You’ve logged the miles and scaled walls. You’ve done burpees until you’ve dropped! You even signed up for the Spartan WOD so that you could prepare and changed your diet so that you were race day ready! As the day approaches, one thing looms in your mind…
What do I wear?
Ah, the quintessential question asked by every OCR athlete who ever first toed a Spartan Race start line. Here we will give you the basics of what you wear and what to bring on race day from members of our Spartan Race Pro Team.
First and foremost, take care of your feet! Members of our pro team strongly suggest a pair of trail running shoes. You will need the added traction that a trail shoe offers. You will also want to look for a shoe that provides adequate drainage when it get wet. A waterproof shoe is not a good idea, once the water gets in, and it will, it will have trouble getting out.
Shorts: If you’re going to wear shorts, most of our pro team prefer 5″ or 6″ running shorts or compression shorts. When they get wet there is a lower likelihood of chaffing. Looks for shorts with minimal to no pockets so you don’t collect extra mud and debris along the course.
Pants: If pants are more your speed, find compression wicking gear – NO COTTON! The last thing you want is something heavy weighing you down.
Shirts: Many of our male pro’s really prefer to run without a shirt. Depending on the material, shirts add very little warmth and/or protection. Skin dries a lot quicker than any fabric. If it’s cool before your heat, get to the start line with an old shirt or garbage bag for warmth. Ditch it (responsibly in a trash can) right before the start. You may also have an old pair of socks on your forearms or hands to keep them warm before the start. Many of our elite women opt for just a sports bra for many of the same reasons men go shirtless.
If you plan on donning a shirt: Most of the pro’s agree that a thin long sleeve compression shirt is best. Again, do not wear cotton! Remember, whatever you wear will get wet and will not likely dry out. If you are cold sensitive you may want to wear a windbreaker that does not absorb water. Remember once you start running you will build up a lot of heat.
Head Gear: Most racers generally do not wear anything on their heads except some sunscreen. If you like to have something on your head to manage sweat and keep the sun off you may want to try a bandana. It is easy to put around your neck when a hat might get lost in an obstacle.
Hydration: Typically one can rely on the support at the race for hydration if the race is under 3 hours. If you think you will be out there for a while and/or prefer your own beverage, a backpack with a hydration bladder is ideal.
Gloves: Gloves are a personal preference. Many people prefer to feel the obstacles with their hands. If not, a good pair of wide receiver gloves is great for managing the monkey bars and carrying objects. Just remember, they will get wet!
Eyewear: Sunglasses are only going to muddy and will be useless after the first mud obstacle. Our recommendation, if you need them and have them wear your contact lenses. The swims are generally short enough that you do not need goggles.
Sunblock: Don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun. The mud will help, but apply sunscreen before the race. I like a SPF 50 spray for the body and a lotion 50+SPF for “the face”. Otherwise you might end up with the ever-fashionable forehead race number sunburn.
RACE DAY CHECKLIST
• Trail Running Shoes
• Sports bra
• Race bib pinned with four safety pins to your shorts
• Timing chip on your wrist
• Directions to and from the race/ transportation schedules
• Cash for Parking
• Registration receipt
• Signed waiver
• Caffeine shot (if you like a little kick at the start)
• Water bottle for start line
• SNAP Infusion Super Candy for energy
• Food belt
• Pre-race Food
• Post-race Food
• Backpack/Duffle bag
• Hydration pack
• Hat/visor/hair tie/headband
• Contact lenses
• Change of Shoes/Shorts/Socks
• Plastic Bag
• Anti-chafe gel
• Cash for bag drop
• Extra Cash
• Wet Wipes
*Suit and ties, tutu’s, wedding gowns, monkey suits, and superhero capes are also optional.
Now you have the essentials! The last thing you’ll want to bring with you out on the course is a smile! You’ll need it!
Ready to race? Get registered HERE!