You wouldn’t purchase a brand new race car the day before a 500 lap race, so why would you buy new running apparel at the race expo to wear at the race the next day?
That doesn’t make much sense.
We don’t want to discourage you from buying cool stuff at any race expo, but encourage you to have enough time to test out new equipment, apparel, or nutritional supplements because even a 5K is a long time to suffer if something isn’t right with your new products.
Here are a few tips when test driving the following:
Running Shoes – You should get used to new shoes in a few runs and know fairly quickly if your new shoes don’t quite fit right.
Running Tech Wear (apparel) – Should wash before you wear them (using Sport-Wash detergent if possible) and run in them to see how they feel and perform (do they chafe, etc).
Hydration – If you are training with your own special hydration formula, keep this consistent during the race as the specific race hydration may not agree well with your stomach. Also, if you get a new water belt make sure you test it out a few times before your race to make sure you get used to its fit.
Nutrition – Don’t try a new gel or supplement on race day as you don’t know how it will specifically impact your performance. Test supplements in your training and use what works best during the race. Your body may respond better to all natural and organic supplements but you want to make sure you test this before race day.
You’ve trained hard for your big event, so don’t risk a painful or uncomfortable race by not properly testing your new shoes, tech wear, equipment, or nutritional products.