Because of some recent good luck in the 5K department, I had a couple gift cards to my favorite local running store to cash in. For a long time I’ve been wanting to get myself a Nathan hydration belt. For my fuel and phone, I usually use my SPI Belt (and sometimes that ridiculously small zipper pocket on the back of my pants). It’s like the clown car of belts. Unfortunately the amount of stuff that I’m going to need to have with me on Sunday just won’t fit into it in any kind of way that isn’t totally awkward. I needed something bigger and the option of having water whenever I want it, especially since it’s likely to get a little warm out there, is an attractive one.
I have one of those handheld Nathan water bottles that I had been using for my long runs and it’s about as comfortable as having something strapped to your hand for 20 miles can be, but the idea of running with it for an additional 6.2 miles leads me to believe that I would probably be chucking it into the woods at some point.
So here’s my new BRIGHT, COLORFUL, IN-YOUR-FACE Nathan Belt.
This one is called the Trail Mix and isn’t it positively….ENORMOUS!? When I tried it on in the store there wasn’t a mirror anywhere near me so I didn’t realize how massive it was until I got it home. Don’t let this deceive you. It doesn’t feel all crazy big and awkward when I have it on or else I wouldn’t have bothered buying it.
This morning I had 4 miles on the menu and took the opportunity to take it out for a little test drive with water in the bottles so I could decide whether or not this would be part of my – still undecided – race outfit for Sunday. I filled them about 3/4 of the way apiece and obviously this added a significant amount of weight, but once I put the belt on it didn’t feel too bad.
My first impression as I started out running though?
The extra weight of the bottles caused the belt to slide all around and I was adjusting it constantly for the first mile. I can’t blame Nathan though; this was probably more like a combo of user error and the fact that I was just not used to having something of that magnitude strapped to my waist while I’m running. By mile 2 things had calmed down a little bit and by the end of my run I could tell I was wearing the belt, but it wasn’t in the way of anything and it didn’t slow me down at all. And I definitely liked it better than carrying something in my hand.
- BRIGHT, FUN, IN-YOUR-FACE COLORS! Especially fun when paired with bright, in-your-face running clothes. I was in a hurry to get out of the house this morning and grabbed the first things I could get my hands on while getting dressed. The end result was me looking not entirely unlike a mental patient:
- Easy to adjust. The straps roll up and Velcro securely so you don’t have to worry about them flying all around in the breeze as you run.
- For what it is, it’s lightweight. I could probably get away with adding less water or only carrying one bottle to lighten it up a little more.
- Big, easy to access pockets. My phone fit with no problem and there is lots of extra room for my gels and Luna protein bars.
- It was really nice to have some water to drink right away at the end of my run!
- Really only one. As lightweight as it is, it is still quite big. Especially if you are like me and are sorely lacking in the hips department.
I like it, I’m glad I bought it, but I wish I had gotten it earlier in my training.
It will definitely come in handy for future long runs – I started looking at my Dopey training plan yesterday! – but because I’m so unaccustomed to running with it I’ll probably skip it for Sunday. Instead I am considering buying a second, larger SPI Belt and potentially doubling up on those if everything I need doesn’t fit in it. Or something else if you guys have any better ideas.
Do you have a particular hydration belt that you like? Any suggestions on how might carry everything on Sunday? (I don’t necessarily NEED to carry water because there will be plenty of water stations. It was just a nice thought.)
Happy Wednesday, one and all! 4 MORE DAYS!!