Couch to 5K

Lesson in hydration

I have never ever been a big water drinker. I seem to be able to get by with very little water - I have run for up to 2 hours and still not really wanted water at the end of it. But yesterday, I was trying to do some running at a certain heart rate - and had great trouble trying to keep my HR from rising during the run. Did a bit of Internet research - and decided this morning that I would force a fair amount of water into myself as soon as I woke - and went for an hour run an hour later.

THIS time , my HR seemed to me to be much more "controllable". I was able to run "easy" for as long as I wanted without having to stop to walk because of a rising HR. It might be coincidence - or the fact that this was my second run after a layoff caused by a head cold - but I am going to continue to force myself to take water even when I don't really need/want to and see how it goes. I have been meaning to buy a water belt for running longer distances , but in this current heat , it may also be useful for shorter quicker runs.

5 Replies

I'm interested to see what your conclusions are with regards to a water belt. I am starting to get stitch at the 8km mark pretty much every time; when my son comes out on his bike with me he carries a water bottle and a few sips of that and the stitch eases. Unfortunately he doesn't come with me every time.

I do have various sized Camelbaks that we use for hiking but don't fancy the weight on my shoulders.

In the meantime, I will try your downing of water and hope that my bladder can process it all before I step out the door!


My understanding is that stitches are caused by poor breathing practices- I used to get them every time I ran ( 100 years ago when I couldn't run!) but since starting C25K, running slower and breathing "properly" , I have not had one stitch. I would suggest that the easing of your stitch is only coincidental with the drinking of water - more to do with the fact that you have stopped running???

This is the belt that I am going to buy


I have found that if I run without headphones that I can hear my breathing and am able to focus on breathing properly; that helps a lot with not getting stitch. I ran and drank at the same time so possibly the act of having to slow my breathing down helped? I'd certainly rather not have stitch than have music! I sometimes run with a HR monitor to check that I am not going out of my training zone so I am happy that I'm not going too fast.

I digress; cheers for the link.


When waking each morning we've been dehydrating over night, so its really important to start re-hydrating again and a glass of water is all it takes to start topping up, try warm water if you struggle to drink.

Unless you're doing some serious mileage every morning, the only reason to carry a water bottle on the run is for very long runs and a hydration pack is better.

Here is an article on hydration from top Sports scientist and nutritionist James Collins.



I put a glass of water next to my bed every night and down it as soon as I wake up, and have done for years. Even if I'm not doing exercise, its a great way to "kick start" your body and wake up.

1 like

You may also like...