Carrying Stuff While You Run

I’ve got a whole post planned for tomorrow on fuelling for a marathon, and what worked for me during the NYCM. But I thought we’d start at the beginning, (or is it the end?) and talk about what I use to carry my fuel, phone, keys and other necessities when I run and can’t just shove it all in my pockets/bra (really want this  Stuff Your Bra top and bra from Lululemon!).
Hydration Pack
I’m very lucky to have awesome friend that bought me my Nathan Race Vest  that I wore constantly at the start of my NYCM training. The pack fits well despite my large chest, and doesn’t move about when I run. It holds 2 litres of water, with space for extras. I have run to work with a full change of outfit tucked into the back. There are pockets at the front that are easy to access so perfect for gels, sweets, phones, and whatever else you might need. I love it, and often take out the water bladder to use it as a normal running rucksack, albeit a small one!
A few years ago I bought a Sweaty Betty bumbag to run in, however despite trying on numerous occasions, I couldn’t get it to sit anywhere that meant it didn’t bounce around or ride up. I gave up on it and reserved it to wear cycling only, and thought that maybe my hips were just too wide for a bumbag. When WorkPlay Bags contacted me to see if I’d like to try their Fleetfoot II waist bag (bumbag) I decided to give them another go.

I actually have the black bag, but my photos were terrible to I’ve borrowed Zoe’s. First up, the bag is very light, yet there is a lot of storage space, there’s even a separate netting bit to slide your water bottle into and out of easily.

The snazziest bit is the loopholes on the bumbag to thread your jacket or top through if you get hot whilst on your run! As you can see from Zoe’s photo, the bag sits on the back and higher up than some others tucking neatly into you waist so that it doesn’t budge when you run. It’s great for training runs when you need keys, phone, fuel, water, jacket… the best bumbag I’ve ever tried although you may need try a few times to get the fitting right to ensure it works for you.
However, I would find it annoying not having as easy access to your water bottle during a race, and having to stop to spin the belt round when you need to get anything.
Personally, I like to have water with me whenever I run longer than 6 miles. I don’t mind holding a bottle of water whilst running, and refilling the bottle at water stations along race routes, or water fountains. Once I discovered that hydration packs would not be allowed in the NYCM, I knew I had to find a solution that would allow me to sip water as I ran rather than just gulping water at aid stations every mile. I also wanted my waterbottle to be multi functional if I was going to be carrying it for 26.2 miles. After loving my Nathan backpack so much, I had a look on their website and found this Quickview handheld.
It has an adjustable handstrap that means it’s comfortable to hold, and doesn’t require any real grip. The bottle was big enough to last me a few miles, with an easy to remove lid to refill with water. But the key bit was the large storage area that allowed me to keep my phone, gels, tissues, headphones, painkillers and erm, immodium instants, handy whilst running.


I would highly recommend this to everyone, although maybe not to people that find it annoying to run with bottles. I was able to take my phone out each mile to snap pictures and easily put it away again- apparently you can even use your phone through the see through plastic! It kept everything dry with separate pockets inside, and there’s a loop hole to thread your headphones through. I wouldn’t hesititate to use this for my next marathon.
The major tip I would give to first time marathon/half marathon runners is to work out what you prefer to carry, if anything, or if pockets will suffice. Use your training runs to practise hydrating in particular, if you’re the sort of person that needs water regularly you’ll need to carry it with you so it’s worth trying out a number of solutions to come up with your perfect plan for race day.
Leah’s comment reminded me of my other trusty race day companion- my Nike capris that have pockets down the side of the leg rather than back. They easily fit a phone and multiple gels so are great for shorter distance races such as the half marathon! The only downside I found was that I got fairly big bruises on my legs from my phone bouncing around! I can’t find the exact ones that I have online, but these ones seem pretty similar!Personally it drives me mad when zip pockets on leggings aren’t big enough to fit a phone in, and for many an iphone is a real squeeze.
These capris, that you can see so clearly….
For the NYCM I wore this amazing Lululemon skirt which has special gel drop down pockets at the front and a zip pocket at the back- I had more than enough room for all my gels and will probably wear this skirt for all future marathons.
Do you carry water when you run?
I was sent a Fleetfoot III bumbag by WorkPlay bags in exchange for my honest opinion on them. I am not working with Nathan bags in any way, I just love them. 


  1. November 27, 2013 / 11:05 am

    I love my Nike crops that have the pockets down the side of the legs for carrying things in. For the duathlon, I carried painkillers, vaseline, tissues, a naked bar, my phone and extra strapping tape – and hardly felt it! I also run with a handheld drink bottle for longer runs too.

    I’m about to start experimenting with bumbags though, the fleetfoot is on my list to try!

    • November 27, 2013 / 11:10 am

      ooh good point, I’d forgotten about my trusty Nike leggings, love the side pockets! Might have to add that in!

  2. November 27, 2013 / 11:26 am

    Great post Charlie – looking forward to your marathon fuelling one tomorrow too. I always run with water, got one of those handheld bottles with the hole in the middle and it works fine for me. I’ve also been given a FleetfootII to try out so excited to give it a go over the next couple of weeks. First long marathon training run this Sunday with RunBrighton so will try it out then.

    I like the look of the phone pocket in your handheld bottle holder – am thinking of taking my phone with me for Brighton Marathon as it’d be great to take some photos along the way (if I’m not too concerned with staying alive throughout!)

    • November 27, 2013 / 11:36 am

      I loved it- and love looking back through my photos from the NYCM on my phone, some of them are terrible though!

  3. November 27, 2013 / 12:05 pm

    I have a running top from M&S with a little secret pocket in it where the strap meets the main top bit, it’s great! I’m think I’m going to attempt to go with just pockets, I suspect it will be jacket weather. Otherwise I might have to invest in a Nathan!

    • December 2, 2013 / 11:09 am

      highly recommend it. I think you’ll be surprised by how warm you may get in a jacket!!

  4. November 27, 2013 / 1:51 pm

    I just bought the waist bag this weekend. I can’t wait to give it a go! I like the look of the handheld bottle as well. 🙂

    • December 2, 2013 / 11:10 am

      I love my handheld, so easy and no chance of overstuffing it!

  5. November 27, 2013 / 2:39 pm

    Can’t believe NYCM bans hydration packs, what’s the reason behind that? I always run anything over 7-8 miles with my camelbak, I find it really easy to carry, and it has room for my gels, chapstick and other things. I tried the workplay fleetfoot II a while back and really liked it, good for shorter runs and the best waist bag I have tried.

    • December 2, 2013 / 11:25 am

      it’s after Boston that it was too much of a security risk apparently!

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