Fuel Belt Endurance Four-Bottle Belt : For Long, Long Runs
Having switched over almost exclusively to cycling from running, eating during exercise has ceased to be much of a concern. The non-jarring nature of biking makes it feasible to enjoy nearly a 5-course meal while I hammer out a century. What's more, I can carry substantial amounts of food in all sorts of nooks and crannies without impeding my form or comfort.
Running, of course, is an entirely other matter. Consuming necessary calories on a longer run is a challenge--both because the act of running tends to dampen the appetite and carrying things while you run is really a pain. For many, including me, only the ever-expanding world of performance gels has made swallowing calories on the run possible. Of course, if you tack a swim and a bike ride onto the front end of a run--in the form of a triathlon--the need for taking in calories on the run increases exponentially. But even if you like gels, carrying enough to replace the energy you're burning is a trick. That's where a Fuel Belt comes in more than handy.
Smart, effective, comfortable design
I've been using the Endurance 4-Bottle Belt. Basically, it is what is says it is--a belt with four seven-ounce squeeze bottles and a handy rear pouch that I strap about my waist. The belt attaches in the front with a simple Velcro strap and distributes the four bottles evenly around the waist. The bottles--each of which have screw-on tops, easy-pull out nipples, and ergonomic shapes--are made of a soft plastic that makes squeezing out a viscous substance a snap. Each bottle is held in place by an elastic holster that allows for easy retrieval and placement. A handy elastic mini-bungee is also provided; I can make sure each bottle only comes out when I want it to. The belt is remarkably comfortable--owing to an unexpected combination of rigidity and elasticity. The belt's fabric provides just the right amount of integrity and give.The substantial Velcro closure insures that I get a snug fit, one that doesn't diminish when my bottles are brimming and I'm at a full gallop.
What you carry is up to you
If gels aren't your think, you could simply fill each bottle with water (28 ounces total). Sure beats the off-kilter created by running with a water bottle in one hand. For a shorter run, using the fuel belt to carry liquid makes great sense. When the road stretches interminably, the fuel belt becomes the perfect repository for your favorite performance gel. Twenty-eight ounces of gel is roughly 2000 calories--enough to keep the bonk at bay for hours of suffering. Of course there's plenty of middle ground to experiment with--gel diluted with various parts water for the solution that works best for you.
Bottom LIne: Given how much can be in tow, the Fuel Belt is remarkably comfortable and chafe-free. The Fuel Belt offers all sorts of bottle/belt configurations. There's one for every occasion.--D.C. (July '06)
Manufacturer's Site: www.fuelbetl.com
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