Become A Better Runner With A Hydration Belt Today
No matter what level of runner you are, you will understand that keeping your body hydrated is important to your performance. But dependent on when, where and in what conditions you go for a run, that hydration can be difficult to maintain.
In this guide you will learn exactly why seasoned pros and high performance athletes do not ignore their water intake. They do not do this in training or in races, and neither should you. The great thing is that there is a simple solution that will not cost you an arm and a leg. This could be your best investment to make after your running shoes.
The Age-Old Problem
It’s a hot day but you do not want this to stop your exercise regime. But running in this heat will make you sweat a lot more and the more water you lose the more difficult it will become to keep up your performance. Carrying a water bottle or backpack is something you, like so many other runners, just dislike and find annoying. It affects your performance and can be just irritating.
Your decision is simple: you will go for the run, but take in extra fluids before you head off. You also know that you will probably not be able to go the full distance, but this is better than not exercising or training at all.
Another situation you might find yourself in is that you are training for a marathon and are starting to add some longer runs to your training program. The longer you run the more fluids you will need; that’s a simple fact of nature. On race day, this will not be as much of a problem as there will be regular water supplies along the way.
While this is a problem that all runners, including pros, have to deal with, there is a pretty simple solution.
The Modern Solution
As already mentioned, bringing a water bottle or backpack is not always the ideal solution. You want to have your hands free and avoid weight moving around on your back that can impact your stride and balance.
While many professional athletes train in high tech set ups with support staff, coaches and even water boys, they do tend to use hydration belts for longer runs and race preparation.
A hydration belt is a fantastic solution to the problem as the weight of the fluids you carry are cantered on your body. This greatly helps with not getting you off balance while you are running.
The fabrics and design all take into account that the filled weight of the belt sits comfortably on your hips. At the same time you should not be restricted in your hip joint and thigh movement. The question then really becomes, what is the best option?
To answer that, let’s look at what the pros do.
What The Pros Use
The great thing is that professional hydration belts are relatively inexpensive. Yes, you can probably buy one for less than $15 and it will work fine. But for a slightly bigger investment you will be able to use equipment that has been designed with and for professional athletes.
One such product is the hydration belt made by Winneco. In addition to the two easy release water bottles that come with it there is also a pouch where you can keep some essentials, like a phone or energy snacks.
The materials used are of high quality and will endure all types of conditions that you choose to subject it to. The material is also lightweight, which means you will barely feel it all as you run and is easily washable
Now for the important part. The two water bottles are extremely easy to take out and place back in. Even when they are full they will not bounce around or suddenly detach from the belt. You can store up to 9 ounces of fluid in each bottle which is adequate for the majority of people going for a run.
If you need more water than that you should probably look at other options available, like hydration vests and backpacks. Adding more weight to a belt can become uncomfortable and actually reduce your performance.
Pros also use such belts on race days, because sometimes you just need a small sip of water and you don’t want to wait until the next water stop.
Features Of A Hydration Belt
Before you make any particular decision about a hydration belt you need to know what features will be most important to you. The unfortunate thing is that so far there is not one belt that will satisfy all runners. But if you check out the following features before making a decision you will know that you will not be disappointed.
You should avoid going for options that have more than two bottles and where each bottle stores more than 10 ounces. These do exist and are more suitable for hiking than running. If you need something light and easy to carry for short runs then the best option you can choose will be one with 6 ounce bottles.
You will almost not notice these are there while you are running.
For your regular training days a storage pouch is extremely convenient. You can keep things like keys and phones safe without them causing annoyance in your pocket. There are belts available with large storage compartments, but generally you should try and limit these.
On a race day the storage is very convenient to keep some energy liquids and other refreshments that can really help you run to your best ability.
This is something you have to pay a lot of attention to. Because you will have a bit of weight attached to your belt it has to sit comfortably and most importantly not bounce around or rub on your hips.
The professional models available, like the Winneco one above, come with adjustable straps and padding that makes sure you will not feel discomfort during your training sessions or races.
If you have got this far then you are ready to invest in a hydration belt and start performing at ever increasing levels. With less than $30 invested you can have equipment that professionals use on a daily basis. Do not miss out on such a simple improvement.