There are a lot of opinions for what to wear and what not to wear when it comes to race attire. Some swear by a certain shirt or hat or shoes, while others think less is more. But there are a few common issues runner face. Whether or not to wear the race day shirt, the idea of standard extras (water belts, Ipod holders, etc..) and finally the funky attire for special races like costumes!
I like to wear the race t-shirt on the run while others believe that you need to test your race attire well in advance, especially if you're running a long distance like a half or full marathon. I think if you have skin issues, or need layers because of weather then you're better off going with a tried and true shirt. But if it's normal weather and you like the race shirt then why not go for it. I'm a fan of wearing the race shirt, but only if it is a technical shirt and comfortable feeling. I wore my horror hill shirt and my Waterloo half-marathon shirts to the races. But I have had the issue of wearing a new shirt out on a long training run and have some real chaffing, so now I am cautious about how far I wear something the first time. Typically I test things on the treadmill where I have the ability to rip it off and toss it if I get uncomfortable.
Another big area for runners is whether or not to take their standard gear on a run with them. I've run both my half marathons with my 1L water belt but I don't think I'll be wearing it for my next one. At my horror hill run I wore it and really pushed myself and you know what? That empty water belt felt like it weighed 5kg at the last .5km of that race. I was seriously considering throwing it in a ditch and getting it afterwards with my car, but since my keys were in it and I had no where else to put them I kept it on. There are some things I have to wear like my lucky hat but next time I'm going to safety pin my keys to my running bra and leave that belt at home!
So in line with my theory that one must test their running attire prior to a race, Cecilia and I have decided to wear matching Team Sparkle skirts when we run the Toronto Waterfront marathon next year. Cecilia is partial to one of the green ones and I'm thinking blue. We're lucky that she has a girlfriend in the US who will get the skirts shipped to her and then mail them to us so we can avoid duty. I'm really excited about the skirts and figure we'll order them after my half in April so we can break them in during the summer and I can get used to running in a skirt. Cecilia has a running skirt but this will be new to me. I figure it's a great mix of snazzy but also girlie while making us easy to spot if anyone comes to wish us luck!
Do you have a signature piece of running gear, or a tried and true method for breaking in something fast for race day or can you just throw on anything and rock it?