Drinking while running

In any sort of running race I (as well as others) have great difficulty drinking water while running, with a tiny bit going in my mouth and the rest going over me. Having spent the last month in South Africa I competed in a few 10k races where instead of using cups of water they use little sachets. Meaning that when you need some you just bite off a tiny corner and squeeze the sachet, simple eh? And therefore you can run along with it and not spill any. Just wondering if anyone in the UK would ever produce something like this.


  • Hi Steven
    I know the problem - half goes in your mouth and the rest down your neck. OK on a hot day but not really ideal.
    Try squeezing the top of the cup to form a spout and pour it in.
    Does anybody know of a good technique to take on water without having to slow down (or end up choking) ?
    The sachets sound great but this is the first i've heard of them.
  • Have you tried one of those '0' shaped bottles?

    I run with one all the time - it has a spout which works brilliantly and means no spillage and you're able to control how much water you take on (also prevents you from looking like you've entered a wet T-shirt competition).

    Does mean you have to get used to carrying it but I don't even notice I've got it now. Have a look at one of the on-line shops on this site as they should all have one you can buy.
  • If you want to go for a really long run then try getting one of those rucksacks with a platypus inside. I got one for christmas and once I worked out it is best to put the bottle in upside down, otherwise it fills up with air resulting in you not being able to get any water out and it all sloshes around rather loudly making it even more annoying that you can't get at it, it is fab!

    I still need to work on the long run bit though!
  • This is only really a problem in races: on a long run I just take a pound coin with me and stop at a corner shop for a carton of Ribena - I can run along with it and drink with the little straw provided.

    But in races you're stuck with whatever they provide - and what really p***es me off is when they only half fill the cup, so that once you've spilled half of it down your shirt, there's virtually nothing left!
  • But how can you run, breathe and swallow at the same time?

    If you're me, the half that doesn't go down your t-shirt ends up being inhaled, then you have to co-ordinate running, breathing, waving your arms about and choking.

    I suppose stopping is the answer, but where's the challenge in that, eh?

  • With the standard plastic or polystyrene cups, try squeezing the top to form a spout. The trouble with some of the cheap brittle types of plastic cup is that they split too readily.

    In the London you have to master the art of drinking water from a plastic bottle with the top already removed. I've found it easier to tip about one-third of the water away before trying to drink. There are races such as the Teignbridge Ten (in Devon on 30 March) where you can practice your technique.
  • Try the London Jubilee 10 k - not only do they give out handy 1 litre bottles that are too big to carry but if you are half way down the field or more you have to first find a half empty bottle that the front runners left in the gutter.
  • Normally in a race I will stop and drink. I tend to run to the end of the drinks station. Get my drink, stop, neck it down then start up again. I don't reckon I lose any significant amount of time doing this as I end up quickly catching up the people who made it to the drinks station at the sametime but are trying to run and drink - plus more importantly I've made sure I got my drink down me rather than over me.
  • I always walk through the drinks station (keeping out of the way of course) and take it as a chance for a quick recovery and I'm sure you don't looose time in the long run - and afteral we di it for fun so a couple more seconds dosen't really matter
  • Just read about some elite runners who used to drink brandy to get them round.....

    worth a try!
  • Nearly stopped at the pub on mile 9 of windsor half, but thought would never get going again
  • There can be some tactics deployed at drink stations. In one half marathon, I'd been trying to get away from another runner. He slowed to take a drink - I skipped it and made my move, and was able to gain 25 metres. He never caught up with me, and since it was close to the finish, I didn't really miss the drink :-)
  • I do a little walking bit in HM's now at the feed stations - better for me to do that and get some fluid than half drown and choke myself on a full cup of water. Pouches would be better, or little bottles of water, but I guess it's all expense.

    Anyone read in RW about some guy who runs sub 3hr Marathons and advocates walking breaks ?
  • no, but I read about a triathlete who incorperated short walks in her training runs to simulate water stations during the race. Apparently she conditioned herself to making the most of short recoveries.
  • During all my long runs I take a short (1 - 2 min) walking break every half hour to take on board fluid, have a pee etc.

    I'm hoping for sub 3 at FLM and so far I'm on track
  • Great news rmc. I can do the walking part already. Now just need to run at high speed to make up ! ;-)
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