I'm Bringing CamelBak

First let’s talk about training stuff. I was feeling generally lazy a fat-a-fied (new word!) on Sunday (my normal rest day), so I went to the gym for a 5 mile tempo run. Just before the run, I perfected the full body self-portrait.

Now I don’t have to subject you to these pictures anymore. Although, my hips look really thin in this picture and I assure you they are not. Hmmm. New rule! From now on, all pictures of me must be in aerial view.

The run looked like this:

  • Mile 1:   10:00 pace
  • Mile 2:   9:40 pace
  • Mile3:    9:30 pace
  • Thought I was going to die from all the alcohol Michelle plied me with the night before and walked half a mile. Then I got a second wind and decided to do 2 more miles instead of stopping.
  • Mile 4:   9:15 pace
  • Mile 5:   9:05 pace (8:49 pace for the last quarter mile)


Last night was some strength training with our personal trainer.

4 fast sets of:

It usually takes me 24 hours to feel sore and I’m already feeling it this morning. That workout was a serious cardio/strength training combo!


Why I Love Running with a Camelbak

During races (and even in my running group), I get a lot of questions about how I like running with a Camelbak.

 I’ve run half marathons with it and without it, but I always prefer running long distance with it. If the run is under 10 miles, I’ll usually carry a water bottle or nothing.

A reader even recognized me by my Camelbak in a race once. (Hi Shawntae!)


Does it flop around?
No. You just need to make sure you pull the straps tight enough so it doesn’t move. If you don’t pull the straps tight enough, you can get a rash, which happened after the Gasparilla Half Marathon.

Is it heavy?
It’s about as heavy as a kid’s backpack with two 16-oz bottles of water in it. Honestly, I never notice it. Of course I’d prefer to run with nothing, but that’s not realistic for my water needs.

How much water does it hold?
My Camelbak is a smaller one and holds around 40 oz. (Maybe 50 oz?)  There are larger Camelbaks out there that hold more water. My hubs has a larger one that’s much nicer than mine, but I like to keep it as light as possible.

Does it slow you down?
No. I’ve PRed in races wearing it and I’ve ran total crap races wearing it. Like I said, it’s not something I notice. However, an elitist would probably tell you differently.

Reasons I love Running with a Camelbak:

  • I don’t have to carry anything in my hands (my biggest running pet peeve) or use a hydration belt that’s too heavy to stay in place with my big hip/small waist ratio.
  • During races, water stations are too far apart for me. I generally drink a little water during every mile and water stations can be spaced 1.5-2.0 miles apart. In the Florida heat, that’s just not often enough.
  • I don’t have to wear a SPIbelt or iFitness belt. The belts don’t bother me to wear, but if my tummy decides to do the tango, I’d rather not have something tight and fitting around my midsection if you know what I mean.


  • If I’m doing a training run, the Camelbak allows me to run in areas where I don’t have to make sure there’s a water fountain on the path.
  • I can fuel whenever I want to. Gu, Shot Bloks, and other fuel are supposed to be taken with water. If I’m ready to fuel during a run, I don’t have to wait for a water station or water fountain.
  • The extra pockets on the Camelbak allow me to bring all sorts of stuff on my run that’s normally a pain in the ass to carry – my cell phone, extra food, *cough*toilet paper*cough*, body glide, keys, and a camera.
  • Photo opportunities like this:

Do you run with a Camelbak or other hydration pack?

What is the item you can’t run without?


Filed under Running Gear

39 responses to “I'm Bringing CamelBak

  1. theAlmostRunner

    That rash looks nasty. But it’s good to know that the TIGHTER you put the straps, the better. I’d be goin’ the whole way tryin to loosen stuff up to make it better. As always, I freaking love that banana picture.

  2. Sue Gerth

    I love your I Pooped Today! picture. I have issues when I run long runs, and I hate it! The camelback has me intrigued. I would love to try one–thanks for the tip. I may start telling my honey that I really need one for my next half marathon.

  3. Melissa

    I run with a water bottle in all of my races, but not during training runs. However, after the ridiculous heat we ran in on Sunday, I will be carrying one going forward.

    I’d prefer to sip sip sip whenever I want rather than chug chug chug when I finally get to a water stop.

  4. Where is your tank from that you’re wearing in your awesome body shot pic?! I need some like that and keep meaning to ask you that.

    I hate carrying things when I run, too. However, I tend to drink a decent amount of water in this heat and my water bottle usually runs out. Sad!

    • The top is Champion and I got it at champion.com but it was discontinued a few months ago. Of course that freaked me out and I bought it in 6 colors so it’s basically the only shirt I wear.

  5. Yikes – I’ve never run with a hydration belt or Camelbak before. But then again, I’ve only trained for a half marathon before. I try to make sure that I’m well hydrated before taking off for a long run and plan for places that have water along the way just in case. I just probably should think about investing in something in case I decide to do longer runs though!

