What to Wear on Race Day

As race day nears, I have been trying to figure out what I’m going to wear. The weather looks like the perfect running conditions–with a high of 65 degrees and sunny. At the start of race time, the temperature should be around 45 degrees–warming up to 55 by the time I will be nearing the end.

So what do you wear? This article from Cosmopolitan has been my favorite so far!

Which is worse: Heading out for a run and totally overheating, or completely freezing your ass off?

The truth is that both situations suck — but both are entirely avoidable as long as you dress for weather that’s 15 to 20 degrees warmer than whatever the thermometer reads, says avid runner and The North Face performance apparel product manager Becky Avila.

When temperatures soar above 80 degrees, go with a lightweight, breathable tank top and shorts made from synthetic fabrics like polyester that help moisture evaporate. Natural materials like cotton absorb moisture and hold on to it, which weighs you down and feels totally gross.

Tank Top, NEW BALANCE, $38; Perforated Great Escape Shorts, UNDER ARMOUR, $23; Zquick Sneakers, REEBOK, $50.

When temperatures hover in the 70s, go with a lightweight tank, and shorts or capris. No, you won’t sweat your ass off in the latter: If you prefer the coverage and support of cropped tights, go for it. Just choose breathable mesh fabrics or styles with vents to let in the breeze and help sweat evaporate.

Marble-Print Tee, GAP, $30; Cropped Leggings with Mesh, SOLOW, $84; Response Boost Techfit Shoes, ADIDAS, $100.

Temperatures in the 60s might just be the perfect running weather. A lightweight T-shirt lets in the breeze, while mesh-paneled capris made from nylon and spandex provide awesome coverage, but still let your legs breathe.

Stella McCartney Barricade Tee, $60, ADIDAS; Plum Stardust Crop Pant, MICHI, $129; HKNB Sneakers, NEW BALANCE, $100.

When temperatures are in the upper 50s, you really don’t need any base layers. Go for shorts or capris (your choice!), and wear a sweat-wicking long-sleeve shirt right over your sports bra. You can push up the sleeves when you get toasty — it’s more convenient than removing a whole layer and then having to hold it or tie it around your waist while you run.

Motion Long-Sleeve Top, GAP, $45; Legend 2.0 Tight Mezzo, NIKE, $65; Gel-Nimbus Sneakers, ASICS, $160.

In the low 50s, capris, a sweat-wicking undershirt, and a long-sleeved shirt will keep you warm and dry. Make sure your bottoms are made of technical materials that wick away moisture so you don’t get the chills when you sweat. And if you run in the evening or before dawn? Look for reflective detailing to help vehicles see you. (It’s a good idea in any weather.)

Fit-Sana Rib Tank, $30, ASICS; Women’s HeatGear Alpha Capri, UNDER ARMOUR, $35; In a Flash Long Sleeves Shirt, LULULEMON, $98; Zoom Terra Kiger Sneakers, NIKE, $125.

Mesh-Back Tank, VICTORIA’S SECRET, $37; Apex Light Jacket, THE NORTH FACE, $130; Speed Tight II Leggings, LULULEMON, $108; Pure Boost Sneakers, ADIDAS, $120.

Accelorate Tank Top, NEW BALANCE, $24; Pria Excel Zip-Through, LORNA JANE, $90; Thermoball Vest, THE NORTH FACE, $149; gFast Marble-Print Leggings, GAP, $54, Fleece-Lined Convertible Mitts, VICTORIA’S SECRET, $25; Z Dual Ride Sneakers, REEBOK, $70.

In the winter you want to wear just enough layers to stay warm, but not too many, which will leave you sweat-soaked and freezing. In the upper 30s, that means a sweat-wicking tank top, a windproof, fleece-lined zip up, leggings, a synthetic-fabric headband that covers your ears, and gloves. (Opt for tech-friendly ones so you can skip around your playlist without peeling off layers.)

Racer-Back Tank, GAP, $25; Windfleece Jacket, ADIDAS, $70; Compression Tights, REEBOK, $50; Fleece-Lined Headband, VICTORIA’S SECRET, $17; ColdGear Infrared Gloves, UNDER ARMOUR, $40; Zigkick Wild Sneakers, REEBOK, $50.

