Saturday, August 02, 2014

Training Gear Is A Changin'

My observations are based on earlier generation equipment--what I had on hand to try.
For many years(!) I have trained using the Amphibipod RunLite AirStretch Hydration Belt on long slow distance runs. Having preferred the belt to a hand held bottle, and clips to cumbersome straps or pockets, this particular model has proven most effective for many years. There was a time five years ago when I did experiment with other models but these proved ineffective for my use. On a recent run, recently I lost one of the flasks for my belt, so am considering some of the systems I have lying about the house before making an investment if necessary. Some were prices from long ago races, while others have been used by my stepson with some of his training experiences.
This morning's 9 mile loop.

Today I took an older model Camelbak Classic 2 Liter Hydration System with me for my 9 mile run--which for me at this point constitutes a long distance. According to the hydration amount generator on CamelBak's website, the ideal amount of hydration for me 1.3 liters (given the variables I entered), and this particular model (though no longer made in favor of more advanced ones) holds 2 liters. It was given to my stepson (and his teammates) by his high school as a precautionary measure for  insuring the kids would stay hydrated during 3 mile runs each day from school to crew practice at the boathouse. Though the 3 mile run was intended as a warm-up, a number of the less fit student-athletes were concerned about not passing out, thus the CamelBaks.

While I have had success with the Amphibipod products in the past, I quite liked the CamelBak I wore today, especially once I became more familiar with the intricacies of using the delivery system. Though I felt a little self-conscious wearing the vest for what was a fairly short distance on city roads, it was very comfortable. The light feeling of the bladder against my back was a subtly reminder to check my form throughout my run. The belt can sometimes cause discomfort in my lower back as it requires tight cinching to insure minimal bounce. Neither system has easily accessible pouches or pockets, but were I to at some point commit to longer trail races, I would upgrade to a CamelBak system designed for such purposes (and access to gels, etc.).

In addition to feeling really positive about my run this morning, I also felt confident regarding my discovery of this particular CamelBak's comforts. The plan moving forward over the next few weeks is to continue training with the CamelBak on longer runs, and depending on how well I preserve my motivation (as well as increased pace and distance), invest in an updated model in the future. (My true training challenge as always is maintaining any semblance of a proper training schedule once school and cross-country practices and meets begin in September!)

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