Hydration Pack Review, Part 2

Hi there - if you're looking for Donald's review of hydration packs, follow this link to his website, which is a summary review plus links to each of the five packs reviewed this spring.

Thanks for reading!

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Hydration Pack Review, Part 1

Summer is nearly upon us, which means that runners need to pay attention to hydration needs when exercising in warm weather. In recent years, hydration devices have become a multidisciplinary science, with several options available. We’re reviewing the most common types here, along with our recommendations for use of each kind.

As a general rule, unless you’re exposed to extreme heat or humidity (upper 90s for either category), you probably don’t need to take in fluids during your workout if you’re exercising for 30 minutes or less. If you are exercising for less than an hour, you can probably do just fine with water instead of sports drink.

When your body is working for more than one hour, make sure that you drink small amounts of fluid on a regular basis during the activity. There are a few different ways to carry fluids on the go:

Hand held bottle carriers: of course, before hydration accessories were invented, everybody did it the old fashioned way: by carrying a bottle of water in your hand while you run. Hand-held bottle carriers are little more than a comfortable elastic strap that fits around the bottle and the back of your hand; this way, you don’t have to grip the bottle to keep it in contact with your palm.

Most hand-held carriers support a 20-oz bottle, and many have small pockets on the backside to stash things like keys or an ATM card. Some runners find it awkward to carry bottle holders at first, but before long you’ll hardly notice a difference.

Waist packs: These are probably the most common option, and come in several varieties. Most packs hold a 20- or 24-oz bottle on your backside, often angled one way or the other for easier access. Waist packs also have larger pockets with storage space for cell phones or energy bars.

Variations on this design include packs that hold two full-size bottles, and others with several smaller bottles distributed all the way around your waist. In our opinion, the single bottle option is the simplest and most convenient, and should suffice for activity in the one to two hour range.

If you are running or hiking for more than two hours, a single bottle won’t be enough to sustain you – and that’s where the next category comes in.

Hydration packs: These lightweight packs are typically worn like a backpack, but contain a fluid reservoir that can hold up to 100oz of fluid. Models that are marketed towards runners typically hold about 70 oz.

Since they are designed for longer activity, hydration packs also feature a lot more storage space for food, clothing, or other gear. Modern materials and designs make these packs quite comfortable to wear, even when running at high speed.

Fluid reservoirs are slightly more high-maintenance than a typical water bottle - they’re a bit more difficult to clean and dry after each use – but they’re generally very easy to use, and the benefit of having adequate fluids during a long run is usually worth a little inconvenience afterwards.

Hand held bottle carriers and waist packs can be found in both of our local running stores. If you’d like more information about hydration packs, Donald did an extensive review of five different models this spring; go to www.montereyrunninglife.com to check them out.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to take care of your hydration needs so you can enjoy a healthy and safe summer of running.

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Props for Monterey High

The Monterey Bay Wednesday Night Laundry Runners club has provided college scholarship funding to local high school distance runners since 2000. This year the club, along with a large donation from the Big Sur International Marathon, is providing $7,500 in scholarship money split among six Monterey County senior runners.

For the first time in ten years, three of these runners are from one school - Monterey High School. Congratulations to Monterey High and Coaches Alex Peterson and Rob Erlich for developing three wonderfully talented student runners. Looking at the accomplishments of Kayla Harvey, James Caress, and Jake Arveson gives us confidence and makes us proud of our younger generation of runners. Props to their parents and teachers as well.

The scholarship recipients are nominated by coaches. They must be high school seniors who participate in both cross-country (XC) and distance track events. They must be talented and successful enough in their running to compete in college, as well as demonstrating academic success and leadership skills.

Kayla Harvey is something special. She competed in cross country and track all 4 years, as well as basketball. She joined a select few by earning the “Iron Woman Award” at Monterey high for her sports participation. She has earned all league in both Cross Country and Track for the last 3 years. She was MBL league champion in the 3200 this year.

Kayla has a 4.2 GPA and is ranked 4th in her class academically. She takes the most rigorous AP classes. She has been team captain in both track and cross country, as well as President of the film club, and secretary of the Christian Youth Group.

She has done Missionary work in Africa and Mexico and still managed to run while in Swaiziland. Kayla will be attending the Air Force academy because “she firmly believes you must contribute back to your country.” Her plans in the Air Force include Foreign Area Studies and Environmental Engineering. She wants to return to Africa some day to assist the people and the land.

James Caress has qualifications that seem to be made up but they are real including Valedictorian of his class and a 4.35 GPA in the toughest classes that are offered. He is an Eagle Scout, National Merit Finalist, and is active in World Without Borders, and the schools mock trial team. He even was a guest commentator in the Herald describing the effect CO2 gas has on oceanic PH levels.

James’s running is at the highest level as well in both cross country and distance track. He is current MBL champion in the 3200. He has qualified for the CCS and State meets in cross country.

James will be attending UCLA and majoring in English. He will write and possibly be a lawyer.

Jake Arveson is the most accomplished track and cross county runner in Monterey High history, holding records or top two times in distances from the 800 meters up to 3200 meters. He has run in California State meets in both cross country and track. He has been MBL league champion in several events for multiple years. Jake is running in the State finals of the 800 meters this coming weekend in Fresno.

Jake volunteers with the Monterey Reads project and MY Museum and works with kids to help give them a love of reading and music. He will be going to Sacramento State, running on the Cross Country and track teams, and majoring in History.

We’re thankful to have such talented and giving individuals on the Central Coast and proud that they are part of the Running Life community. If you want to help these and other student runners you can make a tax deductible donation to WNLR Scholarship Fund c/o 24630 Avenida Principal, Salinas, CA. 93908.

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