Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To Fanny Pack or Not to Fanny Pack? Race fueling.

So my half marathon is about three weeks away and I'm starting to think strategy.  Up to this point my strategy has pretty much been to start running when they fire the gun and stop running when I cross the finish line.  But apparently, competing in races of higher mileage are a little more complicated than that.

There are accessories to be bought.

I have only dabbled in the world of running-gadgets, and it shows: I usually head out for runs completely unprepared for anything that may befall me.  I have an iPod and headphones, and sometimes a watch. No Garmin, just an old-school watch with the old-school time.  It does have a little button I can push to make it light up, though, so....there's that.

Anyway, this morning on my training run I asked my lovely running lady friends whether they thought I needed a fuel belt for the half marathon.  If you're not familiar with fuel belts, they're pretty much fanny packs that have little pouches for water, food, your keys, whatever.  I have never had a need for one because honestly, I rarely ran far enough to require mid-run refueling.  But now I do, and since I will be running in the daylight and with other people, I'm guessing that stuffing it all into my sports bra (my usual modus operandi) may not be the classiest move. 

Oh calm down, you've done it too.

SO ANYWAY... that launched a whole conversation about fuel belts versus race ready shorts, Gu versus Shot Bloks, sipping water versus gulping it....which left me thinking that my original plan of "start running, then stop running," wasn't gonna cut it on race day.

So, what is your experience, fellow long-distance runner types?  Fanny pack? No fanny pack? Shorts? Lumpy bra?  What are the cool kids doing these days?


Tricia said...

I have a nathans and a golite hydration belt, both work great. However, if you don't want to carry water (and just use the water on the race course)you could try an iFitness belt to carry your GU,etc.

Pam said...

I have a Fuelbelt for my long training runs, but I won't wear it during a race, instead opting for the race-provided hydration.

For races and for training runs not long enough to require mid-run water, I use my SPIbelt.

Anonymous said...

How have you been refueling on your long training runs? Consistency is key - do not drink something different on a major race day, unless your body has trained with it. Otherwise, you could have an unpleasant run. If you have been doing your long training runs with a water bottle stop at mile 8, then you should be okay on the run. Most runs, especially over a 10K, provide water and a gatorade like drink and some pick me up fuel. Check your race website - the website provides the map with the hydration places and fuel station areas - use tha map and train accordingly! Otherwise, instead of a great first half-marathon experience - you will not be enjoying yourself! -AJ

The (not so) Reluctant Athlete said...

Thanks all for the advice...lots to google. I am definitely a less-is-more type so the less to carry the better. As for fueling on my longer runs, I usually have water stops every couple of miles, but tomorrow I am starting to experiment with food. I def don't want any surprises on race day! Thanks all!

Bethany said...

The group I am running with loves the amphipod belts. I bought mine this week and can't wait for it to come in.