Thursday, June 03, 2010

Three (NEW!) Things Thursday

For my recent marathon on May 16th, I put three brand new (to me) products to the test... pretty much breaking the rule of 'nothing new on race day.' Oops! Fortunately, they all worked out just fine!

1. SaltStick Salt Capsules

I'm not a big fan of sports drinks and would much prefer to stick with plain old water. I find it more refreshing and it also helps keeps things simple. For electrolyte replacement, I have used E-load Zone Caps in the past, but they only contain 51mg of sodium per capsule. I found that I had to take one approximately every half an hour, which made them inconvenient to carry and I also lost track or forgot often.

Enter: SaltStick!



Each capsule contains: 215 mg sodium, 63 mg potassium, 22 mg calcium, 11 mg magnesium, 100 IU Vitamin D (to aid in calcium absorption).

I planned to take one before the start and one half way, and I also ended up taking a third in the later miles as a precaution when I noticed so many runners going down with cramps. (It was a warm and unusually dry day, which meant we were sweating and losing salt more than we were used to.)

I didn't have any cramping issues (at least not until I stopped moving) and the three capsules were a cinch to carry and swallow.

SaltStick also says:



Buffered salt composition that helps digestion and absorption;

Contains only WHAT YOU NEED. No herbal, trace, questionable components added. Gluten free. No sweeteners of any kind. Vegetable-based.



2. Fuel Belt Waistpack

I've been using iFitness and SPIbelt but I've been finding that they just aren't holding enough stuff for my really long runs. I decided to order the iFitness Ultimate Race Belt with elastic slots to hold my gels, but unfortunately it did not arrive in time (in fact, it just arrived yesterday, a month after ordering - FAIL!).

Fortunately I found something at my local store -the Fuel Belt Waistpack.



It has a nice big pocket (4.5x7" - a larger version is also available) with two compartments which easily held 5+ gels, a packet of Chomps, my iPod Shuffle and salt caps with room to spare. The adjustable waist band fit comfortably and the pouch settled nicely on my lower back without moving around.

My store only had plain black, but it is also available in Tangerine, Hibiscus Pink, Kiwi Green and Surf Blue.



3. Nathan Quickdraw Plus Handheld





I've been using the thermal version for several months now and adjusted to carrying the 22-oz bottle very quickly. I much prefer it to fuel belts, which add uncomfortable bulk and weight to my mid-section - the last place I want or need it! I absolutely love carrying the handheld and don't find it cumbersome at all. I decided to go for the Quickdraw Plus so I could lose the extra fabric and bulk around the bottle (the "thermal" qualities are hardly worth it). This was an excellent choice! It feels a bit lighter and served me well on May 16th (and has been ever since)!



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Products in Motion:




Have you tried anything new lately?

48 comments:

destination262 said...

Thanks for the great product reviews! I was very interested to hear about the salt stick caps. I hadn't heard much about them before. I love the products in motion pic!! :) You are so smiley!!

Karen said...

I will have to check out the fuel belt pack. I love my spibelt but you are right it doesn't hold quite enough for the long runs.

Boris Terzic said...

I've just recently gotten the Ultimate Direction's version of the hand bottle carrying thingy. Very useful on shorter runs, having tried anything beyond 8-9k with it as it feels like it would cause discomfort and pain in the arm/should for long runs.

Staci Dombroski said...

I love the handheld!! I need to get another one though because mine was chewed up by a little creature :(

Jocelyn said...

ooOOooo I like all these new things! I've wanted to try salt capsules and I've wanted to try out a hand held! Thanks for the reviews :)

Denise said...

love the products in motion shot!

a month to receive an order? that sucks!

Kim said...

I need to get my husband to try the salt sticks. Thanks for the review, I will look into them.

Julie said...

Think I'm going to have to order that Nathan handheld!!

aron said...

i love salt stick caps!!! i need to start using them more often now that its hot - ekkk

RunningLaur said...

I love my Nathan handheld - still trying to decide if I'll take it for this weekend's marathon, but I think it's a yes.

Mark said...

Thanks, Marlene! I will try the salt sticks. I am a big proponet of the handheld!

J said...

i have the iFitness belt and I feel like it is super small. If my phone were bigger it would not fit in there! I also want to try that handheld! I think it looks like a much better way to carry water than a belt!

Beth said...

Thanks for the great reviews! I've been curious about the Nathan handheld. I recently got an Amphipod handheld water bottle, and I've had trouble with it leaking!

I Run for Fun said...

Great product reviews! I must try out the Salt stick caps...I almost got sick with gatorade by the end of the marathon...and I don't fancy the high fructose corn syrup in it.

And the handheld...I don't like carrying water bottles in my waist either.

MCM Mama said...

Thanks for the great reviews! Glad they all worked out for you.

misszippy said...

I'm such a creature of habit, I never try anything new! I guess I figure if it ain't broke...

Anyhow, hats off to you for trying something new on race day. Especially the salt stick! You are brave.

runkerarun said...

I have serious salt/hydration issues, so I'm definitely looking into those Salt Stick Caps.

And that Nathan bottle! I've wanted one for a few months... I might just have to break down and buy it :)

Runner Leana said...

