The other day I was in dire need of a new hydration method since I’m almost at the end of my half marathon training (update post coming soon, I promise) and I was finding that miles 7 thru 10 I was getting quite parched. I have a fuel belt but I really hate using it since it rides up, feels uncomfortable and the velcro straps snag my luon and silverescent which is a nuisance. Sorry fuel belt. I’ve done most of my training with pre hydrating and taking nothing with me on any of my runs but I knew that I would need to figure something out for my half marathon since I want to have water with me. Anyways, my original plan was to pick up a Nathan Sport waist pack since those have clip closures instead of velcro and they come highly recommended but while I was at the Runners Den the salesgirl who seemed to have quite a lot of my same running neurosis suggested I try this ‘Ultimate Direction’ brand handheld instead of a waist pack.
What I like about it is the bottle is totally wrapped in neoprene so your hands don’t get cold at all but also your water keeps colder for longer. Also, the hand portion has a strap that can be tightened against the top of your hand so that you don’t need to grip around the bottle at all. The opening of the bottle is large enough to fit ice cubes and the pocket, while not big enough to fit my Blackberry Bold (what is), will fit my new energy chews (will discuss those tomorrow, they are awesome!). The rubbery kicker valve is quite nice and doesn’t leak at all when left in the open position but can easily be closed by slightly kicking it to the side using your mouth or your hand or leg. Had Lululemon come out with their new Ampiphod hand held a few weeks sooner I would have been more tempted to try that one but alas, I needed to supply myself for my upcoming half. The lulu version does not have the tightening band around the hand so you would likely be gripping the bottle throughout your run where as this one you can relax your hand and tighten the strap.
My first 5mile run with it I found a handheld quite annoying and kept switching from hand to hand but somehow my next run which was a 10 miler I hardly noticed it in my hand at all and I liked having my water to swig after having my chews. I switch hands at every mile just to keep it balanced and I make sure that I don’t alter my arm swing. All in all I’m glad I tried out a handheld instead of a waist pack and it’s really nice to have water with me on my runs.