Friday, October 16, 2009

Race Rituals

Some runners have specific things they do before a race or wear during a race and I’m still trying to figure out what mine are. One friend always wears that particular race’s freebie technical shirt. A few other friends always wear their Race Ready tights (I still have to get a pair). Some down nothing but water or an energy gel before the race, while others seem to eat a lot – bananas, bagels, cereal – whatever they can get their hands on.

This weekend when I head to Columbus to run the Nationwide Better Health Columbus Half Marathon, I’m not quite sure what I’ll do. Before my first half marathon I ate a small bowl of cereal and half a banana. I didn’t own much running gear at the time so I wore basketball shorts and a moisture wicking t-shirt. For my second half marathon, I ate half a Clif bar the morning of the race and wore black capri running tights, a black moisture wicking t-shirt and the race’s technical tee. This weekend, I’ll probably wear black capri running tights again but I’m not sure what kind of top and I plan to eat half a Clif bar with a banana.

The question begs to be asked – what difference does it make? Well for me routines breed comfort. I’m not very superstitious but if something worked before and I ran well, why not do it again? Plus even if it’s a new race, I’ll have something familiar to get me through. The challenge for me is that all my races have been in different climates – 80s, 50s and now 30s. So I’ll have to develop warm, cool and cold weather routines so I’ll always be ready. My race rituals are still in their infancy stages but I’m sure they’ll mature in time as I continue to run.

Do you have a race ritual? What do you usually wear or eat?


  1. I have yet to run a race (or to even begin training for one) but once I do, I'm sure I'll have a routine. I agree with you that routines bring comfort & familiarity and are always good when attempting new endeavors.

    Since I know you'll be running well into your 80s+(LOL!), I'm sure you'll have your routines down in no time! Good luck this weekend.

  2. So here's what I decided to wear. Given that it was in the 30s & 40s during the race, I opted to dress in layers.

    1st layer - black moisture wicking v-neck tee
    2nd layer - black long sleeve mock technical shirt
    3rd layer - black race technical tee

    I also wore layers on my hands: a pair of gloves under mittens

    I wasn't cold and didn't overheat.