If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you’ll be well aware that I’m a huge obstacle course race fan. Let it be known, that they aren’t as easy to prepare for as a standard road race, your kit will play a big part in not only your performance and but also your overall enjoyment of the event.
Keeping this in mind, I’ve put together a list of my ‘fail proof’ kit to prepare you for the event.
A form fitting top – It’s tempting to layer up, however, once you’re muddy and wet, removing layers mid race is almost impossible. I recommend checking the weather on the day and wearing a long sleeved top on colder days or a vest if you’re likely to overheat. I’d strongly advise avoiding anything that could possibly get caught on obstacles or cotton fabrics. I’m currently loving my SKINS compression vest. Mainly because it’s hard wearing, with a built in sports bra (*ideal if you’re small chested like me) and the fabric handles sweat and water really well.
Trail shoes and sports socks – Okay, first things first, cotton socks are never a good idea, when they get wet you’re at risk of blisters and that’s not a whole lot of fun for anyone. It’s well worth investing in some proper running socks, personally, I recommend thermal running socks for winter/cooler events.
Trail shoes are one of the most important pieces of kit, you’ll need something with a good grip, comfortable and not too heavy. I think people initially relate trail shoes to expense, I’ve raced in £22.00 trail shoes before and they’ve been perfectly adequate. We all have different requirements when it comes choosing our preferred running shoes. therefore I suggest keeping an eye on your preferred running brand to see if they have any offers on trail shoes.
Top tip – My blogging pal Andy suggested using duct tape to prevent trainer laces coming undone during events.
A good quality pair of leggings or shorts – Here’s the deal, the day after an obstacle race it’s likely you’ll ache more than you never knew possible. Personally, I tend to race in SKINS, due to the fact they are hard wearing, offer compression and comfort. My SKINS have been put through their paces, dragged over logs, through water, and over endless obstacles. It might sound like I’m showing off, but I’ve even jumped over a fire pit wearing them, I’m not going to lie, I was terrified.
The latest collection is more colorful and stylish than ever, meaning they’ll be suitable for so much more than just ‘race day’ and you can read my previous review here.
Spare contact lenses or goggles – Whilst this won’t be applicable for everyone but I’m extremely short sighted and the idea of mud in my eyes fills me with fear. On a very serious note, mud, grit and murky water can lead to serious eye infections and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
I took some advice from my optician, the ideal situation is to take a spare pair of disposable contact lenses to the event. Then with clean hands remove and bin the lenses you wore and replace with a new pair. Reaching that level of cleanness required may not be possible at the event, so waiting until you get home won’t be the end of the world. On the other hand, I have also stuffed goggles down my top and used these on slides and so on. I don’t know about you but I’d rather look uncool than damage my precious eyesight.
Pants – Well, I know from various discussions many of us females prefer not to run in underwear and I completely understand the reasons why. However, we’re all adults here, and unfortunately, mud gets everywhere, don’t wear your best Agent Provocateur thong. Please keep in mind that something is better than nothing? It’s likely you’ll have to change next to your car after the event too!
Neck scarf, Head Band and or gloves – These are completely personal, some folk love racing in gloves and others find them a hindrance when they get wet. I generally always wear a headband to keep my crazy fringe under control and a neck scarf is great for cooler days. On the other hand, if you’re likely to overheat I’d leave it at home.
Baby wipes, spare tissues, clean clothing – You’ll definitely need spare clothes unless you enjoy sitting in wet muddy clothing or it’s a ‘dry’ race. What I’d recommend is something loose and warm which is easy to change into. There’s a good chance you’ll still be dirty too so don’t pack anything you wouldn’t want to get dirty and smelly.
*I wouldn’t be without my Dry robe, honestly, it was one of the best investments I’ve made.
*Fancy some footage to share after? The hardest wearing camera is a Go Pro if you’re wary about the investment, keep in mind they are great for stills/action shots also.
*One of the best luxury items I’ve ever seen is a solar powered shower for after the event, seriously tempting…
*I do apologize for rattling on about socks again, however, these Thermal Active Compression Socks could be used for running and skiing alongside obstacle racing, making them well worth the investment.
Let it be known that I don’t recommend products lightly, after nearly a year of wearing these leggings I feel confident in the fit, quality, and endurance they offer. That’s why I’m absolutely delighted to offer one reader (Male or Female) the chance to win a pair of DNAmic long tights. Don’t worry if you’re not going to enter an obstacle course race, these are ideal for running, gym, recovery or just a coffee date!
All I ask is that you follow myself and SKINS on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram and comment below to let me know you’ve done so. Each platform will count as one entry and the winner will be chosen at random on the 3rd September 2017.
What are your Obstacle Race must haves? Anything I’ve missed?