My latest running gear - a small ladies' hand bag

I've got a nice running belt which keeps sitting on my hips exactly where I want it mile after mile after mile. It never rubs, it never falls down or rides up. It just stays put the way it is meant to be. It holds two water bottles which is enough for a 10-15 miles for me, as well as a zipped compartment for phone, another for a key and two elasticated pockets for gels. I love it. However, the gel pockets have lost their elasticity over the last year (maybe because they doubled up as gloves pockets during winter), and on my two most recent long runs the last of my gels have fallen out of the pocket each time. Which kinda sucks, because it's the last one that gives a bit of a sugar rush to trick my brain into thinking I have energy enough for the last couple of miles.

So after a bit of browsing I came across this nifty little hand bag: amazon.co.uk/dp/B003MNU1E2/...

It is just large enough to hold a handful of gels, and hopefully small enough that it won't wobble too much. It has a belt strap on the back so it can slide onto the running belt, and the shoulder strap comes off. For a fiver it may not be the super best quality, but at least it's soft and the stitching doesn't seem to rub. Until I find something better it will do.

20 Replies

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  • I won't tell anyone. Honest.

  • I'll let you borrow it for a night out if you keep schtum, darrrrrhlin'

  • That looks fine Tomas and if it fits onto your exisiting belt then all the better. As a matter of interest what was the one you've been using? Interested in this subject now as I have never run with water (well, just once and hated it) but I think I need to get to grips with it for longer races where I've lost out twice due to water station stops. I can't drink and run.

    Thanks Tomas. I hope you get on with that just fine. Rubbing or it jumping up and down would do your head in. I ran in a recent race where someone's backpack was making an horrendous din. LOL

  • The belt is this one, Miss W: amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00...

    It's quite a lot of money but I'm happy that I went for it regardless. So comfy that I'll wear it just to carry my phone (although I tend to always bring water even on short runs just because I can).

    When I first started to bring water (during last summer's heat), I bought one of those cheapo donut-shaped bottles that you can get for a few quid at most running stores. Whilst it served a purpose, I found it tedious to be gripping something with my hands, so I'd recommend skipping it and going straight for a belt of sorts.

    I haven't tried running with a camel back... the idea of something on my back while running doesn't apeal. The story of the backpack in your recent run reinforces this belief :)

    On my last HM I only grabbed water at one of the water stations. I found it far more convenient to drink when I wanted to, rather than have to wait until a station comes up.

  • Also interested to know what belt you have. A got a karrimor to hold my phone and tissues/keys, but it drove me mad because it kept moving up onto my stomach instead of staying on hips. Maybe i shouldnt have had it on the front. Not taken water with me yet, but that may have to come soon.

  • Expensive for what it is, but highly recommended (because it stays where it's meant to be, and has more features than a swiss army knife): amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00...

    It's the only belt I've tried, so I can't say whether it's any better than lower priced alternatives (although your experience seems to indicate that maybe one gets what one pays for with these things)

  • I bought a Karrimor too just to try out running with a belt and found that the adjustable belt would just constantly gradually loosen itself such that I had to re-tighten it every five minutes or so. Really annoying.

  • Yep holding that bottle (the one with the hole up the middle) did my head in. It kept slipping in my sweaty hand

    That's a bit pricey for me but it looks a good un. If you say it's really comfy then that would make me want to buy it. If anything jiggled or jumped up and down it would drive me barmy. I shall go and tip out my money box! Thanks Tomas

  • Yep. That's the one (the bottle). Sweaty hands and constantly shifting it from hand to hand. It got to the point where I'd entertain myself by throwing it from one hand to another. That lasted until I dropped it, then that stopped being fun.

    A belt also avoids the annoying arm band to hold a phone.

    Yes, it is pricey, and as I said above I don't know if it's worth the extra money compared to cheaper alternatives. I just know that it's been comfy and non-jiggling/jumping/bumping for me.

