taking on water

during training I haven't been taking water with me, as I've not been going that far (longest run to date was 80 minutes) and i don't want to carry anything whilst running. Instead I've been making sure i'm topped up and then downing a couple of pints on my rturn.

In my first 10K at the weekend, I went for water at the water stations. Felt I ought to rather than because I was desparate for it. And I just couldn't seem to drink it. I slowed to a walk and still coudn't seem to find the co-ordination to get the water from the cup into my mouth and then to swallow.

The best way to dexcribe it was that I was having to breathe so hard that I couldn't spare the time/energy to get the water in. Resorted to throwing it at myself and managing to swallow what driblled into my mouth.

I don't suppose I'm the first person to have come acoss this, but it did seem a bit odd to say the least. Seeing I intend to keep running, it's something I think I ought to work out how to do! Any words of wisdom?


  • No - you're not alone. I, for one, have nearly drowned myself in cups of water while racing on a number of occasions.

    Only advice really is not to try and drink when you're breathing so hard its impossible - the good news is that if you really need a drink, it'll be in a longer race when you probably won't be going so fast. Slowing down into the water station helps as does having a brief walk if you really need the drink. You can also squeeze the top of the cup to form a sort of spout to stop it going everywhere which helps.
  • ...simple piece of advice...take your own bottle with water in if you are likely to need it.

    You can then drink when you want, dont have to slow down to get a cup which you inevitibly spill ove ryourself, and you can always fill it at the stations, should you need to for subsequent drinks?
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    Best thing for a 10k is don't bother - unless it's really baking hot you don't need water for that kind of distance.

    If you are running longer and need a drink then walk through the water station - you'll lose about 3-4 seconds but if you need a drink then it's worth it. If it's bottles then you can drink on the run.

    Some people will say you can squash a cup and then drink from it whilst running.
  • i heard on someone who carries a straw and sticks it in the cup to sup it up!?!

    id give that a go myself as i usually end up flinging the water in my eye and running on.
  • I'm in the choke, sputter, spill then don't bother camp, guess I need more practice
  • if I get a cup of water in a race and need to drink on the run then I generally tip out half of it, squeeze the cup in the middle and make a spout and sip a couple of mouthfuls and then pour the rest down my back if its very hot.

    For marathons I would generally slow to a walk (you only lose a few seconds) and make sure I drink more.
  • Thanks for the replies, so glad it's not just me. Blackbird, you've described it perfectly!

    I felt like a bit of an idiot, spluttering with a cup of water, but it felt really odd. I did slow to a walk, and it still felt difficult.

    I don't want to have to carry a water bottle, little things like that tend to put me off quite a lot. Looks like I'll have to add drinking practice in if I start going any further! Thanks for the tips.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    If you can manage to pour a little water under your tounge, you can then release it into your mouth when you are ready to swallow (i.e. in between breaths).

    Otherwise, learning to absorb water through your nose would be a good trick! :o)
  • you should not be taking on water during a 10K, unless it is a searingly hot day and you need to splash it on your head.

    It takes 90 minutes, I seem to remember for water you have drunk to actually be available as sweat etc.

    You need to drink *before* the race.
  • I'd not bother in a 10k really, and only in a half it was hot.

    If i need to take some water though and its in cups - walk thru the aid station and drink calmly. I've learned its quicker to do that than choke yourself on the water and lose more time that way.

    A squeezable bottle can work too - so you jet the water into your mouth rather than suck it. Cant see the straw being useful if you wanna breathe too ?
  • I only drink on very hot days at 10k races - usually dehydration isn't a problem for the time and distance.

    I once inhaled (by accident, not co-ordinating breathing and swallowing) a whole cup of water at a water station in a 10k - and lost a minute coughing my lungs up aferwards.

    Not recommended :(
  • I just bought a 2 litre water bag which is worn either around the waist or across the back, and comes with a drinking tube. I haven't received it yet but the concept seems sound - carry the water with you (2 litres isnt much) and drink as necessary using a handy straw, no fear of water shortages or need to wait for water stations. Anyone else used these?
  • helenliz, you may find it easier in a race when there are bottles at the water stations. They are a lot easier to drink from without getting soaked ;o)

  • i also dont like carrying water, so on a long run i will set out plastic cups of water just outside the house front door and then do laps. It msut look odd to see me running up to the house, drinking some water and then running away, but i don't care, its better than carrying water.

    alternatively carry money and buy some water on route.
  • I get a dry mouth due to 'mouth breathing' and carry water to help this even on short runs. I do wonder if some of this not being able to rn with a dry mouth is psychological. I carry a middle sized donot.
  • to clarify a donot is a donut bottle.
  • 2 litres is 2 kilos to carry.

