With only three weeks to go until my next 10K race, I figured it was time I started thinking more seriously about the whole hydration thing.
Having only ever run 10K during the winter months, this hasn’t really been much of an issue for me so far. I completed my first 10K race on a cool, windy February morning and skipped the water station without causing myself any problems.
But now that Spring is in the air, and the temperature is warm enough to run in single layers, I know that I’m going to have to start taking in a bit of fluid during my longer runs if I don’t want to collapse in a heap at the finish line.
So, this morning, for the first time ever, I took a drink out with me for my 10K run. I didn’t have any sports drinks and, since the shops weren’t open at 7:00 am, I decided to fill a bottle with water and a tiny bit of fruit squash to make it taste nice.
When I headed to the seafront, the sun was bright and it was already quite warm outside, so I decided that I would take a sip of my drink every kilometre to keep myself hydrated.
I didn’t really like carrying the bottle as it made me feel a little off balance, and drinking while running wasn’t easy. However, after the first couple of kilometres I soon got used to it and found that, as long as I was running at a steady pace, I could manage to take a sip without slowing down too much, spilling my drink or choking myself in the process.
It’s hard to say how much of a difference it made, but on the whole I did feel that I had a bit more energy than usual when I finished and I even managed to get a new 10K PB.
The only downside was that my stomach started cramping a little bit on the walk home, although I’m not sure if that was due to the drink or not. I’ve still got another two long runs to do before race day, so I’ll probably try water without the squash next time, just to see if it makes a difference.
All in all though, I’m pretty pleased with today’s run and, while I still wouldn’t bother taking a drink with me on a 5K run, I can see that it’s going to have it’s advantages for the longer runs, especially as the temperature starts to pick up.
Do you take a drink with you on your runs? What do you think of sports drinks? Are they worth the money or is water just as good? Please share your thoughts in the comments.