Sooner or later there comes a moment when the distance and duration of training grows to such a point that running without hydration becomes problematic and even dangerous, so you have to take water with you. Especially in summer in the heat.
The main question the athlete faces at this point is how to transport fluids.
Running with a bottle in your hands
The easiest thing is to run around with a bottle or sports tank in your hands, but there are potential problems here.
The first problem lies in the fact that any additional weight in the hand affects the stability of the technique. Almost any bottle will require the hand to be slightly away from the body with proper hand work. This will provoke the need to compensate for its movements (with extra weight) with the other hand or, more often, with asymmetrical leg work and torsion of the body.
There is a 100 percent chance that a novice runner will run incorrectly if he or she takes a water bottle in one hand. Fortunately, beginners do not need to take water with them and can concentrate fully on technique.
Another container – in the other hand – can help with balancing and stabilizing the body. This method is often used by trailrunners on short distances that do not have difficult descents and climbs. Although Anton Krupichka, known for his minimalism, sometimes runs any distance with hand flasks.
Even in spite of the abundance of packing cases on sale, a full-size 600 ml sports drinking tank is quite difficult for girls to carry in their hands while it’s full. And keeping the body stable is difficult even for an advanced runner. At a good pace the feeling is close to running with a brick. That’s why it’s always better to carry a flask in each hand, but of a smaller size.
Another problem is the banal inconvenience. It’s hard to wipe your face from sweat, get an energy gel or bar, press the button on your watch, etc. And this is absolutely inappropriate for trail runners if the training conditions are close to skyrunning.
Belt with bottle holders
The choice is large, ranging from single seat covers for the classic tank (as in cycling) and ending with specialized belts for trailrunners with 4 ergonomically shaped flasks and pockets that usually fit 3-4 gels, 1 bar and sometimes even the car keys.
It’s not so easy with the belt flask holders either. In most cases, it is more comfortable and better than the manual option of transporting water. But, depending on the conditions of movement and the peculiarities of the body, the belt may tend to lift or twist, jump or simply cause discomfort.
In spite of this, the likelihood of any appreciable discomfort to the belt user is small. That’s why the number of trailrunners and marathon runners with belt systems is enormous. After all, they allow you to do the main task of keeping your hands free.
Существуют и маловместительные, интегрированные прямо в пояс емкости. Однако, по мнению большинства бегунов, это неудобно и мало где применимо. Поэтому не заслуживает особого внимания. В данном случае мое мнение совпадает с мнением большинства.
Running backpack with drinking system
A backpack is part of every trailrunner’s outfit. At least simply because most famous races are not allowed without it, and at ultramarathons it’s hard to do without it. Drinking system (1-2.5 liters) is integrated into it by default, or there is an opportunity to buy it and install it (otherwise it’s not a running backpack).
In general, when buying a backpack for running, it is better to pay attention right away to models aimed at a long trail. They have additional pockets for tanks, food and spare small equipment, rather than those that consist only of a hydrator and a case for it. The difference in weight is minimal.
In order to save money, you can order a running backpack in China on Aliexpress, there are good options. But you should take into account that it will be better to replace the drinking system with a well-known brand (800-2500 p.), because experts do not trust the food material from which the Chinese make the cheapest hydrators.
Although everyone understands that in this case it will be a substitute for the Chinese, probably brands are more strict about the safety of the composition of plastic and other components for the health of the athlete.
It is nothing less than the evolution of the running backpack by discarding everything unnecessary and turning it into a piece of clothing. The advantages of the running vest are obvious: like a military off-loading vest, the weight carried is distributed as evenly as possible over the outer surface of the runner and it hangs less.
Отсюда же вытекают и недостатки. Все-таки, жилет – не рюкзак, и лишнего с собой не возьмешь в случае необходимости. А большая (пусть и не намного) площадь покрытия кожи препятствует испарению пота и своевременному охлаждению.
As a consequence, fluid loss increases. In fact, the amount of water that goes into the drinking system of the running vest compensates for the fluid loss that it itself contributed to. Exaggerated, of course, but there is some truth in it.
Recently, the line between running backpacks and vests has been blurred a lot because of the trend to make backpacks more streamlined and vests more functional, so it can be hard to distinguish one from the other.
Заплечный чехол для бачка
Something in between all of the above options. The pros are obvious, but to all the advantages of carrying water on your back, you can add another one – maintenance (cleaning) of the tank is much easier than maintenance of the hydrator. In addition, the tank is more reliable, more survivable and easier to refill.
But here is a couple of spoons of aggravation to the barrel of honey: it is less convenient to use than the backpack drinking system, and the cost of the case is unreasonably high. However, the Celestial will bail you out if anything. In addition, when it is not full, the liquid in it splashes and makes noise, which is not to everyone’s liking. It may not be audible in the city, but in nature the splash of water behind your head is annoying. In general, it did not win popularity.
The main argument that runners put forward against this option is “since I hung something behind my back, I’d rather it be a full-fledged running backpack, in which I can throw my jacket, smartphone and goodies.
Другие варианты гидратации
Among the sensible options is to build a route through a store where you can buy not only water, but also food. But this option is good only for recovery runs, when the pace is minimal and you can turn a blind eye to the drop in heart rate to a resting state.
When training in parks and forests, the best option is to cache bottles on circular trails somewhere in the bushes. But this is ill-suited to most forest parks in St. Petersburg and Moscow. If you do not train in the early morning, the containers disappear, mysteriously moved or disposed of by the custodians of cleanliness. That’s what runners tell us, at least.