It seems my comment in a recent post about my hydration demands outrunning my Fuel Belt supply on my longer runs rang true with many of the running bloggers out there. This has been a brutal summer for race training. High temps, high humidity, a preponderance of angsty vampires, lingering worldwide sorrow over Pluto being stripped of its planetary title …. the perfect storm of fitness obstacles. I bought my Fuel Belt back in December, and while running in the ice and snow (uphill … both ways) I never had any issues with not having enough to drink. In fact, I had to remind myself every 6 miles to down one of the 8-ounce bottles. Summertime training has been a much different story.
I break out in a sweat and start feeling thirsty just from the act of strapping on the Fuel Belt. I have a 4-bottle version, and generally go with 1 8 oz. bottle filled with water (for washing down gels), and 3 bottles filled with Accelerade. Lately, by the time I hit 10 miles I’m usually into my last bottle. This has been workable so far, but this weekend I step up to 18 miles, and still have a 20, 21, 23, and several 14-16 mile long runs lurking over the horizon. Time to step up my hydration game.
I’ve ordered the Nathan Quick Draw Elite handheld, which should be showing up in the next couple days. I’m not crazy about running with something in my hands, which I haven’t done since I finally got an MP3 player that I could strap to my arm, and was able to retire the old Sports Walkman in all its retina-burning-yellow glory. I considered going with a hydration pack, but want to give the handheld a go before investing the time into researching and choosing a hydration pack, and investing the $ in yet another running gizmo. However, there is a certain hardcore factor in setting off on a run with a bucket of water strapped to your back that I do find appealing.
In the interest of advance research, is there anybody that has a particularly good or particularly bad experience to share with using a hydration pack while training? Any particular models folks would recommend choosing or avoiding. I’d love to hear some real-world experience with these things.