Don’t try anything new on race day. Have every detail planned out- socks, shoes, shorts, sports bra, tank, etc. Ideally, you should wear all your race day gear on a long run at least once.
Shoes: Race Day Gear is about more than shoes, but shoes are still very important!
I am a Brooks Ravennas girl. I always buy a new pair of my same shoe a few weeks before the marathon, ideally in time for my last big run. This way my shoes are “fresh” but I have time to break them in a little bit before race day.
Do not wear a brand new pair of shoes on race day, even if it’s the same shoe you always wear. You still need time to break them in and you never know that they will be the exact same shoe.
Extra Shoe Tip!
Double-knot your shoes on race day! You do not want to have to bend over and tie them at mile 24….you might not bend back up! Check out THIS POST on Minneapolis Running on how to tie your shoes to make sure they stay tied!
If it’s really hot or you have been training with a fuel belt or a handheld water bottle, feel free to carry it on race day. There is generally plenty of support along the course that you won’t necessarily need it, but go with what makes you more comfortable.
SPI Belt for gels or a belt for pinning on your bib number:
Sometimes I use a little “fanny pack” for my gels if I don’t have enough room in my shorts pockets. A lot of people in my run club also use the belts for pinning on their bib numbers, especially if they are planning to shed layers or go shirtless (which is a whole other debate HERE)
For the Ladies only…
Find a good sports bra!
Ladies, the most important piece of apparel in my opinion, other than a good pair of running shoes, is a good sports bra. Big or small, it doesn’t matter- a good sports bra can make a huge difference over 26.2 miles.
- Bring an extra hair binder/tie! I learned this lesson the hard way the other day when mine broke on a tough workout. It was terrible- and it would be terrible if the same thing happened during a race! Wear an extra one around your wrist just in case.
For the men…
- From what I hear…it’s important to put band-aids or a lot of body glide over your nipples. (Check out this post about chafing.)
- Body glide- Use it. All over. A lot of it.
- If you think you’ll want to wear a hat, practice wearing a hat on a long run.
- Same with sunglasses.
For the Twin Cities Marathon, you really never know what to expect with the weather. I ran it on a very hot year and I ran it on a pouring rain year. The past few years, it’s been a perfect 40 degrees at the start.
Even the 10-day forecast can change drastically. Plus, there are some things you can’t control, and the weather is one of them. All you can control is how you react (mentally) to the weather. If it’s hot you may have to readjust your time goals. If it’s windy, you might have to readjust (unless it’s a tail wind, then you’re golden!)
In case of rain..
- You can start with a poncho and lose it after you warm up.
- Visors help in the rain.
- Body Glide on your feet to help with the blisters.
- Body Glide everywhere when it’s raining.
In case of Sun/Heat:
- Body glide.
- In the rain or the cold, you can adjust and still keep the same goal in mind. In the heat, it can be tough. The people who aren’t affected by the heat are few and far between. If it really is hot, you will need to adjust your time goal.
In case of cold:
- Ideally, you WILL be cold at the start. The colder the better!
- Bring layers- layers to shed in your gear check bag or layers to toss to the sidelines.
- Arm warmers : I have used these for the start and then either tossed them to a friend, or if I have made my own out of tube socks to toss. Some people think the arm warmers look silly, but they really work for me. Check out Louva brand, they’re my favorite.
Additional Race Day Gear Tips!
- Tell your friends and family what you will be wearing so they know how to spot you in the crowds. I highly recommend putting your name on your shirt (I wrote a whole post about it HERE!) I swear, it will make a HUGE difference.
- As an enthusiastic TCM spectator, I also have to tell you that it makes a difference when I can yell “Go Dustin” to a stranger vs. “Go #308” or “Go green shirt guy!”. Give us your name!
What to Wear After the Race…
- Be sure pack warm dry clothes in your gear check bag- sweat pants, a sweatshirt and maybe a camera or cell phone if you don’t have anyone meeting you at the finish. You will want pictures to document the experience!
- My husband likes to pack flip flops, no matter the weather; a more comfortable shoe and fresh socks is a good idea.
Okay- that was a lot of information! If you made it through the whole thing, thanks. I hope you found a useful tip or two to help you on race day!