Ah, yes. Race day. The day where you wake up when it’s still dark out hoping that you can poop before it’s time to head off to the start line… Maybe that’s just me? Anyway, I’m going to share my favorite race-day gear!
- First, you’re going to need a bag to put all of your junk in. I use this one from Oiselle.
- Next, you need your fuel. I always and only use Clif Shot Bloks. Why? Well, because a lot of other fuel is gross and makes my stomach feel weird. I either use the flavors margarita with salt or fruit punch. I get mine at REI. Runners are weird and we all have our own methods of fueling, so try some different kind of fuel! I typically buy one of each flavor before a race and cut them in half and take one half of each flavor with me to the race. The benefit of this is that one has extra salt for cramping and electrolyte management and the other as a boost of caffeine!
- You’re going to want something to track your race (so everyone knows how much ass you kicked… and so you can compulsively check how much farther it is until the finish line) such as an app on your phone (if you plan to lug your phone with you I’d recommend Runkeeper) or a fitness watch. I use a Garmin Forerunner like this but there are a lot of newer versions and models on the market now. The have cheaper ones with color displays too. I really like my Garmin though and I recommend the brand!
- Pack yourself a pair of flip flops for moseying around the beer garden post-race or while you hobble to your car; trust me, your swollen little toes will thank you!
- If you like to run to music, I’ve recently found that an iPod shuffle is a total space-saver and is SO MUCH LIGHTER than a phone!!! It’s also only $50 and totally worth it. I have this one and carry it on almost every run!
- If the weather is nasty, bring a rain jacket to wear until you leave your stuff at bag drop, or bring a space blanket from a previous race or you can buy one here. If you go with the space blanket, you can just toss it before the starting gun goes off and don’t have to worry about rushing to drop off your bag.
And there you have it! Those are my favorites! I don’t run with water or any sort of hydration unless the race does not have water or aid stations along the route. Trust me, if your race as aid stations, don’t waste the weight (every extra ounce causes you to be slower)!