A checklist of must-have items for your next race

You are all set for your next race. While training for a race has its share of ups and downs, the moments before the start are incomparable. As race week approaches, you may feel a tinge of panic sink in as everything begins to feel real.

Whether you are participating in a 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon, preparation is key. This is true for your running gear too. Packing for your race beforehand ensures you are ready for the big day without worrying whether you missed packing an essential item.

That's where it helps to have a list of items to pack for your upcoming race.

Use this packing checklist to prepare for your next race and head into race day with confidence and peace of mind. Depending on the race you will be running, the conditions and the distance, you may have to pack different items for your race day.

Running clothes

Wear running clothes you are most comfortable in. Take running clothes you have run longer distances in and are sure won't cause chafing. Here are some important pieces of clothes to place in your running kit:

  • Running tights
  • Running shorts
  • Sports bra
  • Running top
  • Running base layer
  • Running hoodie
  • Running shoes
  • Running socks. Bring socks that suit you. Some runners like compression socks. Find out which type of socks you are most comfortable in.
  • Shirt, jacket, sweater and a spare pair of socks to change into post your race.

When it comes to clothing, layering is key. It's better to wear extra layers you can take off rather than being left freezing while you are racing. Find out your optimal layering pattern while you are training. Some people run hot while others run cold.

You must also bear in mind that you will likely run harder during a race. So be sure to wear fewer layers to avoid overheating.

Follow this rule of thumb to find out your perfect layering combination. If you feel a bit cold when you step out the door, you must be fine when you race as you are likely to heat up when you run.

Be sure to also keep the weather in mind. For instance, if you are running a trail over a mountain, it can get cooler at the top than in the valley. Moreover, the descent can feel cold as well. In such cases, bring along a lightweight running jacket that you can put on/take off as needed.

Running accessories

  • Gloves or old socks you can use as mittens and dump during the race when your fingers warm up.
  • Beanie or headband. Most of the body warmth is lost through the head. So, bring a hat or beanie when it's cold or raining.
  • Sunglasses. Be sure to bring along a pair of quality sunglasses to protect your eyes. Be sure to pick sunglasses that are designed for running and offer UV protection.
  • Cap to keep away the sun. This is crucial when you are running around midday.
  • Running belt.

Running equipment

  • Smartphone to listen to your favourite music and track your run.
  • Fitness headphones. Choose headphones that fit you perfectly and won't pop out while you are running. Be sure to make a playlist.
  • Hydration backpack
  • Anti-chafing cream
  • Sunscreen & lip balm
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp
  • Sports drinks
  • MP3 player in case you are not using your phone.
  • Shoelaces that will stay secure all through your race.
  • Band-aids to keep your nipples protected against the friction from your shirt.
  • Some tissues in case you get a runny nose or when you must use the restroom.
  • If you have long hair, bring a hair tie

Post-race gear

  • Recovery drink
  • Wet wipes
  • Change of comfortable clothes
  • Compression socks or tights
  • A foam roller or massage gun


When you have the right gear, racing becomes even more fun.

Run through this checklist one day before your race. This way, you can be sure you have everything you need for the big day. This will free up your mind so you can focus on mentally preparing for the race.

If you are looking to buy a quality pair of sunglasses, look no further than Mars Quest. We offer a range of quality running sunglasses to suit your style. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us!