GNT Training: Week 6 & New Hydration Gear

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Single Barrel HydraQuiver to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (Ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Hi everyone!  Week 6 of Gold Nugget Triathlon training is complete, which means there’s only 2 more weeks until race day!  Ahhhh!  I’m getting crazy nervous, but training has been going pretty well so that’s helping me stay positive.  Here’s what I was up to this week:

Monday:  I had an amazing swim workout!  I did a few easy laps, and then did the full 500 in preparation for race day.  I was pleasantly surprised to finish in 16 minutes doing a mixture of freestyle and backstroke.  It really helped make me feel positive about the race!

Tuesday:  I attended a girls-only bike maintenance workshop with my coworker who is also doing the GNT.  We learned how to keep our bikes clean and working well, and also got hands-on practice with changing a tire!

Wednesday:  I biked 4.5 miles with my friend along the coast and it was such a gorgeous ride!  Then we finished up with a quick walk to the lagoon to make it a brick workout.


Thursday:  Rest day

Friday: I did a morning swim workout before work.  It was my first morning swim workout, and it was AWFUL.  My body wouldn’t listen to my brain and I was all over the place.  I had to shut it down early, but still got almost a half hour of pool time in before work.

Saturday:  Andrew and I hiked Powerline Pass!  It’s a trail through the mountains created to run power lines from Anchorage to a remote town, but it’s perfect for hiking, biking, and running.  It was still snowy which was pretty fun.  We did a few miles before sunset and my injury site was pain free!


Sunday:  My coworker and I did a full practice run for the bike portion of the race.  We biked 12 miles along the course of the GNT and I wore my tri kit so I could make sure it would be comfortable on race day.  We had a great time out there and I am feeling so ready for race day!

This upcoming week I’ve got lots of things planned!  On Monday I’ll be going to a first-time racer clinic for the race, and on Thursday night we’ll be driving down to Girdwood for a much needed long weekend out of town!  I also plan on doing lots of swimming, biking, and hiking along the way.  This will be my last full week of training because I plan on doing a light taper at the end of next week so I can get ready for race day.

Speaking of hiking, I’ll have to take my favorite new piece of hydration gear with me this weekend so I can use it on all of my hikes!  You may have noticed that in most of my recent hiking pictures I’ve been wearing a really cool hydration pack.  It’s the Single Barrel Hydraquiver from Orange Mud, and it’s my new favorite way to carry water!


Here’s what Orange Mud’s website had to say about the HydraQuiver:  “Tired of bouncing and sloshing hydration packs? Solution found, meet the HydraQuiver™. The HydraQuiver sports a silky smooth webbing, long spandex pockets to hold your phone while running, an interior rear cargo storage and a secure zipper pull.  Thick foam padding and big air channels provide ample support and maximum breath-ability. The running water bottle is easy to reach and replace thanks to a wide funnel opening and perfect retention. We use a reusable BPA-free water bottle to make refills quick and clean up easy. Unlike a hydration bladder, these are much easier to wash! For your nighttime safety we have a reflective logo on the bottle holder. There is also an area at the base of the pack to attach your jacket or shirt with our optional cord and cord lock kit. Wear instructions are simple, put on the pack, cinch it down snug and you’re good to go! Yes it fits the ladies just as well as the guys.”

Usually when I run or hike I have three options:  carry water in a backpack, which is pretty heavy and excessive for most trails (I have a large Camelbak for long hikes);  carry water around my waist which aggravates my injury and can be bouncy;  or carry water in my hand which tires out my arm and makes my running stride unbalanced.  But the HydraQuiver is different.  It’s the size of a normal water bottle so you’re only carrying the water you need for most long runs/short hikes, but it’s carried in a small, light pack on your back!  I was sent a pack to try out, and of course I had to choose the bright pink one.  When I received the pack I was still able to run, so I got the chance to use it on a few runs as well as some hikes once my injury flared up again.


