When I first started running, I barely made it around my half-mile block before I was ready to collapse. Slowly I started going further, and eventually I was going far enough that I found it relevant to track exactly how far I had gone, and how long it had taken me. The need for some kind of running pouch quickly arose to carry my phone and house key as I ventured farther and longer on my runs.
I quickly found the FlipBelt, and for quite a while it's been more than enough. I even started packing chews and gels for my half marathon races, and the FlipBelt was great. Now that I'm training for a full marathon, though, I know I'm going to need hydration solutions on my long runs. Looking at what was available, I have to say, I was skeptical about how well a belt with two full water bottles strapped to it could possibly stay in place during the bouncing of a run, but I am SO impressed with this GoldBerg Gear belt! Turns out, running with water bottles doesn't have to feel like morphing into pack mule.
Disclaimer: I received this product at no cost in exchange for my review. All opinions expressed herein are, as always, my own.
I filled both bottles, adjusted the strap (there's an adjustable loop on both sides for maximum fit ranges), and took off. Ten miles later, my bottles were about half empty and everything was still perfectly in place! The belt is low-profile, and when it's properly adjusted, it's stays PUT. I barely even noticed it was there - until I made the mistake of constantly drinking from only one side, which slowly started to make me feel lopsided. My second time wearing it, I wised up and alternated, eliminating the problem.
It's a clip-on belt, so it's easy to take on and off, and the holsters have elastic loops to hold the bottles in place, but tabs on the loops to easily unhook bottles mid-run. My bottles have yet to leak on me (which was a big concern of mine), and the zipper pouch on the front opens and closes very easily. The only downside I've noticed is that the pouch, while larger than I expected, still isn't quite large enough for me to stuff a bunch of gels or chews inside along with my phone. For a full marathon, I'll definitely want some kind of nutrition available with me. There may be some kind of add-on I could slide on to the belt, like an extra pouch or something, that could easily solve this problem; I'll have to do some searching. Or come crafting!
We'll have to see about stashing snacks as I experiment beyond hydration, but for now, I'm thrilled to have a hydration solution that can stick with me through longer runs. Though I know many of my longer races will have water stops along the route, being able to mix up a liquid energy powder like my Tailwind endurance fuel and supplement those course aid stations with my own beverage that I can access when needed will make covering the distance so much more manageable. As my training runs get longer, having this hydration belt will make me much more confident and allow me to push a little harder, making me as ready as possible to tackle a full marathon.
What running gear has helped you take your training to the next level? Do you run with a hydration belt? How about a hydration backpack or handheld? What's your favorite endurance fuel?