Tomorrow’s the big day and hopefully you are ready to roll. If you’re new to racing, however, you may still have some questions on what to wear on race day. The good news is that the temperature is going to be just about perfect, ranging from a low of about 55 to a high of about 68, with a chance for showers.
The biggest piece of advice I give to newcomers when it comes to racing is quite simply: don’t overdress! This is the number-one mistake I see out there over and over. Yes, it will be a bit chilly when you get to the race site, and yes, you might be chilly for the first few minutes of your race. But trust me, the temperatures are going to warm as you go, and your effort level will ensure that your body’s temperature is going to go up as well. There’s nothing more miserable than overheating during a race–believe me that it will slow your pace.
So what do I recommend wearing, given the forecast? Shorts, not tights. Short sleeves, not long. And a pair of cheap, throwaway gloves that you can pick up at the expo or even your local Target or WalMart.
If it is raining, stick with the shorts, but wear something on top that is body hugging. I ran a marathon last year in California in torrential downpours and I was quite thankful to have on a singlet and arm warmers. Why? None of that can get too weighed down by the rain. You might even consider putting a garbage bag on top of your clothes to wear into the start and first mile or so of the race. And don’t forget to use extra Body Glide or something of that sort!
To stay warm until the gun goes off, add on some layers that you can toss right before you get started. CSE will be collecting all the discarded clothing and donating it to Back on My Feet. So an old, long-sleeved t-shirt or sweatshirt, an old pair of sweats and maybe even a warm hat are good ideas for your top layers. You can also consider arm warmers, which you can roll down or remove as you get moving and stash in a pocket.
You’ll likely cool down quickly after you finish your race, so make sure you include a change of clothes in your checked race bag (handed out at the expo), or have a friend or loved one waiting for you with fresh clothing after the finish line.
So tomorrow–fight the urge to overdress. Stick to the nutrition plan that has worked for you in training. And most of all, have fun!