Marathon Training Update and Hydration Question

water bottle marathon hydrationThis morning I completed the 4th week of my marathon training with this week’s long run of 9 miles.  The issue of staying hydrated during the long runs is something I’m trying to figure out now.  This morning I chose to run a 3.3 mile loop 3 times so I could pick up a bottle of water in front of my house after each loop.  But I’m interested in getting advice about staying hydrated during train runs.

Today’s Long Run
The biggest annoyance during the run this morning was that my shoulders were tired from working out Wednesday and Friday (push-ups, sit-ups, curls, etc).  I had to repeatedly  stretch my arms out every couple of minutes during the run.  So, I’ve decided not to work out on Fridays, the day before my long run, anymore.

I ran the first 3.3 mile loop in about 30 minutes, the second 3.3 mile loop in about 33 minutes, and the 3rd loop I did 2.8 miles in about 31 minutes.  So, it was a grand total of 9.4 miles in 94 minutes.  My breathing was never particularly heavy and I didn’t feel overly warm, but I really started to feel fatigue in my quads and calves during the last 2 miles.  Obviously my pace slowed throughout the run, but I’m pretty happy that I didn’t walk except to pick up and drink a little water between loops.

Hydration Question
I’m wondering though what others do to stay hydrated during their marathon training.  I assume that during the actual marathon there are hydration stations spaced throughout the course.  But when training I guess you either have to take water with you or plan your route so that there places to stop for water.  Carrying water while running seems like it would be a nucense, sloshing around and all.  So, is the best option just to run short loops and have water outside waiting for you?

The other question is how much to drink how often?  And what’s the best thing to drink?  If any veteran marathoners can share their advice on this, I’d appreciate it.

Forum Discussion (added 8/22)
I posted the question about hydration in several marathon forums and got some great advice.  The most intersting thing to me is how varried the responses have been.  Some people can’t stand carrying water with them, others like to run with a bottle in their hand, others like hydration packs you can strap around your waist or back.  The best advice I heard was to experiment with various methods and see what works best for you.  It helps if you have friends who are runners who will let you try out some of their gear before you buy.

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