When temperatures hit the low 30s, you’ve got to start layering up. A hybrid jacket with a vest-like body and stretchy sleeves helps promote flexibility and keep the bulk to a minimum. Underneath, all you’ll need is a tank top and long-sleeved shirt. Wear brushed leggings, which feel fleecy inside. They’re designed to keep heat in and wind out, and will be your very best friend this winter — you actually lose a lot of heat from your legs and butt, Avila says. Add a headband and gloves and you’re good to go.

Chi Tank Top, ATHLETICA, $44; Infrared Crew, UNDER ARMOUR, $50; Animagi Hybrid Jacket, THE NORTH FACE, $150; Speed Tights, LULULEMON, $108; Printed Thermal Run Gloves, NIKE (Available at Dick’s Sporting Goods), $22; Winter Warrior Head Wrap, LUCY, $15.


In the high 20s, you’ll want to run in a tank top, light long-sleeved shirt, an insulated jacket, brushed leggings, gloves, and a hat. Make sure your headgear is made of synthetic materials to keep your hair dry when you sweat. And no pom-poms, which will bounce around when you run.

Seamless Tank, Under Armour (Available at Dick’s Sporting Goods), $26; Long-Sleeved Top, H&M, $25; Windfleece Jacket, ADIDAS, $70; Thermal Run Tights, SWEATY BETTY, $155; Run With Me Gloves, LULULEMON , $32; PureProject Running Beanie, BROOKS; $30; Free Flyknit Sneakers, NIKE (Available at Lady Foot Locker), $120.

Bring on the layers in the low 20s — you won’t regret ’em. Start with a tank top, heavy long-sleeved shirt, and light jacket up top, wear brushed leggings, gloves, wind-resistant mittens, and a hat to seal the heat in. And while standard sweat-wicking socks and your favorite sneakers generally work for cold temperatures, special insulated sneakers can keep your toesies extra warm. (A note about the socks: Don’t be tempted to switch up your regular ones for fleece or other warm-looking socks. They’ll trap heat, all right, but that’s not a good thing. When your feet get hot, they sweat and swell, which can cause blisters, Olzinski says. Choose moisture-wicking socks year-round, and always avoid puddles to keep your feet dry and warm.)

Run Swiftly Tech Tank, LULULEMON, $48; Long-Sleeve Crew Neck, THE NORTH FACE, $50; Vidali Hybrid Jacket, THE NORTH FACE (Available at Urban Outfitters), $120; Hyperwarm Leggings, NIKE, $70; Runners ETip Gloves, THE NORTH FACE, $25; Runners Overmitt, THE NORTH FACE, $35; Coffee Run Beanie, UNDER ARMOUR, $25; and Climaheat Rocketboost Sneakers, ADIDAS, $110.

In colder temperatures: If you’re smart, you’ll take your workout indoors. While you can technically still run outside when it’s clear, the air can be extremely dry in the winter, so you have to cover your nose and mouth. And because it’s so freaking cold, you should also wear leg warmers or calf tights, slip on an even heavier jacket, and wear trail-running shoes with extra grip to avoid slips. In other words, it’s a real schlep to sweat in tundra-like conditions. Spare yourself and stay warm with a cardio workout you can do indoors.

Pin the entire guide to reference later!



The Right Way to Carbo-load Before a Race

Carbo-loading can help you race without hitting the wall—as long as you do it right.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2011, 12:00 AM
Most runners know they should eat pasta, rice, potatoes, or other high-carb foods before a half or full marathon. After all, carbs are a great source of energy, and you need a lot of energy to cover 13.1 or 26.2 miles. But many runners are far less clear on how many carbohydrates they should eat and when to start loading up.
“When I go to marathon expos,” says Monique Ryan, R.D., author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, “I’m amazed how many people haven’t carbo-loaded properly. Runners train so hard and then arrive with a huge handicap.” Here’s what every runner needs to know about carbohydrates, so you can toe the line fully fueled and ready to go.

Carb Science
When you eat a bowl of spaghetti, most of the carbs are stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver. Glycogen is your body’s most easily accessible form of energy, but it’s not the only source, says Ryan. During a half or full marathon you burn both glycogen and fat. But the latter is not as efficient, which means your body has to work harder to convert it into fuel.

When you run out of glycogen during a race you hit “the wall.” Your body has to slow down as it turns fat into energy. Benjamin Rapoport, a 2:55 marathoner, is intimately acquainted with the wall. The Harvard M.D. student (who has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from MIT) hit the wall so hard at the 2005 New York City Marathon he decided to study how to avoid it in the future (his research was published in PLoS Computational Biology in October 2010). “Proper carbo-loading—or filling your muscles to the brim with glycogen—won’t make you faster, but it will allow you to run your best and, if you race smartly, avoid the wall,” he says.

