Winter Hydration Tips

Winter is here and your long run training plans need a little extra thought. The cold, dry air can dehydrate a runner and you may not even feel like you’ve broken a sweat. Here are some ideas to keep hydrated during the winter.

  • Start out fully hydrated! Yes, drink your water throughout the day. Just stop an hour or so before your run to make sure you ‘process’ any excess. It’s too cold out there for pit stops.
  • Use warm water in your hydration bottles. This sounds like a no-brainer but it’s simple and it works.
  • Add some Gatorade, Powerade, Eload, whatever your favourite electrolyte drink might be, in with your water. High school chemistry tells us that the salt will lower the freezing point of the water. You may end up drinking a slushy mixture but you’ll still get to drink.
  • Wear your fuel belt under your running jacket. Body heat will help keep the liquid as liquid.
  • Try a Camelbak type of hydration pack (also worn under the jacket). You’ll need to keep the hose under the jacket and as close to your body heat as possible as the
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    hose is the first thing that will freeze. You can use a neoprene hose cover which reduces the chance of freezing.

  • Plan your run to include multiple shorter loops in which you can stop at the house and grab a quick drink. Just make sure you head back out for the rest of the loops!!
  • If you’ve driven to your starting point, still plan to run some loops but pack your cooler. Coolers will work in reverse during the winter. Fill the cavity with a room temperature blanket and your water bottles will keep from freezing.
  • Of course, there’s always a Tim Horton’s or McDonald’s where you can pop into the washroom and grab a drink out of the faucet. Don’t stay inside any longer than necessary as you’ll start to sweat and then you’ll freeze when you head back out to finish your run.

Here’s the number one winter running thought: No excuses, just run!

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Enjoy your winter long runs.