Drinking on the Run

Have you thought about how you will take in water/fliuds during the marathon? If not, you better! Below are some quick tips to help you stay hydrated on on course for your marathon goal.

Step 1: Learn how to drink from a paper cup on the run. You must practice this during your training runs.

  • To practice: Go to a track. Place papercups 1/2 filled with water on a table or the edge of the bleachers. Run laps on the track, each time you pass the table slow your run slightly, grab a cup, keeping moving (do not stop!!), gently squeeze the top rim to create a "V" and take a drink of water. Creating the "V" will make it easier to get into your mouth as well as less spilling out of the cup as you run. It takes practice to grab the cup, make the "V", and get the water into your mouth! Take several sips and toss the cup.
  • Another way to practice is to have a friend hold out cups as you run by and grab it. This is a real simulation of a water stop on race day.
  • Most water stops are spead out with several tables on both sides of the road. Run until you find a clear and safe opening to move over and grab a cup. Be aware of the other runners so you don't trip or cut another runner off. Don't worry if you drop the cup. Just grab another one!
  • In your training period, enter a local road race to practice taking cups and drinking at each water station.
  • Take small drinks, versus large gulps. The fluid will be easier to get in without choking.
  • If your marathon will take you longer than 3:45 (or half marathon longer than 2:00), consider slowing to a brisk walk through the water station. Resume your running pace as soon as you take a few quick drinks.
  • Running with a fuel belt is an option, but the fuel belt can be heavy and annoying. And you will need to supplement with additional water.

Step 2: Know where the waters are stations located on the course. On the Buffalo Marathon Course, water and Gatorade stations are every 2 miles up to 12 miles, and every mile after the 12 mile point.

Step 3: Know where the Port-o-potties are located! You may need this! On the Buffalo Marathon course, port-o-potties are located at every mile.

NOTE: Your body needs to learn how to take in water/Gatorade on the run, and learn to absorb and use it. This only happens if you practice and train your body by taking in fluids in training runs.

Remember, you are putting in a lot of training for your marathon. Drinking takes practice and training, just like running. Prepare all parts of your race!



Vicki is a distinguished athlete and international competitor, Vicki competed in the 1996 US Olympic Trials in the 10,000 run. She made her marathon debut at the 1999 Hong Kong Marathon, where she qualified for the 2000 US Olympic Marathon Trials. In 2001, she was invited to join the Fila Discovery USA training program, a program designed to develop American distance runners into elite marathon athletes able to compete with the best in the world. She has been a member of five USA national teams, including the 1993 World University Games and 1998 IAAF World Road Race Championship in Manaus, Brazil.