On both the runs and the hikes I thought the pack was really comfortable.  I didn’t feel any bouncing, and it didn’t make my back feel overheated.  There’s space to carry some fuel for long runs, as well as a cell phone or even a small extra layer/gloves/whatever.  I’ve been trying to find the “perfect solution” to carrying water on long runs for a while now, especially because my waist hydration pack irritates my hips and I hate carrying large water bottles in my hands, and I think this one is truly perfect for me!  I think it’s a great amount of water for a long run or a shorter hike, and it’s so hands free and out of the way so I don’t have to worry about it during my activities.  If you want to try one, check it out here and let me know what you think!  It’s definitely a unique but comfortable way to carry water!

How do you carry water on runs and hikes?  Does anyone else out there hate those handheld and waist options?  And what are your workout plans for the week?

10 thoughts on “GNT Training: Week 6 & New Hydration Gear

  1. Hey Hey Kristen,
    Glad to hear your training is progressing well, and you are feeling confident about the swim, and sounds like things are progressing equally well for the bike!

    I was curious if the swim of this triathlon actually in a pool? I mean as opposed to a lake or ocean harbour, etc.

    Regarding your questions, I carry the Ultimate Direction fast pack 20L. It is big, but I am usually out for at least 4 hours at a time, and only take Tailwind for nutrition so I need 3L bladder to get me through. Although, the idea of water bottles sounds tempting for shorter runs. I like it, but I do not like it. I like it in that I can be prepared for any weather with appropriate gear, and proper nutrition, I do not like it as it is a lot to carry.

    Fuel belts,lol, oh gosh those were the days. I actually quite liked mine as the belt was balanced nicely all the way around, but it was still painful, as there was no consistency on weather it would stay were I wanted it, and depending on how slippery my shirt was, could slid all over like someone on an ice rink. Needless to say when I found hydration packs, despite their own drawbacks, the advantages outweighed the disadvantages.

    My workout plans for this week, being the first week of really starting any strength training since before Badger, makes this super exciting. I will now be doing 3 days cardio, and 3 days strength training, and then something cross-training or rest for the last day. Ideally in another month I will be ready to begin training again. The goal is to ideally loose 5-10 lbs before my next race, but more importantly, set an even higher bar than where I was in March, and be even stronger, and faster.

    All the best with your final full week of long distance training before the race.

    I am glad to hear you have a long weekend coming up, means I will have some much needed relief from American customers at work coming up!

    Catchya later,

    1. Yes! The tri is done in the pool of one of our high schools here in Anchorage. It’s too cold for swimming outside and I think most of our tris up here are done indoors. It’s really nice out now but a few years ago it snowed on race day so they want to make sure we can do the swim portion! I’m excited that I won’t need to buy a wetsuit but also a bit nervous because we swim 3 to a lane and will have to circle swim.

      1. 3 to a lane I guess you might have get practiced on throwing your elbows around, lol.

  2. Glad you enjoyed that hydration pack. I have been looking for something to replace my handheld that I use for long runs and this might be something I would actually enjoy wearing. I have tried a belt pack and absolutely hated it with the water sloshing around. It had far too much movement for me. Good luck with your training this week too.

    1. Yes you should try it! It’s out of the way but so easy to grab when you need it. Handhelds just drive me crazy!

  3. I use the Salomon S Lab Advanced Skin 12L hydration pack in size XXS.
    It is a nice snug feel and you can either put two soft 500ml (or less) to either site of the front and sip without taking them out or a bladder on the back which I use for +20 miles runs.
    You also have a lot of storage options and it is very light
    Negative site:
    It is not waterproof and with around £100 not the cheapest but well worth the money.
    Workout plan for the week:
    I take a week off running as I was running with a nasty cold for hours yesterday and think I need a bit time to recover.

    1. That sounds really cool! For a while I was contemplating getting a hydration backpack with a water bladder but they are so hard to clean and I don’t need to carry that much. That’s why I think this is a great in between option! Good luck recovering from your cold, it sounds like everyone is sick this week!

      1. The salomon hydration bladder is easy to clean as it fully opens on one site but does not leak!

  4. Looks like a great week of training! I have the OrangeMud double barrel hydra quiver and I absolutely love it. They make great products!!
    Good luck!

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