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General discussion
RunUltra forums > General discussion > Running belt View modes: 
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emmamillathompson - 08/01/2019 11:23:25
Running belt
what do you seasoned marathoners like to use for belts whether for training runs or for actual race day?

i have heard some people wear hydration belts during marathons! 26.2 miles with water bottles attached to your hips? What’s wrong with the water stations?

I was looking at the flipbelt brand. A friend told me I wouldn’t need water or gel packs until after I start running over 10 miles.

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SarahCrunning - 08/01/2019 23:46:03
RE:Running belt
Hi Emma,

I think most ultra runners wear a hydration pack rather than a belt. It's a very different set-up from a road marathon where you have water stations every few miles. You may need to run for a couple of hours or more (depending on the race) between aid stations. If you're interested to find out more, then check out our review of 8 different packs here:


My tip would always be not to use anything new on race day. So if you are thinking of using a belt or pack for a race, wear it for your long training runs too. You need to know its comfortable and user-friendly. As a general rule, your body can store enough glycogen to keep you going for 90 minutes (provided you are well-nourished and healthy when you start running). Anything longer and you will need to top up your fuel levels. However, the further you run, the more important it is to start eating and drinking early. So it might be fine to do a 90 minute run without a snack, but if you are running a marathon or further then you'll probably want to start eating regularly much earlier than this.

As for hydration, I think most people underestimate how much they need to drink on cooler days as well as hot ones. Again, the longer the run, the more important it is not to get dehydrated in the first place. Once you start running with water then you'll get used to it and it won't bother you if you have a pack or belt you get on with. Personally, I have never got on with anything that goes round my waist, but I know plenty of people who do like hydration belts.

When I started running, I definitely didn't carry water often enough. Once I started training for ultras I got used to wearing a pack and now I wouldn't run further than 3 miles without a pack and a drink. I don't notice it's there, but I do notice if I'm thirsty and I have no water.

NB: Don't forget to take in electrolytes as well as fluids on longer runs.

Hope this helps a bit.

Sarah Cooke


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