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Hydration for trail runs?
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S Long

Locale: Wasatch
Hydration for trail runs? on 05/30/2014 10:00:03 MDT Print View

I have been getting into trail running more lately (mostly peak bagging) and was wondering what people here use for hydration purposes. I currently use an REI Flash 18 with an Osprey Hydraform reservoir. It works okay, but bounces a bit and starts sloshing when the bladder gets low. I have been looking at waist belt setups, vest packs, and handhelds. I typically only take a small first aid kit, a microlight, a small knife, a mini-bic, and some snacks (I could fit all of it in a pants pocket, but I wear running shorts that only have a tiny key-pouch). So far my runs have been sub-10 miles, but I want to start pushing my mileage up. I know there are a few members here who do ultras and have more experience so I was just looking for some input. Thanks.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Hydration for trail runs? on 05/30/2014 12:15:53 MDT Print View

I run ultras.

there is no perfect one size fits all hydration system.

you have :
handheld - 1 bottle
handheld - 2 bottle (1 in each hand)
bottles in the front on your shoulder straps
several bottles on waste belt systems

you need to figure what you want from your system and pick which suits you best.

I personally use 1 20oz handheld (with about 270 calories of liquid food in it), then 1 or 2 more in my pack depending on distance and water availability.
used to use the 2 handheld method but decided I liked having one hand free and just switching hands now and then.

even among elite ultra runners there is no consensus, personal preference.

daniel B
(dbogey) - F - M

Locale: East Coast
15 miles on 05/30/2014 12:21:58 MDT Print View

I'm and avid runner and run anywhere from 7-11 miles each day. If I'm running anything under 15 I'm not carrying anything with me, especially fluids. Over 15 is a different story and would do some type of hydration and would eat when I'm finished. If I was in an area with known water sources I'd carry a sawyer mini and use the straw to drink from any available source. Your best best is to make sure your hydrated before running/exercising. I see way too many people lugging water bottles on runs and its not needed. A good read is "Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Over-hydration in Endurance Sports"

Edited by dbogey on 05/30/2014 12:24:56 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: 15 miles on 05/30/2014 16:36:29 MDT Print View

"I see way too many people lugging water bottles on runs and its not needed. A good read is "Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Over-hydration in Endurance Sports""

While overhydrating is a serious problem, I think it is hard to make a valid blanket statement as to how much people should drink when running, especially trail running in the mountains. There are just too many variables to consider: Temperature, altitude, terrain, level of fitness, individual physiology, pace. To illustrate using extreme examples, Shepherd, Baxter, Sawmill, and Taboose Pass trails in the Eastern Sierra, are all in the 9-11 mile range, but they all gain ~6,000' starting at 4500-6200' and topping out at 11,400-12,300' or so. There are very, very few runners who could run them without drinking any water, due to a combination of the abovementioned factors. Even at lower elevations, temperature, terrain difficulties, level of fitness, and individual physiology will determine the need to drink. Another example from personal experience is the Wild Wild West Marathon held near Lone Pine, CA. Very few, if any, people go without water on that course due to temperature, elevation to a lesser degree, and difficult footing at times. Still, I have no doubt that many people do drink unnecessarily in less demanding conditions because they've heard it's the thing to do, sort of like watching the masses carrying their water bottles around with them when working out in gyms.

Gordon Gray
(GordonG) - F

Locale: Front Range, CO
beer on 05/30/2014 18:40:36 MDT Print View

My struggle is how to pack beer and be ultralight?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: beer on 05/30/2014 19:39:24 MDT Print View

"My struggle is how to pack beer and be ultralight?"

Pack lite beer.

Stu Pendious
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: beer on 05/30/2014 21:32:37 MDT Print View

My struggle is how to pack beer and be ultralight?

There is beer concentrate out there for sale right now, they say 2.2oz for the beer packet. They want to sell you some portable bottle and carbonated powder too, but I think I might just order the Black Hops and try it out with flat water. If that doesn't taste alright, maybe I'll toss in an alka-seltzer.

Mercutio Stencil
(fuzz2050) - F
Re: Re: beer on 05/30/2014 21:42:35 MDT Print View

I've had that Pat's beer, and really wasn't impressed. Think mediocre homebrew. I've heard that the recipe has improved since the first batch though, and I'd be willing to try it again, but not if I had to pay for it.

