With the growing awareness of how our day to day lives are affecting our planet, the CMA has committed to doing everything it can to try and be kinder to our environment and reduce our plastic waste and carbon footprint.
This year we have committed to removing the plastic wrappers we use for our race T-shirts and Green Numbers bibs, as well as switching to recyclable plastics over single use plastics wherever possible.
Our commitment towards recycling race day waste will remain as strong as ever, but we are appealing to our runners to embrace the Go Green movement and help with us to make the Comrades Marathon an eco-friendly event by reducing the amount of waste plastic produced on race day.
Look out for our monthly column in this newsletter where will continue to share tips and advice on how you can help turn your daily training and Comrades runs into a greener experience for all.
This month we are focusing on hydration packs and answering many of the questions our runners have in terms of using them.
HYDRATION PACKS – WEIGHING IN ON SWITCHING FOR YOUR MARATHON
While the idea of carrying around a heavy backpack throughout your race may be daunting, the reality is that once you are used to using one, the pros of a hydration pack start to outweigh the cons.
The most common concern I hear from our runners is that the ‘weight of the pack will slow me down’.
A study conducted by the University of Georgia found that for every extra 2,3kg a person carries, their performance is hampered by 0.86 second a kilometre.
This means you will be adding an extra 1 minute and 14 seconds to your Comrades, on average. If you are to weigh this against the amount of time (and often frustration) spent going through the crowds to get to the refreshment stations supplies, or trying to locate your second and stop for supplies, it becomes a timesaver for those who are running in the ‘thick of it’.
Another concern I have heard is that of over-hydration as the water is too easily available. Contrary to this belief, you are less likely to overhydrate with a pack as small sips are taken over the journey, resulting in constant restrained hydration.
When using refreshment stations, you are tempted to grab a few water sachets and guzzle it down, consuming more fluids over the long run.
If you choose your pack wisely, the pockets located on it will allow you to carry your extras and access them without even having to stop.
Lubricants, medical supplies we don’t keep, energy gels and your cell phone can now be stored comfortably and accessed without even having to stop.
But, won’t it be uncomfortable?
When choosing a pack, it is vital that you remember that one size does NOT fit all. Take your time when choosing yours. Make sure it fits snug and wont jiggle around when you run.
Ensure that it’s not too big and heavy for your body type and make sure none of the straps or ties touch places where you could potentially chafe. Also look for a pack that has a good ventilation system on the back to prevent you overheating, and one that has insulation so that your water stays nice and cool for as long as possible.
The first fundamental rule for ANY race is, never do something on race day that you haven’t tested in training. We recommend using your hydration pack for training runs, so you can learn to take advantage of the pros of the pack, and negate any cons on race day, through the experience you have gained from using it.
Whichever methods you use on race day, may you experience all the fun of a Comrades run! From The Go Green Team!