Before I get into my blog post, I wanted to give a shout to blog buddy This Stop Willoughby. She's got a great blog over there. Anyway, I was a guest blogger over there for what she called her "Cocktail Party." Even though I haven't been drinking much lately, I figured it would be worth to stop by.
Anyway, check it out if you have a chance.
Now back to our regularly-scheduled programming.
It's only been part of my repertoire for all of three runs but I can say one thing about my fuel belt with certainty: I heart you.
My fuel belt is awesome. From the first run, the positives vastly outweighed the negatives. There are drawbacks, of course, with the fuel belt but I think you can say that about most any piece of equipment you introduce. It's easier to run without the iPod for instance, in the sense that you don't have to worry about the iPod seizing up on you or the cords getting tangled anywhere.
The belt has allowed me to feel much, much better after long runs. For instance, after the Half Marathon in April, I was completely and utterly wasted. Immediately after the race I felt like I was going to collapse. After my previous double-digit mileage runs I was wiped out the rest of the day as well. But this time around, I've ran 10 and 11 miles respectively with the fuel belt on. I've had a lot of energy the rest of the day.
My only problem, if you can call it a problem, is that I don't know quite yet how to time my drinks. So, it has four small bottles and all total I'd say they hold like 20-25 ounces of liquid between them, maybe more. After each run, I've finished with Gatorade in the bottles still. Not a whole lot but still, some liquid in there. So obviously I'm not drinking all of it during the runs.
I think for Sunday's run I'll start taking a sip after Mile 2. It's a 12-miler on Sunday so a little sip at Mile 2 and then probably finish off that bottle on Mile 4 and then go from there.
Also today I'm going to try and get me some Gu. If you aren't familiar with Gu, it's an energy gel. I've heard it described as flavored toothpaste. The purpose of that is to replenish your body since after a certain point you start to deplete your reserves. After about an hour's worth of running, no matter your pace, you should use Gu. Not sure if you should use it after each hour or at what point you use it frequently but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Now, I say after an hour and I mean that for normal people, not professional runners who run marathons in under three hours.
As far as drawbacks, it's still a matter of getting used to. As the belt has liquid, it can weigh you down slightly. It's not enough to prevent you from running or anything but it can slip if it's not on properly. But that's a minor issue that is corrected once you use it. And once I'm getting into the run, before the first mile is up, I've usually been able to get it on properly so it doesn't move too much. And I anticipate having it down to where it's on right before I even start the run.
Mostly, though, it's been a great experience so far and I look forward to my long-distance runs more now because I know that I won't be out of it the rest of the day.