(NotLight) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: 15 miles on 05/30/2014 21:45:05 MDT Print View

Oh thank you my long lost brother for relieving my guilt of not constantly hydrating myself. Yeah, up to about half marathon you really want to just drink and have your slow burn carbs before hand - no reason to have anything during. Longer than that, then it seems to me you need to be in more of an IV drip mode for both the fluids and calories, otherwise at minimum the dreaded calf cramp, or maybe more worser.

Edited by NotLight on 05/30/2014 22:27:02 MDT.

S Long

Locale: Wasatch
Re: Hydration for trail runs? on 05/30/2014 22:33:09 MDT Print View

I guess it depends on the run and weather, etc. Yesterday I did an 8-miler round trip with 3000' of elevation gain on the way up. It was about 91 degrees with no shade for the first mile (1000' climb). I went through maybe 20 oz. of water that day and didn't feel too waterlogged or sluggish. Maybe as my fitness increases my needs will decrease? Or maybe I over-hydrated? I dunno...

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
my preferences on 05/31/2014 02:09:56 MDT Print View

I'm relatively new to trail running but I'm training for my first (short) ultra & I did a couple of 30 mile mountain runs last summer that have me (over)thinking about the same gear questions. After trying out a bunch of vests (ultimate direction jurek, Solomon s lab skin, osprey rev 6) my favorite by far has been the mountain hard wear fluid vestpack with 2 softflasks (ultimate direction or Solomon) in front.I,m biggish for a runner (6'2, 170-175) and I sized down to the S/_M) and there is amazing little bounce. The vest just fits like a peice of clothing, and its easy to make adjustments on the fly for when you're breathing harder on the ups or movinging fast over techy terrain on the downs. My go to waist pack for shorter runs I believe is called the ultimates direction endure. It holds 20 oz a phone, windshirt and gels/snacks while staying amazingly low profile and unobtrusive. And I recently have been using a Solomon agile waist belt, which bounces surprisingly little even with a liter of water, camera, shell , snacks etc.

Some mountain runs, like the 4 pass loop in the maroon bells, can be fairly commiting & it can add a little bit of confidence to pack some safety equip like a puffy, shell & fire starting kit etc.This stuff is rarely necessary, but as a relatively new trail runner with nagging injuries, I think its nice to add a little margin of safety until I'm more confident that my body will hold up to enough running to get me back before afternoon T-storms. Everyone has slightly different hydration needs, so I think its better to figure that one out through your own experience. I like just carrying a sawyer mini for hydration on the go in places of abundant water (most of where I run in the rockies).

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Hydration for trail runs? on 05/31/2014 10:23:09 MDT Print View

I haven't tried any new packs for several years since I started using the salomon skin vest packs. Back then there weren't nearly as many options as there are now. I love the Salomons and have different volume ones depending on my needs for the day. I rigged a sawyer filter inline with the bladder/hose system for fast refilling stops. The filter rides on the shoulder strap like a small water bottle.

What I can say is that if you do go the route of a pack, go for a dedicated running pack. They're designed to keep bouncing and load shifting to a minimum.

I'd also recommend making sure you can fit your rain jacket (or any other bulky items you may carry) in them. I used to use a jacket that wouldn't fit through the zipper opening in my smaller salomon pack, so I'd have to tie the thing around my waist if I needed to bring it.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Re: Hydration for trail runs? on 05/31/2014 17:41:21 MDT Print View

like Art said, it depends

for shorter runs a handheld is sufficient ( or races w/ well spaced aid stations)

for longer runs, my new favorite pack is the Osprey Rev 1.5- it's small, but holds a 1.5 liter bladder and plenty room for grub, emergency bits and few extra pieces of clothing- the outside bungee setup easily holds a rain jacket or the like

it has a vest like front harness w/ a couple of stretch pockets for gels, cubes, electrolytes, bars, etc- also has a fancy little pocket to hold a smart phone so it's protected and then if needed you undo a snap it folds down

it's solid as far as bouncing or shifting

if you go to a "pack", I've found that the vest style harness that most running packs incorporate, really keeps bouncing/shifting to a minimum