Gearing up for a Race

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Right now, I am about two months out from my next half marathon. I’ve been training for several months now, and I’ve got myself into the right cadence and the right gear for my regular runs. But, gearing up for a race isn’t the same as for training.

This will be my 3rd half marathon, and they’re a lot different than the 5k’s I’ve run more frequently.  I’m pretty excited about it, but how do I make it through all of these 13.1 miles?

Here are the items that are essential when gearing up for a race or those long runs.

Wireless ear buds

Some people don’t run to music.  They like to listen to their breathing, check their cadence or listen to nature.  I am not one of them.

I need to listen to music.  The music motivates me and actually helps set my pace.  I used to run with my phone and play music through the original Apple headphones.  Now, I run with my watch and there is no connection to plug my headphones into. So, I used this as the opportunity to switch to Bluetooth wireless headphones.

Now that I’ve used them for a while, I consider them to be one of the essentials you need for long runs. No wires to get in your way, or get tangled up in. Just pop the buds in your ears and go.

Here are the ones I use: Bluephonic True Wireless Earbuds

These are truly wireless earbuds, and are very affordable at only $59.95 if you’re an Amazon Prime Member.  The normal price is $159.95.

They have 3D Stereo Sound, 18 hours of play time, and are sweat proof.

They also come with a built in microphone and dual speakers for phone calls.

Anti-Chafing

The next item you need when gearing up for a race isn’t a particularly fun or sexy thing to talk about. But there’s an ugly side of running-  It’s called chafing.

No matter how fit you are, or how slender you are, your body parts rub up against each other. Runners of all shapes and sizes have to deal with this. And the guys have to deal with it right along with the girls.

So how do people deal with it? Some people use tape, and some use glide sticks.

I prefer the glide stick. Basically, it’s kind of like rubbing a clear dry deodorant on you.  And similar to deodorant- they make a version for men and women.  Here’s the one I can’t live without- Body Glide for Her

This will only set you back about $8 per stick, and is worth every penny.

Pick up two of them- one to throw in your gym bag, and 1 to keep at home when you’re heading out for a run.

This is definitely a race day essential.

Energy/Fuel

This could be a separate topic all by itself, but this is definitely an essential when gearing up for a race as well.  Fueling and replacing calories as you sweat out mile after mile is essential for any run over an hour.

Ever run a long distance and then wonder why you just can’t keep going?  It feels like you’ve hit the wall and you’re running uphill even on a flat surface.  This is because your body is losing fluids, electrolytes, sodium and becoming dehydrated with every step you take.

One of the mistakes many rookies make is trying to run through it.  You don’t want to do that.  You don’t want to fatigue yourself or pass out.  And If you’re a Florida runner like myself, it’s flat out dangerous.

When I am in training, I always have some type of energy to help me get through any run that’s longer than an hour.  I use the Roctane Energy Gels.

These are perfect because they are lightweight. You can throw them in your flip belt, or whatever running band or pouch you are using, or even in one of the smallest of pockets.

These are easy to ingest while running, or you can always just stop quickly at one of the water stations along the race route and ingest it.

If you’re in training, you’re going to go through several of these during each of your long runs, which you’ll probably be doing at least once a week. That’s why it’s good to stock up on these.

These come in many different flavors, so you can also mix and match if you’d like when heading out on your next long run.

Make sure you’re Geared up right for your next race

When you’re getting ready to run a long distance race, like a half-marathon, you need to be prepared.  Make sure you’ve got the right gear so that you don’t have any problems and get to the finish line.

Are you a runner?  If so, are there any other items I didn’t mention that are your race-day must haves?  If so, let me know in the comments.

Also, don’t forget to follow my training progress here.

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