Choose Wisely
Which carbs should you load up on? “I’m very utilitarian,” says Rapoport. “I eat rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” But runners don’t need to be so restrictive. Tortillas, oatmeal, bread, pancakes, waffles, bagels, yogurt, and juice are all easy-to-digest options. Many fruits are high in carbs but are also high in fiber—and too much can cause stomach trouble midrace. “Bananas are a low-fiber choice,” says sports nutritionist Ilana Katz, R.D. “And you can peel apples, peaches, and pears to reduce their fiber content.” She also gives her clients permission to indulge in white bread and baked potatoes without the skin since both are easily digested.

Ryan suggests steering clear of high-fat foods—like creamy sauces, cheese, butter, and oils—as well as too much protein. Both nutrients fill you up faster than carbs and take longer to digest, she says. Pick jam—not butter—for your toast, tomato sauce in lieu of alfredo sauce on your pasta, and frozen yogurt instead of ice cream for dessert.

How Much?
You can’t completely fill your muscles with glycogen from just one meal, “which is why you should start carbo-loading two or three days before your race,” says Ryan. Since you’re running very few miles, the glycogen will accumulate in your muscles. At this point, 85 to 95 percent of your calories should come from carbs, says Katz. Ryan recommends eating about four grams of carbs for every pound of body weight (for a 150 pound runner that’s 600 grams—or 2,400 calories—of carbs per day).

More: Get the Runner’s World Cookbook—150 recipes specifically for runners

During his research, Rapoport developed an even more precise formula, which runners can access at endurancecalculator.com, that factors in variables including age, resting heart rate, VO2 max, and predicted finishing time. It’s important to keep in mind that you’re most likely not eating many more calories per day than you were during the thick of your training—it’s just that more of those calories are coming from carbs.

If you step on the scale while you’re carbo-loading, be prepared to see a number that’s at least four pounds more than your usual weight. The extra pounds mean you get a gold star for carbo-loading properly. “With every gram of stored carbohydrate, you store an extra three grams of water,” says Katz. That means your body will be hydrated and fueled as you start the race, ensuring you cross the finish feeling strong.

Good Eats

A day of carbo-loading for a 150-pound runner.

1 bagel with 2 tablespoons strawberry jam (71 g)
1 medium banana (27 g)
8 ounces fruit yogurt (41 g)
8 ounces orange juice (26 g)

Morning Snack
2 Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey Granola Bars (29 g)
8 ounces Gatorade (14 g)

1 large baked potato with 1/4 cup salsa (69 g)
1 sourdough roll (40 g)
8 ounces chocolate milk (26 g)
1 large oatmeal cookie (56 g)

Afternoon Snack
1 Clif Bar (42 g)
8 ounces Gatorade (14 g)

1 chicken burrito with rice, corn salsa, and black beans (105 g)
1 2-ounce bag Swedish Fish (51 g)

Carb Total: 611 g

Perfect Timing

What to do before race day to ensure your tank is full.

6 Weeks Before: Practice loading
Two or three days prior to your longest run, start eating more carbs and less fat and protein. “You’ll get a sense of what foods agree and disagree with your stomach,” says Katz.

1 Week Before: Make a plan
“A plan is especially important if you’re traveling to a race,” says Ryan. Pack plenty of snacks, like sports bars, pretzels, and crackers. Check menus online and make restaurant reservations.

2 or 3 Days Before: Switch to carbs
From now through your race, 85 to 95 percent of your diet should be carbs. Eat after taper runs. “That is when muscles are primed to store glycogen,” says Rapoport.

Night Before: Don’t stuff yourself
Dinner should be relatively small but carb-heavy. Eat on the early side so you have lots of time to digest.
“You want to wake up race day hungry—not full from the night before,” says Ryan.

Race Morning: Have breakfast
Three hours before the start, eat 150 grams of carbs, like a bagel and yogurt or sports drink and oatmeal, says Ryan. Early race? “Get up at 3 a.m., eat, and go back to bed,” she says.

Repost from from Runner’s World. Click here for full article.

Training For A Half Marathon

I hate running. Okay no, I like running. But I hate running long distances. For once though, I want to complete a half marathon. For now, just one. To say I did it. Never running over 5 miles at one time however, freaks me out that I won’t be able to do it. Running a half marathon has always been something I wanted to accomplish at some point in my life. With a little encouragement from a special someone that recently entered my life, training has started.

