Does Running with a Hydration Belt Slow you Down?

I’ve come across articles and messages posted on message boards suggesting that running with a hydration belt slows you down.

Personally, when I am running for more than 20 km I bring my fuel belt with 4 8oz bottles.This goes for half-marathons and marathons as well. The reason I choose to carry my fuel belt for these races is that most races offer Gatorade at water stations and I find Gatorade to be too sweet.

I fill my bottles with eLoad and have finished marathons in 3:32 and 3:22 using that approach. I have also tired GuBrew on training runs and liked it as well.

I am planning on running my next marathon here in Ottawa in May. I will be trying the same approach of carrying my fuel belt as I try to improve on the 3:22 I ran in October.

I guess it probably all comes down to personal preference and what you are used to. What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Does Running with a Hydration Belt Slow you Down?”

  1. I actually bought a hydration belt today. I plan on wearing it during runs that exceed an hour. I’m currently training for the Winterman half-marathon (Feb 2011), and I will probably run the race without it and just use the water/Gatorade stations.

  2. For training runs under 2 hours, I carry nothing. Training runs over two hours, I carry water (usually a vest though, not bottles!). I do think the extra weight/bulk can slow us down, but without aid stations there really isn’t an option.

    I recently ran a marathon without carrying any water, because I knew that the aid stations were frequent enough, and I thought that lighter would be better; it worked out great. For ultras, though, I always carry water because the stations are further apart and the pace slower.

    All of that to say that for longer races I’d rather slow down a few minutes than be dehydrated! Lack of fluids/fuel can stop you altogether… better to take what you need. 🙂

  3. If I could tolerate Gatorade during races I would run without my fuel belt. For now I will keep running my marathons with it unless I struggle in my attempt to improve on my 3:22 at which point I would have come up with a new strategy.

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