This article first appeared on Women’s Running.
With fall racing season right around the corner, longer weekend runs are becoming a norm for many of us.
One thing that goes hand in hand with longer running is the need for fuel while on the run—gels, chomps, beans, etc. Figuring out which works best for you and your body is hard enough, but then you have to also determine how you will carry your fuel. While it may not seem like such an important decision right now, it’s a great idea to try out a few during training so that you have practiced retrieving fuel while on the run for race day.
Here are a few ways to ensure you have the necessary fuel with you during a long training run or race:
- Safety Pin to Shorts: The tried and true method for gels. Pin the top portion of the gel to the waistband of your shorts and just rip the lower section off when it’s time to take the gel! Play around with different techniques until you find one that works for you. Some runners like to keep them on the inside of their shorts; others prefer them hanging on the outside.
- Shorts/Pants with Pockets: This past spring, I ran the Boston Marathon in the Saucony Bullet Tight Shorts. They feature two deep, fitted pockets (one on each side) that can hold multiple gels, a phone and whatever else you may need to carry. There is an endless number of shorts/pants on the market (Saucony makes the same design in a capri form) with pockets – either on sides or on back designed to help carry smaller objects for you.
- Sports Bra: Your sports bra is a great storage area for fuel – but just be cautious about chaffing from the sharp edges of the packets. (There have been some horror stories about bad chaffing!) Some runners opt for the gels on the sides while others utilize the area in the middle.
- Belted Pouch: Lots of options here including the SPI-belt, FlipBelt and Fitletic’s Running belt. These belts feature a non-bounce, fitted belt with large pocket that can hold a wide range of items including all types of fuel.
- Hydration Device: If you are utilizing a backpack, handheld, vest or hydration belt, there often are additional pockets which provide room for other items, including your fuel.
- Hold in Hand: While some runners may prefer to be hands free, this is the simplest and easiest method if you don’t mind having items in your hand over long periods of time. When the weather gets cold, you can utilize your gloves to do the work for you.