One might think that running a first marathon would result in having all those newbie-type questions answered:
To carry sustenance and hydration during the marathon or not? That is the question.
- What should I eat the week before the marathon?
- How do I fuel during the marathon?
- How do I know when I've hit the wall?
- How much time will I lose if I stop to use the bathroom?
- And, of course, should I carry my hydration source or just rely on the aid stations?
That last one, the question about hydration toting, shows up frequently in running forums, on blogs, etc. This is mostly because novice marathoners, like me, actually think that the few seconds that are either added or subtracted from their otherwise perfect finishing time depend entirely on whether they're holding a 22 oz bottle the whole time.
(It does, by the way. It matters a great deal. But, then, so does the weather)
Anyway, I'm revisiting this question, I guess, because I have marathon number two scheduled for early March. And, while browsing a couple of other people's photo sets from a training run at Uwharrie, I noticed that some carried stuff and others did not. So, I got to thinkin'...
Also, I must admit that I'm not much of a long-run runner. So, I don't really know what works for me.
I know that the last long run was successful without a handheld or a hydration pack. But, how's this run going to go? Are the extra two miles going to break me if I don't have my bottle? Is a bottle going to cause handheld-dependency if I break it out for this run?
Yes, yes. The answer is as unique as the person asking. And, only I can determine whether I should carry fluids with me or stop at the aid stations. I know.
(Both options are unappealing, really. Stopping sucks. Carrying stuff for three-plus hours sucks. Too bad we have to drink during the race at all)So, really, I'm posting this to see if anyone answers the question in the headline:
Do you carry a handheld or other hydration source during marathon racing and/or training?
Do tell in the comments below.