BE PREPARED FOR RACE DAY—WITHOUT HAVING TO HAUL AN OVERSIZED SUITCASE THROUGH THE AIRPORT WITH YOU. LEARN WHAT TO BRING TO ROCK THE COURSE.
Training for a race is an accomplishment in itself. You put in the time and the miles to prepare yourself to do your best. And if you had the foresight to plan a destination race for an instant vacation reward when you cross that finish line, good thinking!
Don’t ruin all your hard work by packing the wrong items! This guide will help you pack for your destination race so you can focus on the sweat – not the stress!
1. Make a List.
Before you put even a pair of socks in your packing cubes, jot down a list of all the things you will need for the race. Make sure that you include these items:
- Your race outfit. Choose light, sweat-wicking materials that won’t rub or irritate the skin, like a tank top and running shorts if it will be warm at your destination. Pack whatever underwear you're most comfortable moving in.
- Race accessories. List all the little tools that made your training a little easier, like gel packs to eat at various points on the course, your music player (equipped with a killer playlist!), a GPS watch, chargers for your music player and watch, a heart rate monitor, sunscreen, and a hat or sport sunglasses. If you don’t have anyone to hold your driver's license, car keys, hotel room key, and cash, bring a money belt to keep your hands free, like the RFID Blocker Money Belt DLX.
2. Carry On.
Keep your packing list short and simple, so that you can pack everything in a carry-on bag, like the EC Lync System 20. This eliminates stress the moment that you step on the plane, because you know that your luggage will be with you during the entire trip. After all, whenever you check a bag, there's a chance that the airline will lose it.\
3. Use Packing Organizers.
There’s nothing worst than showing up to your destination race missing a key necessity, whether that be your heart rate monitor or your socks. Organize all of your clothes, shoes and race accessories in Pack-It organizers. They are antimicrobial treated so you can store your sweaty clothes in them after your race containing the stink and bacteria. Added bonus: they are machine washable so just through it all in the washer when you get home.
4. Wear Your Running Shoes.
It might be tempting to wear flip flops to the airport, so you can cruise through the security line faster, but wearing the shoes that you’ll wear for race day will help open up some serious room in your suitcase. Use the extra space for a change of clothes that you can throw on after the race. Besides, wearing shoes provides more support and protects your feet from last-minute injuries. You don't want an accidental toe stub or chipped toenail to bother you on race day.
5. Be Prepared for Germs.
Planes can be a germy place, and thanks to small seats and narrow aisles, if someone near you starts sneezing or coughing, you can't exactly escape. So keep travel hand sanitizer, nasal spray, and vitamin C lozenges in a small bag, like the Pack-It Quick Trip, so you can pull it out for backup support when you need it.
6. Don’t Pack Anything New.
That new pair of running shorts that you just bought might be cute, but it would be a gamble to bust them out on race day if you've never worn them before. The same goes for any beverages or snacks that you haven't already tried during training. New shorts may cause chafing, and a new energy gel or bar might upset your stomach mid-race. Keep it to the tried-and-true gear that you’ve been using throughout your training to play it safe.
Have a packing tip of your own that saves space for destination races? Post yours in the comments below!
Colleen Travers writes about health, fitness, travel, and women’s lifestyle for various publications.