What to wear is always a stressful decision for any marathoner but especially for first timers. You just do not know how you will feel or how your body will react during the race. What follows is my advice on what you should wear. As always what works for me – may not work for you – I do hope that something in this post helps you find the perfect outfit for Sunday!
Sunglasses - always a must during a marathon, but especially at Marine Corps. It gets windy on the bridges, which in my opinion are the worst part of MCM. Sunglasses help block the wind. When your face is scrunched up and tense, your body is tense. Sunglasses block the sun and help keep your face relaxed. That being said, if you have never run with sunglasses before do not try it Sunday. Remember NOTHING new on race day.
Sunscreen – Marine Corps is sunny. I know it is going to be cold on Sunday but you still need sunscreen. There is relatively NO shade on this course. Most of you will be out there for 4+ hours. Think about how skiers always have tan faces. You can get a sunburn even when it is chilly. I have gotten so burnt at this race before that my skin started hurting long before I ever crossed the finish line.
Arm sleeves – I’m so glad these have become popular. They are a much better option than a short sleeve or a long sleeve in my opinion. You can roll them down if you get hot, roll them back up if you get cold. I plan on wearing my Saucony Vizipro Pink ones Sunday.
Shorts or Capris? I personally think if you are finishing in under 4 hours then you want to wear shorts. If you are planning on running in the 4 – 5 hour range than I think you can go with either – shorts or capris and feel comfortable. 5+ hours and I would go with capris. I do not recommend tights for anyone. Unless it is the dead of winter you do not need tights in a marathon. Last thing you want to be is over heated. You will then sweat and get cold. It seems crazy that wearing less keeps you warmer, but it’s true. You do not want to sweat a lot when it is cold out.
I am wearing a hat and possibly a beanie. I have some BEYOND awesome Saucony ones I love – I haven’t picked which one yet but it will be Vizipro pink. Lauren and I from Health On The Run are running together and we will both be rocking watermelon colors – look for the green and pink on Sunday!!
Make sure your Garmin is FULLY charged.
I’ll be racing in the Kinvara 2 again and my favorite Saucony socks since they have NEVER given me blisters.
Body glide is a must. I body glide EVERYWHERE before a marathon. If you are someone who chafes you will likely chafe in places you never imagined. Be prepared and just glide up your whole body.
For windy or chilly races I like to rub Vaseline on my cheeks and forehead. This acts as a barrier between the wind and my skin and helps protect it from windburn.
At the start I will be wearing an old pair of pants and old shirts to throw away. Cut a slit in the top and bottom of the shirt so it is easy to rip off while running rather than pulling it over your head. I will take off the pants at the very last minute so my legs are nice and warm for when I start running.
Questions? What do you plan on wearing? Is this your first Marine Corps Marathon? If you are running and having your race times tweeted leave your twitter name below so everyone can follow you during the race!