In my October 5, 2011 post, GOT WATER? I wrote about how surprised I was to see many runners running on a hot day without any water. So I decided to take a poll to study the habits of runners regarding hydration on their run. Here are the results.
1) Do you carry water when you run?
44% said always
44% said sometimes
11% said never
2) What is the minimum number of miles you will run in order for you to bring water?
40% said they will carry water when running less than 4 miles
15% said they will carry water when running a minimum of 5 miles
30% said they will carry water when running a minimum of 8 miles
15% said they will carry water when running a minimum of 11 miles
3) Which of these running events, where water stops are provided will you carry water with you anyway?
30% will carry water with them at a 5k
46% will carry water with them at a 10k run
69% will carry water with them at a half marathon
76% will carry water with them at a marathon event
These findings are not conclusive due to the small number of participants in my study. But it gives me a general idea about the habits of the running community.
My study shows that there is a small percentage of people who do not run with water. So that means, that on that one hot day when I went out for a run, I was looking at the small percentage of runners who did not carry water on their run. But those who do carry water will carry it even on shorter runs. After more thought, I realize that the answer to this question could all depend on the type of runner you are.
A further study would be to ask the participants what their experience level is (beginner, casual, competitive), the number of days a week the runner runs, and their average mileage per day. This would probably provide me with a more interesting analysis.
As for the third question, the longer the race, the more likely athletes will bring their own water. This is what I expected. It probably has to do with the competitive nature of these races versus the casual run. If you are running hard, you definitely need to hydrate. And if you are going for time, you'd rather keep your pace than take the time to stop at a water stop.
So what is the importance of this poll? Nothing really. It's just to satisfy my curiosity. But what I did learn is that everyone runs his or her own race. So don't worry about what people are doing. You run in a way that is perfect for you. You know what makes you comfortable so do what is best for you and not what everyone is doing or tells you to do.
I am Running-girl and I wear 3/4 length capris, no matter what the weather conditions is. I always wear a cap, even on a cloudy day. And I always carry a water bottle, even on a short 3-mile run. So be it. Be your own YOU!