This is the training schedule that I am going to give a go. For a beginner, it looks like a great place to start. If you are giving a half marathon a try for the first time as well, check out this training plan and let me know how you like it!


BEFORE STARTING TO TRAIN FOR A HALF MARATHON, you need to possess a basic fitness level. But assuming no major problems, most healthy people can train themselves to complete a 13.1-mile race. This free guide will tell you how. Much more information is contained in my book, Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training, scheduled for publication by Human Kinetics this spring.

The following schedule assumes you have the ability to run 3 miles, three to four times a week. If that seems difficult, consider a shorter distance for your first race.

The terms used in the training schedule are somewhat obvious, but let me explain what I mean anyway.

Pace: Don’t worry about how fast you run your regular workouts. Run at a comfortable pace, a conversational pace. If you can’t do that, you’re running too fast. (For those wearing heart rate monitors, your target zone should be between 65 and 75 percent of your maximum pulse rate.)

Distance: The training schedule dictates workouts at distances, from 3 to 10 miles. Don’t worry about running precisely those distances, but you should come close. Pick a course through the neighborhood, or in some scenic area. In deciding where to train, talk to other runners. GPS watches make measuring courses easy.

Rest: Rest is as important a part of your training as the runs. You will be able to run the long runs on the weekend better if you rest before, and rest after.

Long Runs: The key to half marathon training is the long run, progressively increasing in distance each weekend. Over a period of 12 weeks, your longest run will increase from 3 to 10 miles. Then, after a brief taper, you jump to 13.1. The schedule below suggests doing your long runs on Sundays, but you can do them Saturdays, or any other convenient day,

Cross-Train: On the schedule below, this is identified simply as “cross.” What form of cross-training? Aerobic exercises work best. It could be swimming, cycling, walking (see below), cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or even some combination that could include strength training.  Cross train on Wednesdays and/or Saturdays. Cross-training days should be considered easy days that allow you to recover from the running you do the rest of the week.

Walking: Walking is an excellent exercise that a lot of runners overlook in their training. I don’t specify walking breaks, but feel free to walk during your running workouts any time you feel tired. Be aware that I also offer a separate half marathon training program for those who plan to walk all the way.

Strength Training: If you never have lifted weights before, now might not be the best time to start. Wait until after completing this program. If you are an experienced lifter, continue, although you may want to cut back somewhat as the mileage builds near the end. Tuesdays and Thursdays after your run would be good days on which to lift.

Racing: Consider doing a couple of races to familiarize yourself with the sport. I have suggested a 5-K race at the end of Week 6 and a 10-K race at the end of Week 9. If you can’t find races at those distances on the weeks suggested, feel free to modify the schedule.

Juggling: Don’t be afraid to juggle the workouts from day to day and week to week. Be consistent with your training, and the overall details won’t matter.

Running 13.1 miles is not easy. If it were easy, there would be little challenge to an event such as the half marathon. Whether you plan your half as a singular accomplishment or as a stepping stone to the even more challenging full marathon, crossing the finish line will give you a feeling of great accomplishment. Good luck with your training.

1 Rest 3 m run 2 m run or cross 3 m run Rest 30 min cross 4 m run
2 Rest 3 m run 2 m run or cross 3 m run Rest 30 min cross 4 m run
3 Rest 3.5 m run 2 m run or cross 3.5 m run Rest 40 min cross 5 m run
4 Rest 3.5 m run 2 m run or cross 3.5 m run Rest 40 min cross 5 m run
5 Rest 4 m run 2 m run or cross 4 m run Rest 40 min cross 6 m run
6 Rest 4 m run 2 m run or cross 4 m run Rest or easy run Rest 5-K Race
7 Rest 4.5 m run 3 m run or cross 4.5 m run Rest 50 min cross 7 m run
8 Rest 4.5 m run 3 m run or cross 4.5 m run Rest 50 min cross 8 m run
9 Rest 5 m run 3 m run or cross 5 m run Rest or easy run Rest 10-K Race
10 Rest 5 m run 3 m run or cross 5 m run Rest 60 min cross 9 m run
11 Rest 5 m run 3 m run or cross 5 m run Rest 60 min cross 10 m run
12 Rest 4 m run 3 m run or cross 2 m run Rest Rest Half Marathon

View the full training article here.