It’s the week of race day preparation and instead of getting in the miles on the road I’ll mainly be concentrating on preparing things for Saturday and the ultramarathon. I think it will be somewhat straightforward but I thought I would lay out in a series of posts what I’ll be bringing, wearing, and preparing for the race, both as a guide for others and a reminder for myself when all is said and done.
The easiest thing to get right is clothing. From my training I know what works and what doesn’t, and I know what will be comfortable for the race. The first thing to consider is the weather which, although it is officially spring now, could still be cold and even rainy.
The forecast for Saturday as of this morning has it being fine but, as is clear, it’s a little all over the place. It does seem that it won’t be cold but it could be wet, so I’ll try and be ready for that sort of weather when it comes to clothes.
Top to bottom, here’s what I’ll be wearing to start the race:
- Kalenji Rain Cap: It will come in handy if the rain shows up and it’ll keep the sun off my head if the rain doesn’t. It’s waterproof but very light and I usually run with it to keep my head warm even if the rain is not threatening.
- Craft Technical T-Shirt: I got this shirt back a couple of years ago when I rode the Tour de l’Ain cyclosportive and it’s my favorite running shirt. It’s light, it breathes well, and it is great for wicking away sweat.
- Btwin Arm Warmers: If the weather holds I won’t need them but, just in case it is a little chilly to start with, the arm warmers help keep everything nice and toasty.
- Kalenji Ekiden 3/4 Tights: I prefer the 3/4 tights over the full length tights and they keep me warm without actually making me too hot if the weather fines up. I have three or four pairs and they’re just great.
- Kalenji Kanergy Leg Sleeves: A friend put me onto the compression calf sleeves and while I am sure the effect is 90% placebo, I’ll take the 10% improvement if it’s there.
- Quechua Arpenaz 50 Socks: These are technically low hiking socks but they are my favorite socks for running in. They are seamless and have a nice padding underfoot that I like for the longer runs. I’ll leave another pair in the bag, just in case.
- Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 3: These shoes have about 500km on them now and are well worn in. They are comfortable, fit perfectly, and I hope they’ll get me through the whole six hours without any rubbing.
In case things take a turn for the worst, I’ll also have:
- Kalenji Waterproof Trail Jacket: This is a great light jacket that is waterproof and windproof. If the wind kicks up it’ll be good for keeping the chill out, and it is perfect for all sorts of rainy weather, too.
- Kalenji Evolutiv Gloves: These gloves are very warm and while I never use the ‘mitten’ system, they keep my fingers nice and toasty if the weather turns too chilly.
- Kalenji Ekiden Technical T-Shirt: I’ll take a spare t-shirt just in case I want to change shirts. I can’t imagine that I would unless I somehow get completely soaked but it weighs nothing and is worth having, just in case.
In terms of technology, I’ll keep things nice and simple:
- Garmin Vivoactive: It’s my running and fitness watch and will do the trick on the weekend as it has for the last year. With a ten-hour battery life with the GPS running, it shouldn’t have any issues staying powered up for the six hour race.
- iPod Shuffle: I’ll load it up with some music and some podcasts but I won’t start the race with it. It’s going to be important to find a pace, concentrate, and not be too distracted in the opening hours, so I’ll have the music as a go to if I feel like I need it.
Everything on the list will be checked, double-checked, and checked again before race day, but I’m confident the clothing I’ve chosen will be the right stuff to get me through the race in comfort, in warmth, and offering the best chance of hitting that 60km goal.