Hi all,

Did a bit of running around 6 years ago but pulled my trainers back on in July so I still class myself as a  relative beginner.

Im running the Walt Disneyworld marathon in January so currently running around 30 miles a week - long run currently 16 miles.

My question is what do people do for water on long runs. I am using a Nathan belt with two bottles. I reckon this could last me upto 20 miles but does that sound as if Im depriving myself. I dont want to wear a Camelbak if I can help it. Obviously during the race I can collect water enroute.

The other reason for asking this is there will probably be a reasonable temperature difference between UK Autumn/Winter training and Florida raceday (albeit a 5.30am start).

Thanks for any help










  • I take 3 500ml bottles with me on 16m plus I have a 6l omm waist bag.

    Fit the liquid in 3 handheld containers, take the first out and hold it when I want first drink etc... Most of the time I end up not using the 3rd whilst running but have some of it whilst walking home post run.

    So I guess a similar amount to you.
  • Everyone is different.  I'll run 20 miles with no fluid - unless its a hot day. I'm not expecting many of those now. 

  • I am no expert, but like Cougie, I can run a long way with  little fluid and practice this in training.  On a recent marathon (trail) I drank 3 cups of water.  However, I did pay very careful attention to hydration for the 3 days before the marathon instead of trying to cram it all in the evening before and the morning of the race.  

    It's not just the volume, but also what you are drinking. Ideally you need something with all the electrolytes - sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, in the right ratios.  There are zero calorie version of this.   

    On a recent train journey, I met a medical doctor  who had treated people who became critically ill in long races and he said the key thing was that they were drinking far too much water before and during the race, so that the cell electrolyte concentrations were dangerously low.  He said injury from over-hydration was far more common than the inverse.


  • That is very interesting Questforspeed. I'll have a good look into this, thanks

  • Yes the last guy who died at the London marathon died of hyponatremia.

    It was a warm day but just because there is a water station every mile doesn't mean that you have to.
  • Hi CC, you should think about how much you sweat when you run, it will affect the amount of fluid you need to take back on board. I am a heavy sweater, even on short runs, so always carry a small bottle with me. For longer runs(15 miles +) i wear a camelbak with a 1.5l reservoir which is very very light and very comfortable. In addition to water I also take on board gels which contain potassium and salt.

    You should heed the previous advice about taking too much fluid on board!

    Good luck!
  • I have probably the same Nathan belt with two small bottles. On 20 mile runs I usually have all the water - all 600ml of it - drunk by 16 miles and depending on the temperature will either refill at a petrol station tap/pub toilet/garden hose or run the last five miles without anything more to drink.

    During marathons I refill as necessary at the water stops and this works great.

  • hi cymru crawler,i'm glad you asked that question. i train with a camelbak 1ltr water with a zero tablet in if going out for over 1hr 1/2, . Im also doing my first marathon in March and am hoping to run with just a gel belt,getting water from the drink stations and not wear the camel back. are the Nathan belt bottles small enough to use in the race with gels as well? may be worth investing in one. i am hoping in afew marathons-time I will look back and laugh at all my worries/dilemas. 

    Happy training

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Nearly all road marathons will provide enough water out on the course. There should be no reason to carry your own round with you.
  • I recently watched a TV prog re hydration which stated that you should only drink when you feel thirsty whilst running, but that hydration before the race is very important. Over hydration kills - dehydration doesn't. I use coconut water at about 10 miles in a HM but only very little and tend not to carry it about with me - never managed carry things when running! But I also drink it before hand as well. Not to everyone's taste I accept, but it does hydrate you naturally and has all the electrolytes needed - but no energy so you need to find something for that probably.

    I think it is quite personal though as the others have said - depends how much you sweat - not sure about the men, but don't we women just 'glow'!! image

    Good luck!

  • Millsy - you're right, there should be no reason for you to carry your own water. But personally I'd rather be safe than sorry. Edinburgh ran out of water one year and the slower runners really suffered because of it. I wasnt running it that year, thank goodness. At Loch Ness this year the first two nutrition stops had run out of gels by the time I got to them, and I was nowhere near the back of the race.

    I prefer running light but for marathons (and anything longer) I always wear my Nathan waist pack. Apart from anything else, I do all my long training runs with it so not wearing it would feel weird.
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I prefer to travel light and hate having to carry anything with me. But each to their own I suppose.

    Never had any issues with running out before but maybe I've just been lucky.
  • Well, I've done a couple of self-supported marathons where you have to carry your own water as none is provided. Maybe I'm just more used to the idea now...
  • Thanks for all the info.

    Im finding that Im taking on less water in recent long runs. Today I did 15 miles and used only one of the bottles. Pretty confident that the two should last at least 20 miles.

    I prefer to take my own water to races purely  to try and avoid the bun (bottle) fight thet seems to occur at every water station.


  • I think it's quite common to find you drink less on the long runs as you get fitter. Not entirely sure why though. And sometimes I think that having/not having water is just psychological. If I don't carry some, I get thirsty really quickly and can't stop thinking about it. But if I carry some I don't need to worry and sometimes find I've run 20 miles and barely drunk any. Nuts, I know...
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