Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Help Wanted

I am trying to figure out whether I want to wear my fuel belt during the marathon. This training cycle is the first time I have used a fuel belt - before, I would just put bottles in the ditch along my routes. Now, I have been using the belt for every run longer than 13 miles. I have been taking in some sort of fuel (either shot blok, beans, gatorade, what have you) every 3 miles after the first 6.

Originally, I didn't think I would use it. The marathon course map shows aid stations every 1.5 miles or so. But when I ran the half-marathon a couple of weeks ago, taking fuel in at aid stations that were not along my every 3 miles habit kind of messed with me.

I don't really want to wear it, but I think if I had it, I would stick to my fueling strategy a little better. Also, the capris I am planning on wearing don't have any pockets, so I'm not sure how to carry all my little treats if I don't have the belt.

Any thoughts? Hate it, love it, pain in the ass but worth it? I would love to hear what works for everyone else. Thanks!

15 comments:

tfh said...

I really feel freer without my fuel belt, so I just took water at aid stations-- even though they were a little off from what I'd done in training-- and safety pinned four gels to my skirt. Worked for me, and we only had stations every 2-2.5 miles, so I bet you'd be fine if you decided to lose it.

Running Through Life said...

I have become dependent on my fuel belt lately. I think it is a matter of personal preference. You want to ensure that you are comfortable during the race and not have to worry about these things.

Jamoosh said...

Ever since I got some ill-mixed Gatorade during a 25K, I have always used a Fuel Belt. The key is having someone to be able to replenish your stock and also to take the belt from you during the waning miles.

I have also used a small camelback during a marathon and it worked out well.

Normally, I put my hydration of choice in my fuel belt and then just pick up water at the aide stations .

Mama said...

I've run my two halfs and my full marathon with my fuel belt. It didn't bother me at all and was not a problem for me. I have a picky stomach, so it was nice to know I had what I liked. At the marathon, I used all the water stops (and even got two drinks at some), but still managed to finish all four bottles on my belt. At my last half marathon, I was really glad I had it as I rely heavily on gatorade and they only offered water, except at one stop.

That said, I'm seriously considering going belt free for the half this weekend, because I haven't tried my shorts with it yet.

MCM Mama

Sarah said...

I haven't tried mine out yet, so I don't have much expert advice. But...if you are reallly used to wearing it and used to a specific fueling schedule, you might be best to stick with what your body knows.

I Run for Fun said...

I hear ya. I never wear my fuel belt, because it's too cumbersome. But then, my fueling strategy is haphazard at best, so I'm not the expert on this. If you are comfortable wearing it, I would suggest that you go for it.

joyRuN said...

Interestingly, I rarely run with my belt. Next race though, I think I will. I was going to gu/hydrate every 5 miles, but like you pointed out, the stations don't always coincide with that.

As for all the crap I run with, I use race ready shorts for all the pockets in addition to the belt.

D10 said...

Although I rather not run with a fuel belt, during marathons I like the option of drinking when I need to. Sometimes the 2 miles or so between aid stations can seem like forever. However, I only carry 2 bottles with me and I usually give Matt to if I need to refill.

Melanie said...

i feel much more comfortable running with my fuel belt so that i can drink/gu when I need to, but agree with the others, it's a preference thing.

Marcy said...

I'm with d10! I like to drink when I want to drink not when other peeps tell me I'm gonna drink LOL. Plus I'm like a damn camel I have to have EVERYTHING with me (you know, just in case) TP, camera, phone, gels . . . etc . . . So yes I do bring mine :-)

RunMommyRun said...

I hate wearing fuel belts and avoid wearing them at all costs during races. However, if you don't have any pockets for gels and whatnot even, you might want to. Really, if it didn't bother you in training, it shouldn't on race day either, right?

aron said...

i always wear mine, just because i dont like dealing with the aid stations and i like having my own stuff. plus i always try to drink like every mile in training so i just want to stick to my strategy. thats just me though :)

Melanie said...

I never wanted to buy one, but I finally broke down and did because I got tired of training with bottles and Gus in my hands the whole time. I don't like to wear it, but it works. I don't race with the bottles, but I do like wearing the belt so that I can carry all my fuel things and take them when I want. I don't mind waiting til I see it for water and gatorade, but I like to have my GUs, beans, salt packets, advil etc. handy.

Runner Tammy said...

Hi there,

Good luck at your upcoming marathon!

I am a firm believer in carrying my own fanny pack with water and goodies (and camera as you might see from all my marathon pictures). About 20% of my marathons there are not items where they promised, or they run out of cups/beverages/food. This has happened at large marathons (Marine Corp/Disney 25,000+) medium (National Marathon 4000) as well as relatively small (Charlottesville).

By having a fuel belt you can have items when you want them, you can be assured you have treats that you enjoy and can even carry some items that might be useful (credit card, cell phone, etc.)

You might check marathonguide.com to see previous years experience regarding if there have been issues before, however, that does not necessarily mean there will not be issues this year. Some issues are definitely exacerbated by weather which varies between years.

Good luck!
Tammy

ShutUpandRun said...

I will do anything to not run with a fuel belt, esp. if there are aid stations every 2 miles or so. It just weighs me down. I just tuck some ibuprofen and my ipod in the teeny pocket of my running shorts and pin my gels to my singlet.