I’m not going to lie, I am pretty excited. After months of training, race day is almost upon us! All the training is done. The hotel reservation is booked. The house sitter is lined up. All that needs to happen now is to pack our bags and get to running!
But what exactly do you need to pack for race day? Well if you’re anything like me, the key to packing for race day is to have a game plan in advance. Because the closer the big day gets, the more the nerves set in, and the more likely you are to forget something.
Lucky for you though, I decided to share with you how I pack for race day. I’m going to share with you my list of essentials that I make sure to take with me to ensure I have the best run I possibly can. I paid for this experience, the last thing I want to do is forget something at home!
How I Pack for Race Day:
– Broken in Sneakers: make sure you bring the shoes you’ve been training in. Now is not the time to bust out brand new sneakers. You don’t want to find out at the race that your shoes don’t fit quite right, or rub a certain way. No, you want to make sure to set yourself up for success and bring the shoes that you know work best for you.
– Water Belt: most well prepared races have plenty of water stations, but I’ve always preferred having my own water belt. Then I can know in advance how much water I’ll have access to, and I don’t have to slow down at the water stations if I’m concerned with my time. Bonus points because it has pockets for other essentials!
– GPS Watch: help keep track of my pace and my mileage. Not a necessity, but I like to have mine around.
– Iphone: if you have been training with music, you’ll definitely want your playlist handy. Now would be a good time to make sure you have your race day playlist all ready to go! Since I haven’t been training with music (and my battery life is pitiful) I’ll have mine tucked away so I can track down my husband after I cross the finish line.
– Energy Packs/Gels: these are little packets of something I best describe as “goo”, that is packed full of carbohydrates and other energy boosting essentials. Definitely helpful for keeping your body going once you’ve gotten knee deep in your race distance. I’ve never been much of a fan of the “goo”, so I’ve always done just fine with easily chewable fruit snack or candy (currently I’ve been loving on Starbursts…works like a dream). Whatever your preference, you just make sure to have something to keep your energy going through your run. Remember the water belt pockets? I just tuck a couple of these in there and I’m good to go!
– Race Day Outfit: make sure to pick out an outfit that you know is comfortable!! Costumes are so much fun, but you want to make sure you can stand it for a long distance. So choose wisely!
– Compression Leg Sleeves: these are an absolute MUST for me after a long run. Some runners love to even run in them. It all depends on your personal preference. But they are designed to help prevent muscle soreness, and help speed up muscle recovery. I literally live in mine after a long run, because they feel so good.
– Body Glide (not pictured): this ingenious product is a total lifesaver on race day. Any place on your body that is prone to chaffing (it’s a burden all runners bear), glide the body glide over the area and voila, totally a chaffing free zone! I could kiss the creator of this thing its that good!
– Night Before Inspiration: no matter how many races I run, I usually get some butterflies the night before. So I like to break out my running bible, aka The Non-Runners Marathon Guide for Women, and remember that I’m not the only one getting nervous before race day. (Psst: you can read all about my love for this one over here!)
Other key things to consider before race day:
– Make sure to carb it up the night before! Don’t go crazy, but you’re body needs fuel to get through all of the distance tomorrow.
– Stick with meals that you know agree with you. You’d don’t want to get sick the night before if you can avoid it.
– Get a good night’s sleep. Although the nerves have set in, try you’re best to be as well rested as possible. Most races start at a ridiculously early hour, so your wake up call will be here before you know it!
– If it’s at all possible check in in advance. Having your race bid already with you the morning of the race will save you precious time (woohoo for extra sleep), and be one less thing to worry about in the morning.
– Set your stuff out the night before, and get up early! Chances are there’s going to be a crowd at the start line, and you don’t want to be late. So give yourself PLENTY of time in the morning. No need to add the stress of rushing when you already have race day jitters.
– Make sure to reward yourself after your race! Whether that’s a second breakfast, a pedicure, or just chilling on the couch, you’ve earned it! You just killed it on race day and totally deserve this!
And that’s it! You are now race day ready! All of your training and hard work is about to pay off. Knowing how to pack for race day is the easy part!
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Disclaimer: While all opinions are mine, affiliate links are included in this post, and I am compensated for any purchases made from the links I provide.