By Yuwa Vosper
Last year, the Louisiana half marathon was my first long distance race. I finished strong in the most vibrant of colors. After months of training, I realized I had not really thought about my race day ensemble. The week of the race, I visited Varsity Sports and they give me everything I would need from the hydration belts to the armband. Dressing for a race requires plenty of thought, you not only need to dress for weather but must also be prepared for your body to warm up quickly because you are−of, course−running. Most importantly, you must be comfortable. While focusing on form, cadence and pace, the last thought in your head should be about adjusting your short’s waistband, rolling up your sleeves, etc. Therefore, I picked three race day ensembles that I formed as my race day uniforms.
The Sports Jacket and Athletic Leggings
For races on cold days certain to warm up, layer pieces made of dry-wicking fabric. Any athletic garment with wicking will prevent clothing from clinging to your body while sweating and keep you feeling dry. Leggings allow ease of movement, don’t move once adjusted and provide a contouring fit.
The Louisiana Marathon Races and Finish Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday January 17 and 18 in downtown Baton Rouge. For more information visit: http://www.thelouisianamarathon.com/2015-event-schedule.
The Sports Shorts and Long-Sleeve Top
For mild but breezy weather, I prefer athletic shorts with a long-sleeve top. Look for thick waistbands adjust pull-straps that make sure the shorts do not move when running. During longer races, a hydration backpack or belt is a great option. Sometimes water/Gatorade stations are positioned sporadically along the route; therefore, it is important that you make sure you are fully hydrated and fueled at all times. If your hydration belt moves too much, try wearing it around your hips instead of your waist. Also, if I must wear compression, they must be fashionable. I prefer bright, bold colors when choosing compression socks but what runner doesn’t like vibrant colors. Drivers and cyclists must see us especially at night.
The Short-Sleeve Top and Capris
When racing, I prefer shorts to any leggings or capris; however, there are times when the weather is mild but breezy as mentioned earlier. For add variety, I opt to wear a mid-length legging or capris and a short-sleeve top. However, I prefer capris for colder weather. Capris are the great middle for preferring coverage but not wanting to be in a full-length legging.
For a runner, the accessories are as important as the clothing. You want to have some form of time-keeping device, hydration belt, earbuds, or multimedia device to keep you entertained while running long distances. Sometimes running buddies just do not want to talk after the tenth mile. You must have something that will keep you focused for the duration of the race.
Above all, be prepared. After training for months and running for miles, you do not want a preventable hindrance to cost you a personal record. Everyone wants to cross the finish line strong. So, why not have your race day picture depicting you with your hands raised in victory while wearing a fashionable and functional ensemble.
Race Day Wardrobe Tips:
1) Wear what you normally train in because race day is not the time to test drive new athletic gear.
2) Make sure you are comfortable and once the garment is adjusted it remains in place.
3) Continuously check the weather forecasts because you may be cold before the race but will warm up quickly while running.
4) Look for athletic garments that have pockets and compartments that zip or fasten. You want to be able to fit hydration packs, car key/fob, IDs, and insurance card within them.
5) Purchase garments with dry-wicking to keep your body dry and cool when running.