Race Day Essentials: What To Bring

June 27, 2014 · 4 comments

Got a big race coming up this weekend and not sure what to bring in your race day bag? I’ve got you covered from breakfast to your flip flops for the after party. 

Breakfast

Everyone is different. Eat what works for your stomach. Nerves can take away your appetite so if you are just running a 5K a banana with some peanut butter is sufficient. I avoid dairy before races because it gives me cramps. My go to pre-race meals are either oatmeal with a banana or two pieces of toast with almond butter and a banana about 30 minutes before the race starts. 

I also like caffeine. Again, if you don’t normally do caffeine, now is not the time to start. I like to bring with me either Vega Pre Workout Energizer or if I have time, I’ll get a double shot of espresso at a coffee shop nearby. 

Preparing To Race

I like to bring my stick but I leave it in my car or hotel room. I roll out a little bit before I find the starting line. 

I also bring Bodyglide, The Original Anti-Chafe Balm for hot races that are 10K or longer. I use it on my arms and inner thighs to prevent any chaffing. I bought it for my first triathlon and use it regularly. 

Compression socks are staple for my half marathons. You can put them on after your race to speed up recovery in your legs if it is too hot, but I like to wear them during as I feel like they keep my legs feeling fresher longer helping with circulation, delivering oxygen efficiently to my tired legs at the end of a race. They are also quite comfy. Pro Compression has some really cute styles, and you can get a pair or marathon socks for 40% off using my special promo code SarahFit! Offer ends July 12th so get them quick. 

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Other items on my checklist include:

  • Headphones
  • iPhone sleeve
  • Heart Rate Monitor – helps me know when I’m pushing it too hard and when I can go faster.
  • GPS watch – helps keep me on pace and from going out too fast.
  • Headband to keep hair out of face
  • Sunscreen – love Coola Sport Continuous Suncreen Spray
  • Energy Gel if running a half marathon – I usually have it around mile 8. My favorite is Clif Shot Energy Gel in Vanilla (90% organic)

Post Race Essentials

After the race, usually there is some food provided by sponsors. I always grab one of the bananas but usually pass on a lot of the other processed foods. I like to eat the banana and save my appetite for something that actually looks good instead of a boring cold bagel. I will occasionally bring electrolyte drink mixes like Nuun if it is really hot out.

I also bring sandals to take off my sneakers and sweaty socks. Face or baby wipes to get off the dried salt is also a must in my bag. My favorites include Seventh Generation Refreshing Facial Wipes in Lavender and also First Aid Beauty Gentle Cleansing Wipes.

Lastly, if you are going to hang out and enjoy the after party, bring a set of extra clothes to change into, perhaps something warm if your race is at night. 

Did I miss any of your race day essentials?

Good luck this weekend if you have a race!

Also, congrats to Jennifer M who won the $250 Market Basket Gift Card and FitBit. Jennifer was chosen randomly using Random.org. Thanks to everyone who entered. Every single response was so interesting. I’m going to shoot a video with my top ten favorite responses! 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out June 28, 2014 at 1:27 pm

I always need a little caffeine on race morning– it wakes me up and helps me get excited!

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2 Runner Girl Eats June 29, 2014 at 7:13 am

I can’t do any caffeine before a race. I have my pre race bag down but these are great tips for after…I always seem to forget to bring wipes and a change of clothes.

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3 Madeline Lippy June 30, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Hey Sarah! I am a semi-new runner myself. I started with the C25K trainer and now I am almost finished with the 10K trainer. I always thought those “energy gel” and “energy jelly bean” things were a hoax, but I thought it was interesting that you used them! What benefit do you think they give to you? And also do you use them just for races or for when you’re training too?

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4 Sarah June 30, 2014 at 5:04 pm

I only use them for 1/2 marathons and long training runs. They are not a gimick – they are so helpful and important for me. I kept trying to train for half marathons without a plan and would just get too tired after 8 miles to keep going. The energy gels help me power through. We will see how many I need for my marathon runs!

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