    I've used the backpacks for 20 mile training runs in the summer, but its a bit unnecessary for races in the UK normally.
  • Worth bearing in mind that the guy who died at FLM suffered from hyponotraemia or whatever you call it.

    He'd taken on too much water, essentially.
    I think people get too het up about taking on water.

    I've gone through plenty of halves without taking on a drop of water.
  • I agree !
  • definately agree with B and cougie

    most people drink way to much.

    especailly at marathons, where you find people standing on start lines lines with so much water sloshing around in their stomach they are like water bowsers. Then they are gulping down loads of water at every station they come to. Not good.

    I guess the need to drink is dependant more on time on your feet and the heat than it is distance, and if pschologically taking a drink in a 10K makes a difference to you then its worth doing providing it is just a few sips and not gulping down litres.
  • Hi Helenliz

    Good question - in fact I've pinched it as this week's Reader to Reader!

    Keep the advice coming guys...
  • One other thing I do to stop the choke/splutter thing is to only swallow when your lungs are full of air...so take a deep breath, hold it briefly then take a mouthful of water...i find that it stops or at least reduces the chances of it going down the wrong way!

    Dont hold your breath for too long though (obviously!)
  • I'm not a fan of drinking whilst racing or when doing a hard fast run. I tend to hydrate well beforehand and stop a couple of hours before, otherwise I'll end up needing p stops.

    Only when doing a marathon I'll take on small amounts of water with my gels but not much. At FLM this year due to the heat, I took some on, though ended up pouring most over my head and upper body. I doubt I took on much more than a couple of pints.

    When doing a leisurely steady run I may take a 500ml bottle of water, and on a long training run of 20 miles+ I only take about 750 ml to go with gels.

    The experts would probably say to take on more, but I find it does me sod all good as I end up having more p stops, which begs the question how much of it I actually use/need en-route.
  • I took on more water than usual at a half marathon because I didn't feel my training had gone well so I wanted to compensate. Big mistake - too much water meant that I was feeling nauseous towards the end of the run.

    I agree with Cougie, B et al. Best to take plenty of water on board well before the race. If its hot take the odd sip or two but tip the rest over you to cool down.
  • Where did I read - it might even have been RW mag - that it's normal practice now among the elite Kenyans to race slightly dehydrated?
  • I drink very rarely when running, as I get stitches very easily.

    When it's really hot I carry a circular running bottle, but I tend to get pain in my forearm later in the day where I've been sub-conciously gripping the bottle too hard!
  • Also useful is to learn thru training. I would agree with others that in a 10k race water is not needed. That applies up to a half, except as Cougie and others have pointed out, if it is hot weather, or you are over say the 2 hour mark. I only take liquid if I am training over the 12 mile mark.

    On the hyponatraemia thing I suffered from it at Lochaber 2/3 years ago and learnt a valuable lesson. DON'T DRINK TOO MUCH! I would also rather be slightly dehydrated than go through that again! Scarey!
  • Stitches and water - have others found that too?

    I got a really bad double-sided stitch during my fastest half marathon last year (and it was hot), just after downing some water.

    I assumed it was the water - but glad to hear others have same experience. I had to stop and do all the anti-stitch things, which thankfully got rid of it in about 20 seconds.

    No water in a 10k, unless it's from a hose, or from a cloud!
  • Surely it really depends on the person and how they've trained.

    Like a lot of others forumites, I carry some water with me on long runs, but only about 500mls (in a plastic bottle with a sports bottle top, which I can dump in a bin when empty, saving the top for another day) but it's not usually enough and end up dehydrated like the dead sea scrolls. I don't bother with water on runs less than 75 mins.

    In 10ks it depends on the day, but I usually like a sip or two to refresh my mouth and wash all the gunk away (think of a dozing boxer dog and you get the idea).

    In halves, I usually take a few sips but one long drink with a gel at the mid point.

    Marathons - about 4 long drinks with gels but lots of sips. But I do find it difficult to resist the temptation at well provisioned runs (Like London or NYC)!

    Never had a problem with stitches and drinking, but then I do train to drink on the run.

    Moderation and specificity is the key - drink too much and you're not used to it, and you risk hyponatraemia or at the very least having to stop to pee. Drink too little and you run the risk of dehydration and all it entails - muscle cramp, disorientation, waking up to St Johns bod looking at you etc (and stomach cramps if you use gels).

    Golly, it's dangerous this running lark...
  • Chewing Gum!

    Like many people have already said, there's not much point in drinking water during a 10K race. The only time I use it is to throw it over my face!

    I've found that chewing gum during 10K keeps moisture in your mouth and thus you don't feel dehydtrated.
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