It is one of my favorite weeks of the year in New York, MARATHON WEEK! My FOMO is real since I will not be running this year, but it helps that it is currently 70 degrees and sunny in SF. In honor of the NY Marathon, and to help ease my FOMO, I have a few posts coming your way this week. The first being my tips for packing for a race. Packing prep is essential to getting to the start line of any race without any issues. Since I have travelled to a majority of my marathons I have definitely hit my share of speed bumps along the way. So below is a checklist or guidelines I follow when traveling to a race (marathon or half). I have done just about everything wrong when it comes to packing, though I have yet to forget my shoes!!
The GOLDEN RULE: My number one rule for travel is NEVER CHECK A BAG. But this might be hard when traveling for longer periods, so if you must…..
1) Your entire race outfit is with you on the plane. This includes: shoes, socks, undergarments, hair ties, hat, your phone holder and hydration kits. ANYTHING you will need on race day is with you on the plane. I also recommend wearing your running shoes so you don’t forget them. (I always see at least one person buying new shoes at the expo, so why not avoid this?).
2) Pack your fuel and breakfast for race day, and have it on the plane with you. The night before my first marathon I was scrambling to find my breakfast and fuel sources for the next day instead of resting my feet. Additionally, the hotel was not serving breakfast at 5 AM when I needed to eat. Now I always pack oatmeal, individual packs of peanut butter and various snacks that I can have for breakfast the morning of the race just to be safe.
3) HYDRATE on the plane. You should be using the restroom while you fly. Your pee should also be very light yellow. Peeing will also make sure you are walking around the plane during your flight to keep your muscles loose.
4) Save sightseeing for after the race. Seriously, it might be hard to not walk aimlessly through New York city, but save your legs and feet. If you must venture around, take one of those bus tours, or see a show. Remember, you will get a world class tour on race day!!
5)Wear your running shoes everywhere until race day, your feet will thank you. You do not want to risk blisters or sore feet. In NYC you will walk an average of 4-5 miles a day just getting to and from your hotel, so keep your feet happy. This one kills me because I love dressing up, but I always follow this rule the week of a race.
6) Plan your food intake for the week and pre race meal in advance. If you are staying in a hotel without access to a kitchen make sure you have found a place to have your pre race meal. Do your research. I was once stuck in Paris with no plan the night before my race and I found it surprisingly hard to find a plain pasta with red sauce, or Italian food for that matter.