Warmups, Gear, Goals: Here’s what you need to run a half marathon

by Jul 29, 2021Running a half-marathon

Warmups, Gear, Goals: Here’s what you need to run a half marathon

You’ve completed your half marathon training plan, battled blisters, pushed through workouts, and hopefully learned a thing or two about running along the way.

Now, it’s race day.

It doesn’t matter if this is your first time running a half marathon or your 50th, every runner needs to take time to pack and prepare to be successful. 

In this post, we’ll give you a quick race day checklist of gear, pre-race warmups, and some common goals runners set for themselves before a half marathon.

Half marathon gear: Here’s what women runners swear by

First thing’s first, don’t worry about what your clothes look like. If you’ve been training in some old workout gear from college, then stick with that for race day. Today is just not the day to try out a brand-new outfit.

Here’s what you should pack and wear for the race:

  • A comfortable shirt made of moisture-wicking fabric, probably short sleeve 
  • A trash bag to make a disposable poncho in case of rain 
  • Your favorite supportive sports bra that fits properly 
  • Shorts or running tights you plan on racing in
  • A pair of comfortable running socks. The Women’s Run Targeted Cushion Low Ankle Socks from Smartwool are a fan favorite. 
  • The same running shoes you wore during training runs
  • Sunglasses/hat. Try Polarized Sports Sunglasses for Women by RIVBOS
  • Extra hair ties
  • Anti-chafe gel. Body Glide for Her Anti Chafe Balm is small enough to carry for quick treatment during the race. 
  • A watch
  • Sunscreen. Try PLAY Everyday Lotion with SPF 50 from Supergoop! for some sweat-resistant UV protection.  
  • Any energy gels or energy bars that you usually train with
  • Blister treatment/prevention 
  • Headphones, if they’re allowed

You’ll also need to have a place to carry your belongings while you run (keys, mobile phone, gels, electrolyte tabs, etc). Many runners use a running belt for on-the-go storage. Other women have sports bras designed with hidden pockets to secure their valuables. 

Last, but certainly not least: Water. Check with race organizers ahead of time to see if they’ll provide water to runners. Sometimes water stations get a little chaotic. If you think you’ll need to bring your own, get a water bottle designed for runners that you can carry as you run.

Don’t forget your post-race supplies

Pack a bag of supplies you’ll need after you’re done running for the day, including: 

  • A clean towel 
  • A sports drink 
  • A snack
  • A clean change of clothes
  • Deodorant
  • Comfortable shoes/sandals 
  • Money and ID

6 things to do right before a half marathon

There are usually quite a bit of logistics to figure out before each race like parking and registration. Be sure you’ve reviewed your race packet ahead of race day so you get to the starting line on time and ready to go.

Here are six things runners should always do before a half marathon: 

  • Give yourself time to wake up and get warm Wake up at least two hours before the race is scheduled to start. Take a hot shower to get your body temperature up right away in the morning. 
  • Go for an easy, 10-minute jog or walk Find a few minutes before the race to go for a very easy jog or walk to get your body loose and moving. 
  • Stretch out your muscles, focusing on problem areas Do your usual pre-workout stretches, and don’t try anything fancy if you’re not used to it. Pay attention to muscles that usually start to feel sore and tired while running and give those a good stretch. 
  • Eat breakfast Hopefully you’re used to eating something before your runs. Don’t try to force yourself to eat a special breakfast if it’s not something you usually do before a long run. Stick to foods you know fills you up without giving you a stomach ache. 
  • Use the bathroom Do what you gotta do, preferably before the race. 
  • Get in the right mindset It’s common to feel a little nervous or excited before a race, but take time to slow down and get focused on what you need to do. Some runners meditate, visualize their ideal outcome, or listen to music to clear their minds and get ready for the race. 

 

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