Planning for Race Day in this Crazy Weather

disney gearBack in 2010, I ran the Disney Half Marathon. That was the year they had snow flurries at the start of the race in ORLANDO. I hate cold weather, and at that point, I totally avoided it during training. Weren’t we going to Florida for the PURPOSE OF running in warm weather?

The forecast changed between the time we left home and the morning of the race. We found ourselves shopping for gloves and other cold weather gear at the last minute.

It’s funny to me now, but here’s the Facebook photo caption I posted to go with my clothing selection the night before:

So…I have three shirts, all of which I’m willing to throw away. Plus, my pink long sleeved running shirt. A rain poncho, a fleece blanket, stocking hat, baseball cap, head band, gloves, trash bags, an extra pair of sweats for sitting around before we start. And…my usual water belt packed with GU, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, Aquaphor, gum and cell phone.

I think I have taken my usual level of over-kill to a new level. I also think I will stay warm enough to have a great run!

As you can imagine, I was stripping off clothing within the first mile! (And for the record, I no longer run with all that other baggage either, although I really hate germs and often wish I had the hand sanitizer!)

If the race starts cold and stays cold, use the winter weather running tips in this linked post.

Nobody wants the level of overkill I had that year, so here are a few tips for a race with a chilly start where temperatures will climb throughout the morning:

1) The throw away shirt. Find an old sweatshirt or one you pick up cheap from Goodwill that you can wear at the start and then toss as you warm up.

2) The favorite shirt you wrap around your waist when you get warm. Sometimes, I will start with a long sleeved running shirt and then wrap it around my waist so that I have it later if I feel chilled (or to use while waiting for friends at the finish). If you have someone cheering for you who can take your extra clothes at the start, that’s great too.

3) Gloves. For anything under 45 degrees, you’ll probably still want gloves. If I  know it’s going to warm up, I will start with those inexpensive knit ones you can get at Target and then toss them. If I wear my nicer gloves, I will tuck them into the band of my fuel belt.

4) Old Socks. I’ve also seen people use old knee high socks and cut the toes out to use as disposable arm warmers.

5) The trash bag. Another throw away option is to wrap yourself in a garbage bag before the race starts.

What are your favorite tips for staying warm on a chilly race morning?

Go ahead and laugh. Me- the Queen of Overkill in 2010!

Go ahead and laugh. Me- the Queen of Overkill in 2010!

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2 thoughts on “Planning for Race Day in this Crazy Weather

  1. I’m the exact opposite! I LOVE cold weather running. I hate freezing at the start, but unless its under 45 degrees, I’m in a t shirt and capris. Under 45, I’ll usually wear a long sleeved shirt and tights, and sometimes a base layer under that. I overdressed for a 10k once(cause I was so cold at the start) and had to stop in the middle of the race to shed all my layers. And I did not plan well, because I actually wanted to keep the clothes, so I had to tie around my waist.

    • I try to convince myself that 45 degrees is shorts and tank weather. I freeze at the start, but wind up being very happy with it once I get going. Have a great race season!

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