  6. I run with a iFitness belt that has two small water bottles and a small pocket. It’s perfect because none of the pathways I run on have water fountains and I can carry my ipod and fuel without it bugging me. Best money I spent so far!

  7. Katie G

    Enjoying all your song-related titles. That’s still one of my favorite SYTYCD routines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdElyAGTRv4

  8. I had a hip to waist ratio issue with a water belt. I wore it for maybe a month, and mow it resides in a junk pile. I’m so curious about getting a Camelbak. I was just complaining earlier today about carrying a water bottle.*

  9. I run with a fuel belt and also drop water and gatorade along the route to refill. I also have a handheld that I rarely use because it gives me the worst handcramps of life.
    Can’t run without my garmin. If I forget it, I’m not running. It died mid run one time and it took everything in me not to have a bitch fit in the middle of the street!

    Yay for a full body shot! I have that shirt, can we be twins?

  10. Kim (Book Worm Runs)

    I love my Camelbak!! I run with it in races, too, and I am usually the only one with one 🙂 I see lots of fuel belts but never Camelbak’s. They don’t know what they are missing! 🙂

  11. Yey for camelbaks! I am all about using them on long hot runs, bike rides, and hikes. I need to find mine amongst my packed stuff because I want to do some longer runs around my beautiful new town! 😀

  12. I would love to try a Camelbak. Because in Florida in the summer, you have to hydrate. And I too hate carrying things in my hands. I had one of those belts that have the little water bottles in it (not crazy about things around my waist), but those bottles only hold like 8 oz of water. I drink like a camel in the hot months…hence my need for a Camelbak. 🙂

  13. I never thought about wearing an H2O pack….would you recommend them for even shorter runs, say a 5k?

    • It depends on your hydration needs. If you’re walking a 5k in the heat and have longer periods between water stations, it might be a good idea (or if you’re hiking). During the two 5ks I’ve done, I was fine without it. The one or two water stops worked for me because the run was over in 30 minutes. Plus, you might not want to carry all that extra water with you if you’re not going to drink it all.

  14. Danielle

    You’re a picture taking rockstar. seriously.
    That rash looks like it hurts.
    I can’t run without my garmin. I go a little crazy.

  15. ittybitsofbalance

    haha I love all of the mention of bowel movements on your blog! But hey, when I was training for my marathon– bowel movements were ALL my friends and I talked about.. lol

  16. WOOT WOOT for full body shot success (is it just me or does that sound dirty?)!

    I just don’t think I can do the Camelbak thing. I’m pretty sure it would drive me nuts–I have weird running neuroses (shocking) and I can’t handle anything hindering me whatsoever. The one thing I have to run with is my iPod and if my arm band is too tight or too loose, I pretty much have a fit. God, I’m high maintenance.

  17. I tried running with a Camelbak once and it didn’t work for me but it was a bad run. Maybe I need to try it again. I might have just taken out my anger on my bad run on my Camelbak.

  18. I just received a Camelback and after one long run with it, I am hooked. It did chafe a little under my arm, but more Everstride will fix that!

  19. Liz @ Something To Chew On

    I absolutely need music or TV or some sort of distraction when I do cardio (running or otherwise). No distraction, no go.

    I’m glad you perfected the full body shot! Woo!

  20. Thanks so much for this post!!! I’ve been contemplating getting a CamelBak, but this sealed the deal for me!! In Phoenix, water is a MUST if you’re going to run even a mile outdoors, and I just cant’ carry enough water with me on my runs to hydrate safely, so I feel chained to the darn treadmill all summer long!!! I know what I’m buying myself this weekend!!!

  21. You may have convinced me, little lady. I always have my iFitness belt with me, which really doesn’t carry that much stuff. I always have to take my car key off the key ring, I can’t fit my cell in there, and I’ll be lucky to fit a full back of Shot Bloks.
    And waiting for a water station in Florida is diabolical. It is just so freaking hot – turns out Texas is the same way.
    I might be sold – thanks for the review on it,

  22. Teach me oh great one… how did you figure out the full body shot. I told the hubs that next time he can stand on a chair and take it and we’ll totally fake it… Maybe my arms are too short.

  23. cityrunnergirl

    i’ve totally started getting way sore from weights quicker than I used to – I’m pretty sure it has something to do with being in the midst of marathon training and always having “recovering” legs

  24. 'Dee

    I absolutely love my CamelBank for any runs over 5 miles — in the St. Louis summer, it’s the only way I can run outside!

  25. I run with a fuel belt, which I like. The only setback is that it only carries 32oz & in this Florida heat I need water all the time. I’ve never tried running with a camelbak due to fear I won’t like something on my back. Camelbak, if you’re reading this post, hook me up with one so I can try it. Ha!

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  27. Jana

    I really enjoyed reading your To Do’s and Not To Do’s. I plan on running my first Half Marathong this October 2012. This really helped me out 😀 Thanks so much!

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