Thursday, March 14, 2013

What's a FuelBelt for? No, seriously...

A picture of the
useless thing (flickr crab68)
The hydration belt, of which FuelBelt is the best known, is a ridiculous invention for triathletes and runners that consists an elastic strap with tiny little holders that fit tiny little 7 oz (200 ml) bottles. The most pointless use for them involves filling them with fluids. After fumbling with each of your various four bottles you'd probably have enough fluids for about an hour of exercise based on an average person at recommended intakes. In this time, if you were using it for racing, you probably would've passed by two or three aid stations, offering a similar sugary substance, handed straight into the palm of your hand by a volunteer.


BUT ALL THE PROS USE THEM!
Yes. Yes they do. Mercifully for them they are paid to. But how do they minimize the damage? We had the manager of FuelBelt's athlete sponsorship answer that question in this article. They all seem to favor the two bottle over the four bottle version (interesting) and they fill them with gels. So, yeah, at least that way the contents of the bottles will last them the entire event. At the end they lug an empty belt of empty bottles over the finish line for the cameras. Personally, I suggest using whatever is on the course if there's not a check attached to it.

OH, NO BUT I *MUST* HAVE THE STRAWBERRY FLAVORED GU BRAND I'VE BEEN SPECIFICALLY TRAINING WITH.
Grow a pair, Ironman, vanilla is not going to kill you. Or, if you're really that sensitive to various food flavor additives, find out what gels they are giving out on the course and train with those. Try and get the most out of your over priced entry fee.

BUT WHERE AM I GOING TO STORE MY GELS?
In your pockets. They have them built into your tri suit now to justify charging you $150 for a piece of lycra.

HANG ON, DIDN'T HEATHER JACKSON JUST WIN THE ALCATRAZ TRIATHLON THE OTHER WEEKEND WEARING A FUEL BELT?
Heather Jackson wins Alcatraz in a Fuel Belt...
...without any fuel on it.
(http://heatherjacksonracing.com/2013/03/escape-from-alcatraz-triathlon-first-place/)
Well, she won it in a belt. There wasn't actually any fuel attached to it. Still, that didn't stop FuelBelt using it on their homepage. I'm waiting on the wind tunnel test results to see how much faster that piece of elastic is compared to others.

BUT MY RUN LEADER AT THE FLEET FEET RUNNING GROUP TOLD ME WE NEEDED ONE FOR OUR TRAINING RUNS?
Shut up.
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