So you’ve trained for months, and you are finally ready to get up at 4:AM and head off to your race. My only advice this late in the juncture, don’t forget to pack.
Many big marathons have crowded starting lines and finishes, so packing smart can bail you out of a jam. The New York marathon, for example, has around 40,000 runners and requires most participants to travel to the island.
Packing requirements will be very different depending on your race, the distance, and skill level. However, there are some pretty basic pre and post race necessities.
Things to prepare before a race:
Lay out your bib, better yet go ahead and safety pin it to your shirt the night before. Have your shoes, socks, and timing chip ready to go. I also wear a pair of Crocs to the race and put on my race shoes just before line-up.
Get out your nipple tape. I’m not embarrassed to say it, my nipples bleed if I don’t prepare. I even have to shave around them. I do the shaving the night before and leave the roll of tape in my shoes. I would honestly rather forget my shoes than my nipple tape.
Check the weather. I have run races that start at 50 degrees and finish at 80. This requires some interesting clothing adaptations. I usually wear an old sweat shirt and pants and throw them away at the end of mile 1.
Gatorade, water, coffee, beer… Whatever you drink before hand, bring some with you. Nerves will usually force me to pee anyway, so I try to carry water up to the starting line. Also, bring your watch, a hat, sunscreen, and some thin gloves.
What To Carry
Don’t switch things up at the last minute. If you train with Gu, bring Gu. There will be plenty of water along the way so don’t wear your fuel belt. Just stuff some gels or food in your shorts or belt pack and you’ll be fine. I have, once, carried an extra pair of socks. It was a little rainy and I don’t like wet feet.
I always carry my cell phone with me, and for safety, I encourage all runners to do the same.
Post Race Recovery
Here’s what I have in my post race recovery kit, you can win it (a new one) so read on. All of these things I have found vital to recovery.
- Endurox R4
- Epsom Salts
- 2 Inch bandage tape
- Icy Hot Patch
- Two bottles of water
- Gold Bond Powder
- Baby Wipes
- Menthol Gel
- A Protein Bar
- A nice cigar, cutter, and wooden matches.
I may also bring a dry t-shirt and some clean underwear but I’m not shipping you my boxers. I have all of these things packed up in a nice little bag for someone. Here’s the contest: re-tweet this post or mention my blog on twitter. If you don’t have twitter, leave me a comment. I don’t care what you say, I just like that you’re reading.
It will be a random selection, like all my giveaways. Good luck and happy running.