Getting your running gear in order is often the first real step towards race day, whether you’re an experienced runner or just starting your first couch to 5k. We asked Master Tread Instructor Rebecca Kennedy for her list of essentials for any race. Be ready to cross that finish line with confidence—now all you have to do is run!
DRESS THE PART
Wherever you’re racing, make sure to check the weather! “I tend to stay away from cotton and stick with dri-fit clothing – these pieces are moisture wicking, far more comfortable and they also help regulate your body temperature.” And if you’re debating putting your name on the front of your top so people are able to cheer you on throughout the course, Rebecca says go for it. “This is such a huge confidence booster! Believe me, it makes such a difference even when strangers cheer you on!”
Heels, inner thighs, backs of arms—this goes anywhere that could chafe. “This product is something that is necessary during long races and if you’re wearing shorts. Thank me later.”
More often than not runners try to keep up with the beat of the music, so make sure you know your race pace and also figure out what BPM that is so you can create a playlist with songs that match your cadence. It’s also a helpful tool in order to maintain your leg speed or to see if you’re going too fast or too slow. “I typically start with a slower BPM at the start of my race so I don’t start too quick but then I can build to my normal pace throughout my run,” says Rebecca.
Branched chain amino acids are the building blocks of your muscle tissue, so have this in your water to drink during your race. “I recommend not holding your water bottle while you’re running and find a belt that is comfortable to wear so your water can still be easily accessed. Otherwise, if that’s not your speed, take BCAA capsules beforehand so you’re getting that dose during your race.” This helps prevent muscle breakdown as you’re pushing past your fatigue as well as delayed onset muscle soreness.
Find a watch that allows you to know your pace and your heart rate so you can really track your current level of fitness. This will also help you understand your progression during your training and keep you on track come race day.
“Honestly, never show up to the race without this. Hands down the best tool in order to have an epic race whether you’re doing it for fun or for competition!” Rebecca says.
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