By Gina Shell
Now that we have covered why rest matters and our key race goals, let’s see what we need to meet our race day goals. After your mileage build-up, long runs, tapering, and carbo loading, what can you expect as you head to the starting line? Many experienced runners have a well-rehearsed routine that makes their race day easy and smooth. But, if you are new to the “race scene” the following can help your race day go as smooth as possible.
• The most essential item is the right shoes. Some people will wear their training shoes for the warm-up, and then will switch to a lighter pair of racing flats (shoes). If you are flying to a race, perhaps you should make room in the carryon for your racing shoes. If the luggage is misplaced, you might not have them for the race. And, you certainly don’t want to buy new shoes to wear for the first time at a race.
• Your shorts and singlet should be comfortable when running. Choose a singlet and shorts that you have trained in. You know the feel and comfort level of items you are familiar with in training.
• Also take a few safety pins with you. These are usually provided with the number, but races have been known to run out.
• Have a copy of the entry form. In case you get lost or re-routed, the contact for the race is usually on the application.
• We cannot predict the weather every race day. Pack a pair of gloves and hat. You might run in various elements in one race!
• Pack a few extra articles of clothing. Some heavier (warmer) tops and bottoms. Maybe a warm-up suit. It might pour rain for your warm-up, but you’ll have dry clothes to put on prior to the race.
• Always take that extra shirt, gloves, or jacket that you really are not fond of. These can act as your “throw away” clothing that you don’t want back.
• Last, post-race clothing. Nothing feels better than getting into dry clothes after a run. Take a washcloth and towel and use some water and “shower out of a bottle” until you can take a nice hot shower.