25 Must Have Items for Race Day- An Elite Guide

I am not sure if it was the teen magazines, or the celebrity gossip magazines I used to read, but one of them used to feature a “Peek inside a celebrity purse/handbag”. I remember enjoying that particular section, as it showed that celebrities are human….what!? Yes, they too have a wallet in their bag AND some keys *GASP*!

In the same way, athletes are humans, even though sometimes they may seem like Superheroes. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to share with you a look into my race day bag. I am very thankful that at most big races, we have our own tent where we can leave our bag, without any concerns of it being taken away to be destroyed.

This will show you everything I have with me on race day (if I am traveling from home/a hotel for the day) to make sure I am ready to go! For Chicago we have to leave our race fuel with the event staff the day before the race, and they will ensure it is out on the course for us. This explains why this is not pictured, nor is my pre race meal. You can read about that HERE
So here it is, other than being a little better presented, here is exactly what you would find if you dumped out my race day bag:
Racing outfit
Warm up Clothing
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • A T-shirt – if the temperature is too warm for a long sleeve
  • Tights- to wear over racing shorts
Items to prevent issues
  • Tums- upset stomachs are a sure fire way to ruin a race; this helps my stomach calm down
  • Extra Hairtie- you never know when yours may break
  • Vaseline- to put in any spots that have rubbed in the past, or have the potential to rub
  • Deodorant- nobody wants to smell πŸ™‚
  • Extra socks- in case the socks I am wearing are rubbing/not sitting correctly
  • Change of shoes- if race day shoes rubbed, these are definitely desirable asap!

Post Race Nutrition

  • Body Armor Superdrink– for replenishing electrolytes, and quenching thirst
  • FUEL- I ALWAYS have carbohydrates, protein, and fats within 20 minutes of my race (followed by a full meal within 2 hours)
  • Enduropacks Amino Acid Patches- to help my body bounce back
  • Roll Recovery– if any area in particular is hurting, this comes in handy to roll away the knots
  • Clean sports bra- the chills can get you pretty quick if you do not change out of the sweaty one
  • Clean short and long sleeve shirt- depending on the temperature post race
  • Comfortable open shoes- if a blister is angry, these will allow it to breathe
  • Hat- On really sunny days, I tend to get a headache in the few hours after a race from squinting, this has helped on many occasions
  • Water bottle- for pre and post race hydration
Β Now I have typed that all out, it seems like a lot more than I realized. Maybe I am more of a Diva than I thought I was? Either way, these items are important to my day, and although I have let go of most of my race day rituals (I no longer listen to Fort Minor- Remember the Name as I warm up), I still think most of these items are necessary to make sure I am able to perform to my best on the day.

For elites, its the little things that make all the difference, but I am sure my bag is not too different from anyone else’s πŸ™‚

Is this what you expected? What are your must haves for race day?Β 

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  • For the most part it's what I expected. Not too different from a non-elite race day bag.

  • Pretty much the same as my bag, but I too have never heard of amino acid patches.

  • Kris, check out enduropacks! I think you would DEFINITELY benefit from them! I can give you a discount code if you are interested πŸ™‚

  • haha you're not a diva, you're just smart and well prepared!

  • Good stuff! So I guess refueling after my last race by having a fast food bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit almost 2 hours later isn't recommended? πŸ˜‰

  • I'm a big fan of compression socks but haven't tried Amp Pro yet. Love to see what you have in there-thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  • this is so so so so so INTERESTING to a walkernotrunnerNONELITE!

  • This is so great…and our bags would look eerily similar, minus the hair ties πŸ™‚ I also love that you have TUMS in there. I should probably add that to my bag asap!

  • Heather @fitncookies
    September 17, 2014 12:35 pm

    It's always important to stick to what works, and you have definitely figured it out! I always pack extra clothes for after a race. I hate being in the wet clothes for too long.

  • You are so well prepared! I am far from elite, but my race-day items list looks similar to yours, minus the Tums and amino acid patches. Tums are something worth trying; my stomach is so touchy on race day!

    Amy @ http://www.livinglifetruth.com/

  • Tina@GottaRunNow
    September 17, 2014 2:00 pm

    That's being prepared! I use a lot of the same items, but something new I've been using for chafing is Gold Bond Friction Defense that I found at the grocery store.

  • Always good to be well prepared! pretty much on par for what I would think to expect. I do a lot of races close to home so some times just roll out of the house race ready and don't check a bag! I recently discovered body armor and love it.
    I am interested in the amino patches though I might have to check those out.

  • Annette@FitnessPerks
    September 17, 2014 2:40 pm

    You have some awesome tips & ideas! I definitely always need a jacket for beforehand–it's cold that early! haha

  • I never remember a change of socks and shoes.. I need to add that in. Great tips! It's always helpful to see what someone else does to prepare for a race.

  • I love this! You're so prepared! I never remember a change of socks/shoes or shirt and I always wish I had them at the end of the race. Hopefully I remember next time!

  • Smart move to bring the rollers for your post-race stiffness! You have it all in there and I think that's smart. You never know what the day will bring and it's smart to be ready for before, during and after.

  • Wow, the only thing I bring with me is self-talked-confidence and a sport bra(and shirt and pants) and a water bottle. I'm not as serious as you are right now!

  • I've been testing out Enduropack for the last month. I must admit that I was skeptical but I've become a believer. They really help me recover!

  • I took a roller stick with me last week to my race – best move ever!!! And, several other runners/crews wanted to borrow it!!

  • Looks a lot what I have in my bag! Except us non-elites need to bring things like hand sanitizer for when the port-a-potties inevitably run out. πŸ˜‰ I always bring a change of clothes, too, and post-run fuel (Endurox R4 for me). I've never heard of Enduropacks but you've got me interested–they sound really intriguing!

  • Amino acid patches? Learn something new everyday! I'm always curious to see what people carry around in their bags too, and while I've never actually run a race or had to prepare for one, I'll know where to come for advice if I ever decide to do it πŸ˜€

  • Danielle @ itsaharleyyylife
    September 18, 2014 10:58 am

    It's always good to be prepared! I stack a whole bunch of things in my bag I never use when I go to CrossFit competitions! Especially FOOD!

  • Liziheartvegetables
    September 18, 2014 11:28 am

    It takes a lot to run a lot! πŸ™‚ But it looks like you'd be prepared!

  • Love this! Similar to mine as well. I always carry a Picky Bar with me since I try and stay away from gluten and post-race is all bagels all the time. And baby wipes… but I'm going to move to Shower Pills after Ragnar πŸ™‚

  • Martina Di Marco
    September 18, 2014 8:30 pm

    Awesome, informative post! As per usual πŸ˜‰ I'd add wet wipes to the list… I always put them in my bag and put a few in a small zip lock to bring with me along the course because… you never know!

  • Awesome! You have convinced me I need to clean out my bag and start over! A little spring cleaning is in order! Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Michelle@Running with Attitude
    September 19, 2014 6:57 pm

    Looks like you've got everything covered and are prepared for any scenario. My big must haves in addition to many of the things you mentioned are baby wipes and lip balm.

  • I'm working on my bag for Chicago. It's my first traveling race so I'm making a list to make sure I have everything at the hotel. We have a lot of the same items but I like your idea for adding a hat for after the race. I can see how that would help a lot!

  • I would definitely need…… PROBIOTICS!

  • Oh, man. This is SUCH good list! I would add immodium for my stomach, but everything else is super insightful. Especially the hat! I always get terrible headaches after races, and after reading this, I’m realizing it probably has to do with squinting! can’t wait to get a hat. Thanks for the info, Tina!

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