Race Advice re: "water stations"

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Silent_Soliloquy
Silent_Soliloquy Posts: 237 Member
edited February 2019 in Fitness and Exercise
I'm a 35 yo male, reasonably fit but just getting into running.

March 30'th i'm doing a 15K race. there are four "water stations" that have water, sports drinks, chocolates, and bathrooms.

How do i go about planning time lost for these stations? Should i aim to run right past the first one (only a few K in), should i plan to grab some water? does anyone actually rest at these?

As of right now, i'm running 10K in 55 minutes fairly easily... (can carry conversation, tired after but no soreness next day). I have 6 weeks left to train. I have not tried a full 15K yet, as the group here has been advising risking hurting a knee or ankle. But i "Feel" like i could have kept going another 5K on my recent 10K's ... maybe i'll hit a wall though.

My question is essentially, should i aim to take any breaks at all? if so, which ones and for how long? or should i just try to run past them, and grab some water if i'm absolutely parched? I've never had any water or etc during my training runs, but i know 10K isn't 15K by a long shot.


Any feedback is appreciated.
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Replies

  • Silent_Soliloquy
    Silent_Soliloquy Posts: 237 Member
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    Here is the course map for reference:

    3bjilc7m9gli.png
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
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    I usually grab a water half way round a 10k race, but it's not mandatory.

    If you're not going to train drinking or eating anything then you don't need to when you race.
  • L1zardQueen
    L1zardQueen Posts: 8,754 Member
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    Is winning your goal or to have fun?
  • Silent_Soliloquy
    Silent_Soliloquy Posts: 237 Member
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    Thanks. I just hear these stories of people who are fine and then hit a wall and everything comes to a stop for them.
  • debrakgoogins
    debrakgoogins Posts: 2,033 Member
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    Whatever you do during your training plan to mimick in your race. If you find that you don't need to hydrate during your training, you will probably be fine. If you start to amp up your mileage and realize you need to hydrate or add some energy, do the same thing during your race. I have heard many people who do longer runs say that the best advice they ever got was to walk through the water stops. I haven't done any runs that long *yet* so I can't give an opinion on that.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
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    For races shorter than half marathons, I just drink when I'm thirsty (for halves and longer, I will drink water at each stop).

    I am a klutz, so I walk while I am drinking the water. It only takes a few seconds and it keeps me from accidentally inhaling water. I have done all kinds of races and it is very common for people to walk while drinking, it won't look weird at all. Even if you wanted to step to the side and drink while standing, that wouldn't be that unusual (just make sure not to suddenly stop as there are people probably behind you).

    I'm assuming the weather isn't going to be much different (heat, humidity) than what you have trained in. In your case, I would probably trust my training and drink to thirst.
  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,600 Member
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    i always walk stations - grab a cup of water at the first, drink while walking and then grab one towards the end - for a 15k likely won't need food
  • FL_Hiker
    FL_Hiker Posts: 919 Member
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    I always run through the station and drink, you can pinch the cup which makes it like a little funnel into your mouth lol.
  • MelanieCN77
    MelanieCN77 Posts: 4,047 Member
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    I have a little 6oz bottle that is in an easy access pouch with a magnetic flap on it - I don't want to stop for aid stations either and carry it if I think I'll need it. It's light enough and secure enough that I barely notice it. I didn't reach for it at all on my last 10k but I was glad of the option.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010C65V2I/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  • Duck_Puddle
    Duck_Puddle Posts: 3,237 Member
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    If you don’t need to drink normally; you’ll be fine. You shouldn’t have any worries about a wall on a 15k. If you are thirsty and decide to get a drink-it’s considerably easier to drink while walking. You’ll lose maybe 10 seconds. It’s a table with people holding cups of water that you grab as you go by and a garbage can 50 ft after the table (toss your cup in there).

    I’ve never seen someone stop who didn’t need to potty or wasnt in distress or filling their own water bottle or something. It’s not the expectation. The stations are there if you need them. If you don’t, thank the volunteers that gave up their day to come be there and keep going about your race.
  • Silent_Soliloquy
    Silent_Soliloquy Posts: 237 Member
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    Thank you so much @Duck_Puddle ... that gave me a real feel for what to expect.