    Best of luck Miss W :)

  • How many gels are you getting through on a 10-15 mile run, Tomas?

  • The gels I'm using recommend having one every 20 minutes, but with my pace that would mean every 3 km, so I'd end up having to wear a backpack just to carry them. So instead of that, I have one every 5 km which means 3 for a 10 mile run.

    I'm training for a marathon in October, which I hope to complete in 5-5:30. If I were to follow the manufacturer's suggestions, that would mean 16 gels, and that sounds a bit excessive... However, I'm hoping that I'll learn what works for me during the training which is also one of the reasons for getting the belt and bags and everything else sorted now while there is time to adjust and change plans as necessary.

  • So you count from when you start to take your first gel and have them at 5k, 10k etc? Isn't your body using existing glycogen at that point, though? On long runs I generally start to take fuel on board at around the 90 minute mark, which would be probably 14k, on the basis that my body will need the fuel half an hour later. I'm training for a marathon in October too and am still trying to get my head around the whole fuel strategy thing. I can't imagine consuming that amount of gels without it having a disastrous effect on the stomach.

    My usual mid run fuel is actually little balls of sushi rice wrapped in seaweed with plum jam in the middle, but can see for marathon distance I may have to use some gels.

  • The sushi balls sound a lot more tasty than gels, I like that idea.

    I can see where you're coming from with the timing of the first gel, although my understanding is that it takes the body about an hour to benefit from the energy rather than half an hour. But that's just based on reading. But even so, it would still make sense to wait an hour before the first fuelling. I guess though that I'm going for "better safe than sorry".

    Not sure I've got it totally figured out on my head yet, but going back to your sushi balls,maybe it wouldbe a good idea to focus more on real food rather than gels. Let's keep sharing experiences and maybe we can figure it out.

  • I have also had success with dates. (hoho - the edible kind, although not done too badly on the other sort too).

    I'm hoping to devise/practice a strategy of using real foods for the first hours, hopefully to the 20 mile mark at least, then have gels to fall back on if needed for the final push.

    I go through tremendous peaks and troughs of confidence generally re the marathon. Experience tells me if you train with consistency anything is doable. Other days I just think I am not going to manage it. I need to commit to a training plan in the next few weeks as time is ticking by, but I keep looking at the various options and trying to envisage getting in that amount of consistent running on top of my other training and OCRs... I have 3 quite tough HM+ distance OCRs in the weeks leading up to the Marathon and am getting quite paranoid about injury - to which I am somewhat prone.

    Also I keep being tron between training for a time or just for a finish. The latter would be the sensible route first time out but then I keep thinking that I need a target to reach for or won't be motivated...

    Hah! Whew that was a bit of a confessional... hmm, good to have offloaded it though.

  • Not that girly, at least not by French standards. I'm disappointed, Tomas - I was expecting pink with sequins as a bare minimum.

  • Oh. I hate to disappoint. Maybe I can put a pretty flower into the bag when I go for a run at least.

  • Wow ! A Marathon ! Amazing Tomas , which one is it ? Xxx

  • I know, it feels like quite a step (or rather, 50,000 steps), but if I ever am to join that club, I think it has to be this year. It's the one in York on the 11th October, so there are a few months still to get up to the distance.

  • I am sure you will shine Tomas xxx

    Well done you :-) xxx

  • Very useful post re hydration and en-route snacks. I have never (ever) taken any drinks or snacks/gels with me on my longer runs. I'm pretty slow, and my longer runs to date have meant I'm running for perhaps up to 90 mins. My HM training runs will mean I'm out for longer as they peak at 17k.

    I have just started looking at hydration belts and perhaps test a few gels or snacks out for anything over 60 mins. It will be interesting to see if they make a difference.

    I know that during the event there will be water stations, but I think I need to hydrate a bit during my training trains which are in the middle of nowhere!

    Think I will have a look around for a simple belt that can hold one bottle and my phone etc as I want to keep my hands free.

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