Thanks for the tips on the new things! I won't be carrying a fuel belt on Ironman but I am wondering what to carry in the Goofy next year. I've been reluctant to try a handheld as I find holding a water bottle cumbersome. Is it different if it is actually strapped to your hand? It would be a nice lightweight choice though.

X-Country2 said...

I love product reviews. Glad you've found some good ones.

Coachhrd said...

Great of you to share. I think I will share this with my readers as I will get asked about salt tablets from time to time. Thanks!

Jill said...

I recently bought a Camelbak and LOVE it, it takes the pressure off my waist (back) and it holds tons of water. I also use S!caps for salt/mineral replacement and they work excellently!!

runnernic.com said...

I love salt capsules! they are amazing! at first they upset my belly but now i'm used to them! i also use the nathan hand held- i like it for shorter runs but it gets to heavy if i'm going that far. i'm not a big drinker when i run (i should be) but i did invest in a smaller hand held thats half the size and i like that better!

Heidi said...

I haven't tried anything new lately, but am definitely interested in trying out those salt capsules. I'm not a fan of products like Gatorade, prefer water, so this seems like a good product to try.

TNTcoach Ken said...

Nothing new for me, I guess I'm 'old school'. Shorts, shoes and the road.... Okay maybe a few more things....

RoadBunner said...

So you take gels AND the salt tabs? Right now I am using just shot bloks and plain water. I guess I get enough sodium from them (I mix in the margarita bloks which have extra sodium). Curious whether I'd gain anything from adding in a salt tab.

Thanks for the hand held review. I have been using the new bottle you have for the last 2 years and loved it. Just bought an updated version and will post a review once I've run with it for a bit.

Winged4Victory said...

Thanks for telling us about the hand held water bottle. I have been using a fuel belt and find it SO bulky and annoying. I think I may try this exact one and see how I like it.

kittykat said...

As for new stuff I've been taking Cliff Shot Blocks on my longer runs, 2 blocks at the beginning, 2 around the middle, and 2 near the end. So far so good.

Also, my Nathan fuel belt is handy but I'm kind of interested in the handheld (not a huge fan of the extra weight around my waist either.)

Meg said...

I've tried the salt tabs but I'm liking the Endurolyte tabs more! I've taken them before the start of a race and during the race and they've always worked well. The Nathan hand-held looks sturdy. How do you like the handle?

EndorphinBuzz said...

Wow that was courageous to try these on race day. I'm not a big fan of gels but I could probably do the salt sticks with shotblocks instead of sportsdrink. Love the "quickdraw" name for the handheld.. tx for the suggestions!

ajh said...

Did you order the salt sticks on line or are they easy to find? I tried my new skirt for my half marathon. Loved it

Teamarcia said...

Great reviews!
On the waist pack do you turn it to the front to get stuff out or reach back?

Lisa said...

I love my smaller nathan handheld (10 oz or so i think?) and I might like to try a bigger one.

Heather said...

I want to try the salt sticks, especially for the hot, hot long runs this summer!

Fair Weather Runner said...

oh i love these reviews. i heart my nathan bottle, just like that one. and since going down with my own cramps at my last marathon, i've considered salt tabs but haven't been brave enough. but i think you inspired me to give them a shot! so thanks :)

dietitianontherun.com said...

I'm So impressed that it's no big deal for you to carry 22 ounces! Ha, I use a 9 oz and get annoyed by that - but its as low as they go and I've gotten used to it :)

have yet to try Salt capsules/packets, but also haven't heard anything bad about them. Might be something to look into now that the summer has set up camp!

Laura said...

I really need a new water system. My old fuel belt is way too big (YEAH!) but don't know if I could use a hand held to carry that much water.
Time for a trip to the running store!

Amy said...

Hmm, I'm going to keep an eye out for those salt capsules.

I'm completely used to using my handheld now and I love it - will be carrying it at my race this weekend!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

I haven't really played around with too much salt on the runs, but should! Great review!! You also have me almost convinced to try a handheld rather a waist belt, because for the first time during my race on Sunday, it was bouncing... perhaps because of the weight I've lost, but admittedly, it was driving me crazy. Ugh. Have a great weekend!!

M-Rah said...

Hmmm...I'm definitely going to look into the salt sticks. I've also heard plain old salt packets (like the little white packets from restaurants). This past half left me with some CRAAAAZY leg cramps and it was horrible. Don't wanna run into that problem ever again!

N.D. said...

I love the nathan products - I have a waist band w/ 2 water bottles. I have to try the salt capsules too. Thanks for posting!

ShilaL_Kappler said...

成功可招引朋友,挫敗可考驗朋友 ............................................................

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

ooh, don't know if i can follow shilaL_Kappler's words...;-)

i love the salt tablets! they're the best.

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

ooh, don't know if i can follow shilaL_Kappler's words...;-)

i love the salt tablets! they're the best.

桂竹桂竹 said...

愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。..................................................

chris mcpeake said...

I never run distance races without saltsticks. They are a life saver

Tricia said...

I have a quickdraw too. Love it!

ShirleyPerly said...

I just recently started using a handheld bottle carrier like the one in your photo. I've actually had it for years but never used it until now. In races, though, I think I prefer my Fuel Belt so I can keep my hands free.

You sure do look happy in your photo!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

So glad you like Salt Stick.. I just ran out and am FREAKING out a little.. No cramps!!