Here in the Sacramento area, it’s starting to heat up. The last two weekends have been pretty warm. This past Saturday, it was a scorching 106 degrees! However, just because it’s warm it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to run. It just means I need to be smart about it.
As a road runner, I’m used to planning my route around water sources if need be. And, I usually don’t even carry water for anything fewer than 8 miles. I’m not sure I’d recommend this, but I’ve just gotten used to it. Unfortunately, trail running doesn’t always offer the luxury of water fountains. Now as a trail runner, I will have to change my thinking and really plan for the heat.
The other weekend I went for a 12 mile run with my running group. I was carrying 20 oz of water on my waist belt and I thought this was going to be enough for the whole run. Ha! Half way into the run I was almost through all of my water. I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t prepared for the change in the temperature. Up until then, the temperature hadn’t been too warm when I ran, somewhere in the 70’s, maybe low 80’s by the time I finished. But, on this day, it was in the 80’s when we started.
We ended up being ok. Thankfully, we were on some trails by the familiar American River Bike Trail and so we knew where we could replenish our water supply. I have to admit, I was a little nervous out on the trail with the sun beating down on us and all of us out of water. It wasn’t a good feeling and I definitely learned a lesson from that run.
The next weekend was going to be even warmer. I wanted to be prepared for the run this time. I knew that my waist belt would not allow me to carry enough water. So, I decided that I needed to carry my water in a backpack. I’ve never worn one of these on a run. This would be a first. The run was only a 10 mile run so I decided to carry 40 oz of water. I figured if I didn’t like the backpack, I could survive 10 miles.
After the previous weekend, I wanted to make sure I was well hydrated. On the way to the run, I drank about 8 oz. It was already in the high 70’s when we started. During the run, I continued to take small sips. I’m used to seeing how much water I have left. However, with the backpack, I had to use the sloshing and weight of the pack to determine how much water I had drank. It was a hot run! By the time we finished, it was already in the 90’s.
I was glad I had packed a cooler with additional water in it for after the run.
When I got home, I measured how much water I had left in the pack. Guesses????? I had very little left, ~4 oz. For now, this pack will do. But, I’m thinking I will need a bigger pack for longer runs in the future. This pack also lacks front pockets to hold gels. I ended up wearing my SPIBELT in addition to the backpack.
Don’t let the heat stop you. Just make sure you are prepared for it!
Do you run with a backpack? Which one do you use?
Here are some articles about proper hydration:
“Drink at least 8 oz. of water every one to two hours on your run. Wear a hydration pack or fuel belt that allows you to carry water. Plan your routes around water fountains or stores where you can refill your water mid-run,” and more.
This was taken from the article, “8 Tips for Running in Hot Weather.”