Hands-free Hydration and a Giveaway!

Hoping you find one of these at the right moment ... that actually works is not good enough for me! Image via wikipedia.
Hoping you find one of these at the right moment (that actually works) is not good enough for me! Image via wikipedia.

For all you marathoners and half marathoners like me, August means our training for our big fall races is just beginning to heat up! It’s time for the longest of our long runs, our peak mileage weeks and our hardest workouts. There’s no better time to think about the importance of hydration for peak performance than right now!

So let’s get to it! I’m here to talk about how best to stay hydrated on your training runs and in races. But that’s not all! I’ve found a way to carry water with me on the run and I want to share not only why I find it fantastic, but I want one of you to win my water vessel of choice! WOOHOO! A CONTEST! 

Making sure that you don’t become too dehydrated nor drink too much water in too short of a time period during the summer is important. Another important consideration for a runner is how the water is carried. If you’re not running for a long period of time, a handheld water bottle is a popular choice and this is what I did when I first started running. As I ran more often, I found that carrying a water bottle (even one with a strap) was tiresome. My shoulder got sore from the additional strain brought on by carrying a bottle.

There are three main methods of carrying water: handheld, fuel belt, and pack, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. While I don’t mind carrying a small bottle for a short run, for longer runs it causes soreness and tension in my shoulder that can’t be relieved by switching hands because then the soreness moves to the other shoulder. While a fuel belt takes care of the problem of holding a bottle and having weight asymmetry, I never felt comfortable with having so much weight around my waist, not to mention the fuel belt is rather polarizing in the running community. A Camelbak or other water pack is a bit much for the non-ultrarunners among us.

Simple Hydration Bottle
Simple Hydration Bottle

I was getting a little frustrated with the choices that I saw out there because none of them quite suited my needs. Then two years ago I came across the Simple Hydration bottle, created by Brian Hock. He wanted a simple way to carry water hands-free and designed a sleek, light bottle that is easily tucked onto a running belt or waistband. Although I was dubious about spending $20 for a piece of plastic, this turned out to be one of  the best running investments I have made. I absolutely adore my Simple Hydration bottle and use it on pretty much every run. Even when it’s full, it doesn’t weigh me down and I don’t notice it. Sometimes I even forget that it’s there and I panic that I accidentally left it somewhere. I can run hands-free and have water freely available whenever I need it.

It holds 13 oz, which is enough fluid for me up to a half marathon. I really love racing with this bottle because I never mastered the art of drinking out of a cup while running fast; I always waterboard myself.  With Simple Hydration, I have water whenever I want it and I can skip all the crowded aid stations. Much to my happiness, I became a member of the 2015 Simple Hydration Run Team as a brand ambassador earlier this year.

Tucks perfectly into a running belt
Tucks perfectly into my Flip Belt!

As a member of  the Simple Hydration Team, Brian sent all of us two extra bottles. I already owned two bottles that I had purchased earlier, so now I’m a proud owner of four bottles. This is more bottles than I really need, so I’m giving away one bottle to spread the Simple Hydration love.

To win this fantastically simple water bottle, all you have to do is enter the contest via Rafflecopter at this link. You earn entries by following us on social media, tweeting, and commenting.  The contest starts at 7:00 a.m. EST on August 4th and ends on August 11th at 12:00 am EST. A winner will randomly be chosen by Rafflecopter when the contest ends.

How do you like to hydrate?


Disclosure: I am a member of the 2015 Simple Hydration Run Team and as a member, I received two free Simple Hydration bottles, visor, and a tech team shirt. All opinions are my own. I was not asked by Brian Hock to conduct a giveaway.

I'm an academic, a runner, and a New York cliché. I write about the science of exercise, training, and the culture of running. My current goals are a sub-23:00 5K (achieved on 4/22/17 with 22:48) and a sub-1:45 HM (achieved on 10/1/17). Now what?

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  1. I really like the Nathan speed draw handheld. It is comfortable, has a pocket for keys/gels and great water flow that makes it easy to drink at race pace.


    For unsupported long runs on hot days, I like the Nathan hydration pack. Built for a woman’s body, has a good stabilizer to minimize bouncing and sloshing and good pockets for stashing phone, keys, gels, etc (I ditch the extra bottle in favor of pocket space).


  2. I got a small camelback for Christmas. It’s a lifesaver. It doesn’t weigh me down or bounce and it carries all my nutrition needs.

  3. As I am getting into the longer distances I find myself struggling with water needs. I hate carrying water. I hate the camel back. I have yet to try belts and what not but am curious this bottle at the base of your back does not bother you? I know I can be over sensitive and its annoying to me.

    1. No, I don’t notice the bottle at all. It’s curved so that it snuggles against the small of your back. If you find the right location (the first few times I had the bottle, I had to do tiny nudges until I got it right), you don’t feel anything at all. You can read my full review here: https://afastpacedlife.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/review-simple-hydration-a-way-to-run-simple/

      There are several guys on the Simple Hydration Run Team who run with the bottle tucked in their shorts.

  4. I fill my Simple Hydration bottle halfway with Nuun or water, and then I freeze it on its side. That way I have a cold drink for these hot summers.

  5. I have a fuel belt that I am embarrassed to use plus it only carries 14 oz of water. I prefer to use my Nathan handheld which carries 22 oz and it has a pocket for fuel as well.

  6. I’ve never been a big fan of carrying water with me, but I’m currently pregnant and have found I need to these days. Generally, I just carry a bottle, but I’d love to find a better method.