Marathon season is here; do you have all the gear you need to survive the long miles pounding the pavement. Below are the top five things every racer needs to have to enjoy a smooth race.
You want to have as little extra baggage as possible when you are running any distance, especially long distances. But when you’re out for anything more than a quick jog you’ll always need to be able to carry a few necessities like lip balm, tissues and your phone. A waist pack is the least cumbersome solution for the job. Look for a waist pack that is slim and stable, that doesn’t bounce around and so lightweight you might forget you are wearing it.
Arkansas weather is famously unpredictable, especially on race day. It has been hot, it has been cold and it has been rainy. Sometimes it has been all three. Arrive prepared for rain with a disposable plastic poncho. Getting soaked in rain can really ruin the mood and soak your clothes which can increases fatigue. Disposable ponchos fold up in a tiny packet, making them easy to carry and can be thrown away when the rain stops. Be sure to get a clear poncho so your racing number will still be visible. Plastic ponchos are best used if you have to wait in the rain before the race or if you think there will be brief showers during the race. If there is heavy rainfall, a light, water-resistant jacket or vest will do the job best, but runners should always have a poncho ready just in case.
You know the distance you are traveling has been precisely determined by the race organizers, but knowing how your body is performing can help improve your results both now and later. There are many trackers on the market today. Decide what you want to measure, then look for the tracker that best meets those needs. You can measure steps, distance, heart rate and precise location. Some trackers do all of this, simpler and smaller trackers may only track one of these measurements.
Compression socks stimulate blood flow and help legs recover quickly from a hard run by reducing lactic acid buildup. Consider compression socks for race day only after wearing them during training. Some runners wear compression socks while training and racing, others use them after a run. Compression or not, a bad pair of socks can ruin a run resulting in chafing and excess moisture that causes blisters.
On average, runners go a little faster when they listen to music before and during a run. Music, an audio book or even a podcast can help break up running monotony. But if your headphones are uncomfortable, fall out or are not sweat-proof, you will be wishing you had just left them at home. Find a pair that is made specifically for running and consider Bluetooth to keep the pesky wires from interfering with your arm pumps.