Prepping for my first half marathon : clothes

I completed my first half marathon this past Sunday. Racing more was part of my 2015 goals and I am very happy with how it went. Perfect conditions, not too much pain, great route. I read a lot of running blogs and running magazines and I know how important the small details can influence how a race goes.

For this race, I spent a lot of time deciding what to eat, what to wear, planning logistics. Much more than I had anticipated !


I had checked obsessed about the weather all week. Finally, they were announcing sunny, about 10 degrees celcius, about 53 farenheit. I will take it !


Nice weather


I laid out my clothes on Saturday.

  • Socks that were not too thin, because I wanted some cushion
  • Running pants that are not too tight around the waist. Thank you Nike !
  • A shirt that will wick moisture, and is long around the hips (I hate it when shirts ride up). Thanks again Nike !
  • A thin top for a second layer
  • Brooks GTS
Clothes laid out

Clothes laid out

Up until that point, all was fine. I chose pieces of clothing that I wear regularly, are comfortable in and I know will not chafe. Ones that have pockets that I am used to using.

Its the layering after that I had a hard time with. Do I need a hat ? Gloves ? An extra layer ? A neck warmer ? I brought all of this to the race, just in case. I thought about it for a good part of the week because the parking was supposed to be quite far from the race start, so I didn’t know what I could bring / carry etc.


I often run in 40 degree weather, where the sun has not fully warmed the atmosphere, and usually have 3 layers. My gut told me though that it would be a bit warmer for the race, but at the same time I HATE being cold. So back and forth it went like this for a few days.

2015-01-17 10.15.08


While I was waiting for the race to start there was a 10 K going on that I went to watch and walked around a bit with my third layer. People were running in tank tops and running shorts. That sealed it for me. A third layer was DEFINITELY not going to happen.

2015-04-05 15.19.24

I also went back and forth about my hands. I love my thin, pink Underarmor top, but it does not have any built in hand warmers. But I feel so good in it, I even wrote a post about it. So after further hemming and hawing, I decided that a thin layer, no hand warmers would work for 53 degree weather.


And it did ! Phew, great choice. I was not too hot, nor too cold, no chafing, not wet, no blister.


All of this might seem life a bit over the top, but I think small details like this have such an impact on performance.


Fellow runners, what do you spend time obsessing about before a race ?

Tagged: , , ,

Comments: 4

  1. Marjolein April 9, 2015 at 12:32 pm Reply

    Very recognizable, I too fret about what to wear for races! Chafing prevention and temperature control are high up on the list, together with socks that prevent my toes from getting too bruised (which oddly only happens in races). I have an odd collection of old shirts that I wear to the starting area to avoid getting to cold – and then leave behind – usually these are donated to give to homeless people.

    One of my biggest fears is that my GPS watch that I use for pacing will run out of fuel before I do. In Berlin, the battery lasted long enough to help pace myself all 26 miles and for me to take a picture of it for Facebook – and then it ran out just before I could save the race….

    • Karen - French Inspiration April 9, 2015 at 8:27 pm Reply

      Funny thing about the toes ! That happened… and it still hurts. I definitely double check to charge my watch before… I would be really upset if it died !

  2. Jennifer April 10, 2015 at 12:36 pm Reply

    Glad you were able to test out your layers prior to your half. I overheat quickly, so I would have not liked being in the third layer.
    Jennifer recently posted…Friday Five – Trips/Racecations I Would Like to TakeMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration April 10, 2015 at 9:08 pm Reply

      Yes… because I would not have liked to have to carry the third layer or tie it around my waist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge