I've been putting off writing this post, because there are so many different opinions on hydration belts, and mine is just that--an opinion. But after my last couple of long runs, some of you have asked me how I carry water with me while I run.
After running the 12-miler, I knew I was going to have to figure out a solution to hydrating while running. Since the longest distance I'd ever run was a half-marathon, I never felt the need to carry water with me. I always drink a quart of water before running, and I only really feel thirsty after about 10 miles. But in training for the full marathon, I knew that I couldn't do these long runs without water.
I could have planned routes that passed my house or car, but that just seemed too inconvenient. Jessica and I wanted to explore the Metroparks, so it wasn't always possible to pass the car. I normally don't like to carry anything with me when I run (not even an iPod) because it just seems to get in the way. And the one time I attempted to carry a water bottle with me, I was so irritated by the water sloshing around that I never tried it again. So I was dead set against getting a hydration belt (a belt that holds water bottles), because I was sure it was going to annoy me.
Jessica had bought one and she brought it along on our 12-miler. I decided to try wearing it for the last few miles of our run, to see how it felt. I was really surprised that I barely even noticed it! If anything, it gave me better posture. I didn't hear water sloshing, and I didn't feel any irritation from the belt at all. So I ended up buying one also.
this belt by Amphipod. HOWEVER, after I got it, I saw some belts at Target (just off-brand ones) and I tried them on--they felt exactly the same as the Amphipod. If I had known that, I would have just gotten one from Target for much less money. I also tried on the Nathan brand ones, and they felt the same too. There is another one by Amphipod that is a couple dollars cheaper, but the belt isn't stretchy, which I why I chose this one.
Jessica mentioned this, and I think she's right about it--to keep the belt from bouncing, you should wear it around your natural waist (at the narrowest point), with the bottle resting on the small of your back rather than wear it low by your hips. I've tried it both ways, and it was very annoying when it was on my hips. But when it's around my waist, I don't even notice it. Jessica and I are about the same size, so I don't know how this would feel for someone who is much larger or who has a larger waist than hips.
The water bottle holds 20 oz of water, which has been just fine so far. We're probably going to have to refill our bottles once for our 15 mile run on Monday. The bottle is really easy to get in and out while running, which is nice. There is a pocket on the front of it, but you can't hold much in there. I can fit a couple of Gu packets and my car key.
Over all, I'm pretty happy with it. I won't use it on my shorter runs, but for runs that are longer than 8 or 10 miles I will need a drink. If you're thinking about buying a belt, I'd go to a store to try some on and see if they bother you. Try wearing it in different spots to see what is most comfortable.
I had a moment of complete stupidity yesterday, and I just had to share it with you. I was looking at the cover of my new Runner's World magazine, and saw this:
It didn't come to me until about 30 seconds later when I realized that I was supposed to "open" the magazine for rest of the sentence '50 easy ways to'. They really needed to put a dot dot dot after the 'to' so people like me don't feel completely stupid trying to figure out 50 ways to open a magazine!
I was supposed to do speedwork today, but I decided that since I ran the 5K race on Sunday, I could count that as a tempo run and just do 3-miles easy today. I haven't run my regular 3-mile route in a long time, and it was nice!