Thursday, October 09, 2014

Going Soft On the Bottle

Subtitle: Salomon Soft Flask

You could easily say /they are making it too easy/ for us runners in Switzerland and in particular Lausanne.  We have drinkable water fountains everywhere.

This means that if you make a regular run around town or even in some small village areas you can identify a water source.

Why is this important?

Because then you can run without having to carry any water!

However on mountain trail runs, or on some endurance races it is not only advisable but often mandatory to carry and independent water source.  And, for Ultra runs exceeding say 60Km normally a full laundry list of items might be required  (such as water, torch, warm clothes, phone).  In those cases you are best to carry an Ultra Specific Rucksack 

But there is a middle ground (say 20-50Km) where you would like to carry some water, and say a few possessions, but don't really want to carry a rucksack or bum-bag.

Here is Marcus's recommended Solution

a)  Run with a thin traditional cycling Jacket with vertical pockets containing your essentials

b) Make sure you use a Salomon Soft Flask

This is what it looks like from behind

Use a hip belt to secure items from flapping around

What am I carrying?   A GPS watch and Heart rate monitor, Smartphone in a Waterproof Bag, MP3 player and headphones, Credit cards, Hydration tablets, activity monitor,  Keys,   500ml Salomon Soft flask containing juice or water with dissolved hydration tabs. Even room for some energy bars

Why is a Soft Flask Clever?

Before I used a Coke Bottle filled with hydration fluid but the coke bottle is physically hard and the more you drink the worse it gets as you try to compress it to remove air: it fits worse and worse!

The soft Flask, is as it sounds SOFT!  Meaning as you drink it just deflates and no air enters the flask.  Eventually its just an empty closed soft bag containing nothing.

There is a teat dispenser, in other words no cap, just gently bite the end and suck to drink.

So far these Soft Flasks are almost impossible to obtain.  

The Salmon website  indicates 3 sizes: 150ml, 250ml and 500ml

On a Trail Run
In Switzerland you can set off sans Rucksack, and fill your Soft Flask from mountain streams or Eau-potable springs as your run progresses.   The soft flask means your hydration is not /flapping around/

I've bought the only soft flask I can find.

The 500ml flask is a little big, so initially I load it with about 350ml fluid

I'll keep looking for 250ml flasks retail

I'm not a fan of the Hydro Set which is a glove onto which you can strap a 150ml bottle.   I prefer the Cycle Jersey solution!

So right now I can run a trail of moderate distances without having to carry even a lightweight trail specific rucksack.

Salomon Soft Flasks
Soft Flask at Chain Reaction