Monday, November 15, 2010

On race day--DON'T overdress!

Coming off this weekend's marathon, I was reminded once again of how many people overdress for their marathons. People--just say no!

The general rule for running is to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer than it is. If it is sunny, then take it down even more. I know it can be cold at the start of a race, but that's where throwaway clothes come in. Don't give into the temptation to overdo your clothing--you'll only pay for it later.

An example--at my marathon on Saturday, the start was only in the upper 30s, but it was sunny, not a cloud in the sky. I dressed in shorts, a singlet, and added a long-sleeved throwaway shirt on top. Standing at the start in the sun, it became apparent that I wasn't going to need that shirt even for one mile, so I tossed it before the gun went off. I did, however, keep my gloves on. This was perfect. By about mile 6 or so, I had taken off the gloves. By the final miles, I was a bit warm. I can't imagine how I would have felt if I had more on.

As the miles passed by, I saw runner after runner overdressed, some in full tights and long-sleeved shirts. And you know what? Those were the people who faded. You see, when you overdress, you sweat--a ton! And that sweat contains valuable electrolytes that your muscles need. Don't throw your race by overdoing the clothing.

Remember--if you're not cold when you start and for the first 10 minutes or so, you've got too much on. Practice it until you get it right. Your legs will thank you!


  1. You should be shaking at the start of the race either shivering or excited or both and wishing it was 10 degrees cooler!

  2. So, so true.
    Today I overdressed though. Sleeveless shirt was way too much for temps hitting... 80! Oh, wait, you were talking about temps in 30's. Somebody needs to tell that to our weatherman.

  3. Thanks!!! Got my PR this weekend! Love your blog