Packing for a marathon is an art form. You don’t want to take too much and be laden down but you want to be prepared for all eventualities. The plan is to pack light but be prepared! Here are our Run Mummy Run top marathon packing tips to make your next 26.2 a whole lot more pleasant…
Watch (& Charger). Phone Charger. IPod and headphones. Photo ID (to collect race number). Money (in case of emergency or for that post-race drink!). Enough said.
2. Plastic Bags
Why do I need plastic bags you may ask? Lots of marathons start on grass. You might be hanging around for quite a while checking in your bag and going to the toilet before the race starts. If it has been raining or even if there is just a heavy dew, your feet can very quickly become cold and wet. Unpleasant and a recipe for blisters. Pop the bags over your trainers and discard at the start.
3. Warm but disposable top
You’ve checked your bag in but still have half an hour or so of waiting before you set off. Unless it is a very hot day you are likely to feel cold. Something to keep you warm is essential but do remember you will have to throw it away (or carry it with you for the entire race) so make sure it is disposable. Some people use a bin bag or a poncho, others an old top they don’t mind leaving behind. You could always pick up something cheap from a charity shop. Big races collect the discarded clothing and donate it to charities.
5. Weather Proofing
Check out the weather forecast in the day or two before you race. A cheap, disposable poncho might feel like a life saver if it’s raining cats and dogs. Also put some high factor sunscreen in your bag and put it on. Unless you’re Paula Radcliffe you are likely to be spending between 3 and 7 hours out in the elements. You can easily burn even on a cloudy day.
6. Bib Clips or Safety Pins
You need to attach your number to your top. RMR Bib Clips are more gentle on your clothing and don’t leave holes.
Slather this liberally over any bits that are likely to rub. Chafing is very sore and often isn’t apparent until that post-race shower OUCH!
8. Be Spotted
One of the nicest things during a race is being spotted by other RMRs and supporters (& of course the official cheer squads). It can give you such a boost. The t-shirts/vests are easy to spot, but caps, snugs and temporary tattoos are also available to fit around your chosen running kit and get you that “Run Mummy Run” cheer.
9. Race Fuel
Work out what you need in advance and carry just enough. You don’t want to be lugging too many gels around the course with you. Don’t be tempted to try anything different to what you have trained with – nobody wants an unexpected toilet stop!
10. Warm Clothing
You’ve done it. You’ve crossed the finish line – you are now a triumphant marathoner. Go collect your bag and pull out some warm jogging bottoms and a hoodie. Chuck them on and stay warm. Your body will cool very quickly even on a hot day.
11. Re-Fuelling and recovery
Now is the time to refuel after your tremendous effort. Try to eat something within 30 minutes of finishing. Ideally something with carbs and protein but in reality anything you can face. Some people fancy something salty after all the sweet fuel during the race. Perhaps chuck a packet of crisps in your bag. Make sure you hydrate well too.
12. Spare Shoes/Flip Flops
Your feet are likely to feel a bit battered after 26.2 miles. It’s an idea to put a change of shoes in your kit bag, especially if the weather is due to be wet. Flip-flops are ideal if your feet are likely to swell or blister.
13. Compression Socks!
Recovery starts here. If you haven’t already been running in them now is the perfect time to put your compression socks or sleeves on to help those tired legs. This is very important if you have a long car or train journey home.
14. Freshen up
Freshening up can make you feel like a new woman. Baby wipes to wipe away sweat and the salty crust it leaves (mmm nice). Some lip balm to sooth your dry lips and some deodorant or body spray to hide the pong. Nobody told you marathon running was this glamorous eh?
15. First Aid
Hopefully you’ve made it round unscathed but if you have a minor first aid issues a kit can be useful. Tissues, antiseptic wipes, Savlon, plasters, blister treatments and perhaps freeze gel can make that journey home a little more comfortable.
16. Something to celebrate!
We like to pop a little bottle of fizz or a can of G&T in to celebrate after we’ve finished. But do take care not to overdo it on the booze!
17. Most important of all…….
Make sure you pack your self-belief! Trust your training and know you are awesome for making it this far. Enjoy your “lap of honour” after the months of training and know you have nearly 40,000 RMR women cheering you on x