The Ultra Experience

Here's to the adventures of my life which are usually ultra marathon trail running or fly fishing but may include other trips, experiences, thoughts, opinions, or pretty much whatever I want. As co-founder of Altra Footwear my life and adventures seemingly revolve more around developing and promoting the best footwear in the world...and I love it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How to Hydrate

I came across an interesting article a couple weeks ago that made me question (again) the way I hydrate during Ultra's. Over the last few years I've used primarily handhelds for the following reason:

-I seem to drink more with handhelds since the water is quick and convenient.
-The whole concept seems faster and more streamlined with a handheld.
-Quicker aid stations filling up the handhelds.
-I can easily calculate how much I've had to drink.
-Water belts seem to give me stomach issues with all that weight bouncing and pushing against the abdomen.
-Backpacks are too cumbersome and bulky. Plus hard to access gear.

However this research study indicates that handhelds are less energy efficient then packs. A 6 lb pack was more efficient than a 2 lb handheld! Seems crazy but heck I run barefoot around town nowadays which would have seemed crazy 2 or 3 years ago.

So I still plan on using a handheld but thinking I will use the Nathan running vest more often to carry extra gear. I usually use a pack and handheld for long training runs which seems to work well. I would like to see how a small waist pack compares in their study. I tend to use a single handheld with a small waistpack quite a bit for races and mid range training runs. All just more food for thought when running ultra's. Check out the article for yourself. It's a quick solid read.


Jeff Gerke said...

Wow, fascinating article. I carry two handhelds during most my races. Maybe I should rethink this.

Jeff said...

Interesting. The one thing I'd question about their results is that presumably they did not do each of these tests over a significant amount of time. I know that when I'm using my camelback while running, I feel like I heat up more, and I think that might be a factor.

Definitely food for thought though.