Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Race day essentials

While we don’t recommend trying something totally new on race day, being prepared and planning ahead for weather and race conditions can present some unexpected questions.  With more than 50 booths and countless experts available to answer those questions, the Total Fitness Expo is open Thursday and Friday at the XL Center in Hartford from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm (note packet pick-up runs until 9:00 pm on Friday).

We can’t tell you enough to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate (early and often!). Our friends at Fleet Feet West Hartford have put together an outline of other considerations for your gear, apparel and nutrition needs.

What to Wear
The current weather is calling for a morning low in the upper 50s with temps rising to the mid-70s, which means it could get a little warm out there, especially for marathon runners.  An old "Runner's Rule" says to dress as if it's 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. Therefore when planning your outfit, dress like you would for temps in the 80s and 90s – think singlet/sleeveless shirts and shorts. If you are chilly at the start, wear an old long sleeve shirt that you can toss once the race starts (all tossed clothes are donated), or make a pair of arm warmers by cutting out the toes in a tube sock.

A few of our other race day essentials:
BodyGlide: Whatever the conditions, BodyGlide can prevent chaffing and blisters. Use it anywhere that you anticipate irritation... it can save you some serious pain. Trust us.

Nip Guards: Men can avoid discomfort and embarrassing race photos by using these comfortable, specially-designed adhesive pads on their chest. The bonus over regular bandages is that they also come off painlessly after the run.

Lock Laces: During a marathon, your feet can swell up to one full size. These triathlete-loved elastic shoelaces stretch with your feet to keep them from getting squished.

KT Tape: Great for pre-race or during your run, KT Tape also works well for recovery because it helps to increase blood flow and decrease inflammation.

Compression Sleeves/Socks: There is a reason why many Olympic athletes wear compression - it increases oxygen flow to your muscles which acts like super-fuel for your muscles. They also provide shin and calf support which is really nice around Mile 19. Go with the sleeves if you are particular about your sock.

Hat: Shielding your face from the sun and UV rays protects your skin and eyes, but also helps conserve energy since you won’t be squinting.  Choose a hat with a dark underbrim to reduce the glare and need to squint even more.  Bonus: soak your hat at water stations to help keep your head cool!

Nutrition: Carry your nutrition if you have specific preferences - GU, Sport Beans, Clif Shot Blocks, Chomps, Swedish Fish etc. This way you can time your own nutrition with exactly what you want.  NOTE – on-source support details for MARATHON and HALF MARATHON

Race/Nutrition Belt: A race number belt can serve several purposes: Save your favorite running top by affixing your number without safety pins.  Keep your number visible no matter how many layers you have on (or take off) which is important because your official race photo is tagged with your bib number. Additionally, you can use a belt to carry your nutrition and hydration comfortably.

Salt Tabs: The warm, humid conditions mean an increased sweat rate. Replenish the sodium, electrolytes and other valuable minerals (potassium, magnesium, calcium and Vitamin D) you are losing with specially formulated salt tabs for runners (Salt Stick & S! Caps are two great options). This is actually the one “nutrition” product we recommend using on race day even if you’ve never tried it before.

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