    I guess i expected like a place where people actually stopped and ask for water, or a sports drink. The ability to have a quick gulp on the fly sounds awesome... and wont impact my time on the scale i am aiming for (90 minutes was my original my goal).
  • dewd2
    dewd2 Posts: 2,445 Member
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    Good luck!
  • Duck_Puddle
    Duck_Puddle Posts: 3,237 Member
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    Thank you so much @Duck_Puddle ... that gave me a real feel for what to expect.

    I guess i expected like a place where people actually stopped and ask for water, or a sports drink. The ability to have a quick gulp on the fly sounds awesome... and wont impact my time on the scale i am aiming for (90 minutes was my original my goal).

    It’s absolutely a quick on the go thing. Even if the cups are on the table; you still just grab and go.

    If they have Gatorade and water at the same stations, they are usually split apart the same way at each stop so you know what you’re grabbing.

    If you do need to actually stop (for anything at the water stop) - wait until you get after the actual table and then go off to the side - otherwise you’ll get run over.

    It’ll all flow perfectly and you’ll see lots of people in front of you-just do what they do. It’ll be great.

    Good luck!

  • Silent_Soliloquy
    Silent_Soliloquy Posts: 237 Member
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    Thanks!

    Little off topic ... but if a 55 minute 10k is easy ... do you guys think a goal of sub 90 min is a good time to shoot for ?
  • GiddyupTim
    GiddyupTim Posts: 2,819 Member
    edited February 2019
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    Most people are not going to need much water at all, or a gel, for a race of that distance in early spring.
    I would guess you are going to want to run through the water stations, maybe grabbing a paper cup of water as you do, and drinking it as you run.
    Have fun!
  • MelanieCN77
    MelanieCN77 Posts: 4,047 Member
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    Thanks!

    Little off topic ... but if a 55 minute 10k is easy ... do you guys think a goal of sub 90 min is a good time to shoot for ?

    I think you'll be well warmed up by then and will be able to judge if you can go for it!
  • noblsheep
    noblsheep Posts: 584 Member
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    Thanks!

    Little off topic ... but if a 55 minute 10k is easy ... do you guys think a goal of sub 90 min is a good time to shoot for ?

    I think sub 90 minutes might be a bit conservative. You're already doing 10km at 5.5 min/km and 90 minutes is 6 min/km. By race day, the adrenaline and the crowds and the mass of people running with you will probably make you a bit faster than your training runs. Personally I'd say around 80 minutes might be a better goal if you want to race it.

    On original topic, I would recommend you slow to a walk and drink something at each of the four stations (funnel style as suggested above), just because you might be running harder than you think you are, and dehydration is really uncomfortable, even for 15km. I don't think you'll be needing much carb intake for this distance, but if they have sports drinks at all the stations, you could drink some at station 2 and/or 3 just to make sure you don't tank. This will add maybe a minute to your total time. Personally I might skip station 4 to save 10-20 seconds depending on how I feel.

    Oh and you've totally got this. There is very little possibility of hitting the wall at 15km. Fitness-wise, you could probably run that race tomorrow if you wanted to. Just try to resist going out too fast. Aim for negative splits and enjoy your race! :D
  • Silent_Soliloquy
    Silent_Soliloquy Posts: 237 Member
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    Thanks @noblsheep !

    I have been training negative splits. I try to do a "stretch the legs" first mile, then kick it back and work on slowly improving each mile. A typical run is seen here ... i assume this is reasonable, though i may have to cycle it twice for then 15k.

    f254holbv2af.jpg
  • WickedPineapple
    WickedPineapple Posts: 698 Member
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    We're running the same race! Hopefully it won't be cancelled again (last year there was freezing rain/snow/mix and they cut it to only the 5k).

    As for water, I agree that whatever you do in training is what you should do on the day of the race. Definitely hydrate beforehand. Have you been training outside? You might find you need more or less based on the weather.
  • englishmuffinruns
    englishmuffinruns Posts: 70 Member
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    I did the Tampa Hot Chocolate 15K in December. Skip the chocolate and marshmallows. We saw a few people who, shall we say, regretted that decision later in the race. Mind you it was ungodly warm even for December.

    The aid stations were very well organized with plenty of volunteers, and you could definitely "grab and go." We hit most of them, alternating between water and Nuun.