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7 Tricks To Pack For Your Next Race Like A Pro

Here’s your guide to the perfect bag for a traveling runner.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.


Traveling Runner Checklist

Don’t forget your…

  • ID
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Sports bra
  • Runderwear
  • Bottoms
  • Shirt
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • GPS watch
  • Anti-chafe cream
  • Jacket
  • Recovery sandals
  • Headphones
  • Music player
  • Hat or headband
  • Phone/music/watch charger
  • Go-to snacks (if not purchasing at expo)
  • Excitement!

Carry Onward

When you add a plus one to your checked baggage, keep these rules in mind.

✔ Remember that gels, some chews and anti-chafe creams are considered a liquid, so either check these items, put them in your Ziploc to pass separately through security or purchase your favorites at the race expo.

✔ Anything packed in your carry-on is guaranteed to make it to your destination (think: running shoes and race-day attire, so put them in there).

✔ If you’re traveling a long way, pack all chargers and headphones in this bag— many planes now offer in-flight movies, charging stations and Wi-Fi!

7 Pro Packing Tricks

Trick #1
Stick smaller stuff in your shoes. Tubes of electrolyte tablets, socks, headphones, iPods, runderwear—stow all tiny items in your running shoes to save space.

Trick #2
Pack shoes FIRST. You’ve put mileage—aka dirt, grime and dust— on those puppies. Pack them first so they don’t stomp on your favorite sports bra before you even get a chance to sweat in it.

Trick #3
Roll everything. No, we don’t just mean your sore muscles. Underwear, shirts, shorts, sports bras—roll them up individually and pile into your bag to save space. This beats fold jobs that can steal too much room or become sloppy as you fill up.

Trick #4
Keep your race-day kit together. If your go-to method is one bag to carry everything, grab a large Ziploc and stuff it with your lucky race-day apparel, so it’s easy to spot your most prized possessions when you unpack.

Trick #5
Use that front compartment. This is perfect for essential documents: race confirmation, travel instructions, plane ticket and event-day checklist. Even better, grab a folder and label it “My Big Race Day.” It will be easy to grab papers from here instead of rifling through your stuff.

Trick #6
Remember a few extra plastic bags. Smelly clothes and rancid post-race shoes don’t need to be mixing with those fresh shirts you didn’t end up wearing.

Trick #7
Bring dryer sheets. These fragrant squares deal with your running shoe odor and keep the rest of your bag smelling slightly more fresh.

Read More:
Pack These Essentials In Your Race Day Bag
How To Pack For An International Marathon