib - just not to carry water bottles. I've carried a handheld for all but one of my half marathons. I did a trail half last month and carried a Nathan hydration vest. I LOVED IT. It is extremely lightweight - the bladder evenly distributes water across your back, and it keeps your back cool. That will be my go to on long races from now on.

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    1. Thank goodness there are so many options but i'm having a hard time deciding what to use!

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  9. The last marathon I ran I was planning to PR. I did not have time to stop to drink. And I can't drink properly from a normal cup unless I walk. So I wore my camelback up until mile 20. I run a lot of trail, so I was used to my camelback and even used it while training. So I don't think it held me back at all. When I took it off, it was also sort of like a milestone in my mind at mile 20 too... Ditched the camelback to my husband and he gave me my headphones so I could kick it into gear with some tunes. I would say whatever one's hydration plan is, it shouldn't be something new they do on race day. Practice running with your pack, your belt, your handheld, whatever.

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    1. I have practiced with both so I think either one will be ok!

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  10. Disney does a great job with water stations, but when I train I use the Camelback Minimist and so on race day I like to keep this same routine. I also like using my own because I hate drinking out of the cups and I don't enjoy the large crowds when trying to grab for a water. Good luck though on whatever you decide!

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  11. Disney is really well-organized with everything, and they definitely have water stations down! I wouldn't worry too much. I really never carry water during races, and while in Disney (or any destination) I really try to make an effort to drink as much as possible in the days leading up to the race and afterwards, because I have DEFINITELY felt dehydrated before and it is NOT fun!

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    1. I certainly don't want to feel dehydrated! I've already started increasing my water intake this week!

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  12. I didn't carry any water with my the first time I ran Princess, but have used a hydration belt every other time. For me it was timing. I felt I always wanted/ needed water before it was offered. With last year's heat and humidity I drank both of my own bottles, as well refilled them and drank that AND sipped Powerade and water at every stop!! It was brutal!

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    1. Yes, that's my concern as well. If it is so hot I might want water before I see a stop!

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  13. Disney does a fantastic job at their water stations. I wouldn't worry with that at all!! I don't normally carry water with me, but I will if I think it's going to be a problem with the heat/humidity. Good luck at Princess! It's such a fun race!!

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    1. Thanks Rachel! The heat is what has got me worried too!

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  14. So far I have always depended on water stations for my hydration at races (I carry my own gels and such) and it has worked well for me. I have only run relatively small races though, so I imagine that makes a difference with tons of people.

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    1. Yes, i've never carried water for any of my 10K's or other races. I rarely stop at water stations either.

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  15. For any race longer than a 5k, I've been using my hydration belt, which has served as a great supplement to the water stations, particularly since when I want water, I want it. I wore my hydration belt for the Disney World half last month, and only wound up finishing about 1.5 bottles of the water I had on me. That was because at each of the 9 water stations I made sure to drink both water and Powerade. I noticed that Disney also has many more water stations than other races do. Will I wear my hydration belt at my next Disney race? That is still to be decided.

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    1. Yes, i'm thinking the hydration belt will come in handy (but it doesn't math by race outfit..lol)

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  16. This looks like an awesome water belt! I also am worried about what to do during Disney Princess - I heard that Disney did a race recently where they ran out of cups and people were dying without water! I may bring my handheld bottle but we'll have to see how I feel on race day!

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  17. My plan is to carry a bottle of water (probably with Nuun) to the start but toss it before the races starts. I hate the hand held bottle I have and haven't wanted to spend the money on a belt. Fingers crossed they have a lot of water at the stops.

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  18. I had one marathon once that they ran out of water early on in the race, and since it was in humid, hot Maui it wasn't very pretty, actually don't remember much of that race as I kind of lost my mind.
    But with that said, I have never experienced that ever and generally in the bigger races they don't do that because it would ruin their name and the lawsuits can be pretty high.
    I've seen an few runners run with their own hydration packs and I see many more who just take what you get at water stops. Disney is a great race, they know what they are doing. Other than their early years, they have had great support and you won't have to worry about having more than enough water. In fact with all the water stops, you'll probably have to take more care to make sure you're not drinking too much! Have a great race this weekend!!!

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  19. I have a Camelbak pack I'll be using. I've never raced with one, but it worked well on my long runs and carries plenty of hydration. I don't want to risk not having something in between water stops, or not being able to stop. Plus this way I can put something in my pack with electrolytes that my body is already used to. We'll see how this goes!

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