Marathon Race Day Preparation and Checklist
Preparation for a successful marathon or half marathon
Whether this is your first road race or your 1000th, you need to prepare for an optimal race day. Factors such as location, weather, course difficulty play into the things you will need on race day. This article covers common items you will need for a marathon, half marathon, 5k or 10k road race.
A Few Days Before a Race...
Links to Help You Pre-plan for a Marathon
- Cool Running Race Planner
This race planner will help you determine you split race pace.
- Marathon Guidle Pace Band Calculator
Create a free wrist band with your goal split times for any race length and time.
- Pace Tattoos
Low cost tattoos for race paces for any event.
- McMillian Running Calculator
Determine your race pace based on your best pace time in other events. Have you run a 10k but want to know your comparable pace for a half marathon? This calculator will help you determine your race pace.
Track your races and monitor your improvement all in one place with this free service. Most races post automatically and participants claim their results.
Women's Health 8 Tips for Traveling to a Race
Traveling to your race day? These race day tips from Women's Health cover the basics to "race like a veteran".
Below is a list of key items to prepare for marathon day. Prepare ahead so you are not rushed the morning of the race. Pre-race jitters are common and it is easy to forget a critical item. A little acryonym I use is CANS.
ClothingShoesShortsSocksShirtThrowaway shirt (long sleeve for cold weather)Post-race change of clothes and shoesAccessoriesVaseline or body glideRace numberRace instructions, directionsTowelGarbage bagToilet paperRunning watch/Garmin/iPhone * Safety pins or race number beltBand-aidsNutritionEnergy bars or gelsWater bottle for drive, pre-raceSunSunglassesHatSunscreen
Dress for Race Day Success
What you should pack to wear on race day.
Proper dress is an important factor for maintaining proper body temperature during a race. Dress too warm and risk overheating, under dress and risk hypothermia. Wear clothing that wicks and keeps moisture off of your body. This is important in both warm and cold weather. Below are some tips on how to adjust your pre-race checklist for weather considerations.
Cold Weather Check ListGloves - Two critical areas to keep warm are your head and hands. If there will be a warming trend during the race time, opt for an inexpensive throw away pair of gloves and a hat. You do not want to be carrying them for miles and you don't want to risk going out too cold either.HatLong sleeve shirtFace maskLip balmRainZip lock bag - Small sandwich bags can be used to protect expensive items such as a phone or iPod.Trash bag - Trash bags quickly double as rain gear and are easy to throw away once the rain has subsided. They are also easier to carry as a just-in-case measure.Protective rain gearHat/VisorSunglassesWarm WeatherHat/VisorBug sprayChafing glideSun screen
One to two days before...
Night before and day of...
Inexpensive Gloves and Hats
Carrying a pair of gloves or a hat after temperatures rise on a marathon is cumbersome. Many places like Amazon, Walmart and Target sell inexpensive gloves and hats that you can toss on the course. Gloves, scarves, hats and hand warmers can typically be found for $2-$5 at discount stores.