Running and water bottles

I have noticed in my brief interactions with runners that they are obsessed over everything about running. They will think about what to eat the night before a long run in a way they probably have never done before they started running. My friends will definitely attest to that :). I remember when the big snickers bar (95 cent one) would be my late night snack of choice throughout grad school. The best part (or the sad part) was that I did not feel guilty about it ever. I would also refuse to share it – ahh the good old days. People actually wondered why I gained more weight in grad school than most normal humans – well here is the answer.

Anyway, the thing that runners obsess over most is how to stay hydrated during a run. It is a really tough thing. Runners hate to carry anything that even weighs one pound for the fear it reduces their speeds. But unfortunately when you are running on trails, a water fountain is not easy to find. I have heard of people stashing water bottles along a path but this does not work if you are running on some trails away from civilization.

My solution has been to not take water unless I am going over 45 mins. On my long runs, I used to carry two bottles of water in my hand. Cheapskates that I am, these were used mineral water bottles from when we did buy them. I used to regularly clean my bottle, fill it with water and take it out for my long runs. As my runs became longer, water became Gatorade. Whatever the content, let me assure you that it is a huge pain in the a** to carry water in your hand (how many read a** as arm :). If you did, I salute you) . Try carrying two 16 ounce bottles one in each hand for 120 mins while doing something tiring and you will know what I mean. I would look longingly at water bottles that go around the waist in the various running shops but then see the price tag, sigh and continue using my bottles. My poor cousin has been the biggest victim of my fascination with water bottles for running 🙂 – he probably got bored by my refusal to buy them.

Anyway, after doing this for a couple of hundred miles, I finally succumbed and bought myself a water belt from REI when those things were on sale. I got one for 20 dollars – The REI Doubleshot. It has two bottles and a pouch to place my car keys. It goes neatly on my lower back – the first day I ran with it, it definitely felt a little odd. But after running with it a couple of times, I think it is pretty awesome. It doesn’t hinder my running nor has it caused any chapping. Chapping definitely was my biggest fear with any of the models I saw. This is my first water belt and so I have nothing to compare it to but it definitely works really well and I would recommend it to other folks looking for a bottle. One thing though – if one bottle is half full and the other empty or full, the bottles sometimes move around. It did not happen a lot but I did notice it once or twice.

One good thing about having a bottle behind me – it does make some noise. Sometimes it feels like there is a runner behind me running and like everybody knows, there is no worse feeling in running than when someone runs past you. So you tend to speed up :).

Anyway, I did 9.25 miles on Sunday (and needed all the fluid because it was insanely hot and humid) and 5.15 miles tempo run yesterday.

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3 Comments on “Running and water bottles”

  1. Anand Subramani Says:

    at least your issue was with water bottles, mine was with ipods. i got myself a shuffle with an armband to “help” my running, now a 4GB nano with an armband. got these so that i could start my run, all my roommates would attest to this, ended up using the shuffle doing gen stuff and rarely for running. you would know that 🙂

  2. Guppy Says:

    I feel glad that I used my IPod for a lot of long runs and it was worth the 50 bucks I paid for it. The shuffle is definitely the lightest and works well for running. Arm band – that is a whole different question.

  3. Elle Says:


    Thanks for the review–I’m having the same issue (always have, but it just gets worse the longer I put off buying the darn belt), so I might make the move…


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