Gear Bag Packing Checklist + Week 4 Boston Training

On Saturday the Fleet Feet Boston365 group and I headed for the hills of Barrington.  Once our long run mileage gets over 15 miles we head out to the ‘burbs to get in hill training so we are better prepared for Boston.  Barrington is about 45 minutes away from Chicago, meaning that after the run it’ll be well over an hour before getting back home to the city.  If you don’t bring a good gear bag for the post-run, your car ride home is going to be pretty miserable.  Miserable not only for you, but also for anyone you carpooled with.




Having everything you need in your gear bag will ensure that you have as good of a time after a run as you did during it.  Alternatively, if the actual run or race sucked, your gear bag will make you feel at least a little better.  There are lots of elements to consider when packing for a post-run/race: food, clothing, and a few miscellaneous things.  While my long runs out in Barrington aren’t races, I still consider the bag I pack a “gear check” bag because it’s essentially the same thing.  Below are the three gear bag packing checklists I use when I am getting ready for a weekend long run or race.


Gear Bag
Gear Bag Packing Checklist


Gear Bag Packing Checklist: Clothes

  1. Shirt: Pretty self explanatory why you’d need this.  You don’t want to sit in a sweaty shirt that will soon be a cold sweaty shirt as your body cools down. 
  2. Sweatshirt/Jacket:  If you ran outside in the winter, your jacket is probably now wet and/or sweat.  Chances are, you didn’t wear your winter coat to the race- if you did ignore this, but if you didn’t bring a new outer jacket or sweatshirt depending on the temperature.
  3. Pants/Shorts:  Again, pretty self explanatory.
  4. Underwear/Bra:  Ladies, the last thing you want to happen is that you strip down and realize you don’t have a different bra to wear.  Putting on a wet bra sucks, and I’ve found that I get a bad chill for the rest of the day if I had to sit in a wet, cold bra.  Same applies to underwear.  You could go commando, but if you’re going out for brunch afterwards that might get awkward…
  5. Compression Socks:  These really help speed up recovery.
  6. Change of Shoes: If you’re going out afterwards, wearing normal clothes with neon orange running shoes looks weird.  Also, if the weather was rainy, snowy, or slushy, you’re shoes are probably wet (pro tip: bring some newspaper to stuff into them once you chance into your new set of shoes).
  7. Hat/Gloves:  This applies more to winter running.  Similar to the jacket, if you ran in a hat or gloves, they’re probably all sweaty of snotty, so bring a different pair for after.


Gear Bag Packing Checklist: Food

  1. Carbs and Protein, 3:1 Ratio.  After a long run or race, it’s important to consume both protein and carbs to help your muscles recover, ideally doing so within the 30 minutes immediately following the workout (source). For me, immediately after exercise I have no desire to eat.  I just feel too tired or even sometimes I feel full.  But, knowing that I need to eat, my favorite thing to make is a protein shake.  I’ll mix Vega protein powder and tart cherry juice so I get my carb:protein ratio.  It’s easy to consume and transport.  About 1-3 hours after a workout you should eat a more substantial meal that includes fats, carbs, and protein, so that’s where post-run brunch comes in 🙂
  2. Extra Water/Drink:  You’ll get some at the end of your race, but if you drove a ways to your race or run, pack an extra water bottle for the way home.  I recently listened to No Meat Athlete’s podcast and they said drinking cherry juice after a workout will help reduce inflammation, so you could also bring that.  I personally hate sports drinks, but if that’s your thing bring it.


Gear Bag Packing Checklist: Miscellaneous

  1. Towel:  What else are you going to wipe off with?
  2. Wet Wipes: Because you got stinky.  Baby powder and face wipes work well too.
  3. Plastic Bag: To put all your sweat clothes in so the inside of your bag doesn’t get gross.
  4. Brush/Hair Ties:  This applies to the ladies mostly, unless you’re a guy rocking the Evan Jager or Forrest Gump look.  If you have long hair it probably got pretty knotty and gnarly on your run.  You may need extra hair ties too.
  5. Deodorant/Body Spray:  So your car-mates don’t have to drive home with the windows down and/or so your brunch buddies (or the other patrons at the brunch restaurant) can eat in peace.
  6. Foam Roller:  I bring Mr. Clampy in my gear bag so I can roll out immediately after the race.  I find that it helps me recover faster and feel relaxed after a hard workout.
  7. Money:  Because, post-run brunch!


Gear Check Packing LIst




Happy running,



Week 4 Boston Training Log

Monday: 8mi with 4@tempo.  Day’s total: 7.5mi, 8:00 min avg pace.

  • Easy 1.5 mile warmup and then some drills.  Progression tempo: first mile @MP (7:10), second mile @HMP (6:50), third mile @15k (6:43), fourth mile @10k (6:30).  Glad I was on the treadmill for this because it was mentally hard.

Tuesday: EZ 6.  Day’s total = 6.61mi, 8:19 pace

  • One mile super slow with Clocktower to say hi and then left for the rest of my own while they did speed.  Had a weird encounter on the path- got asked out but it was kind of creepy!

Wednesday: November Project + Speed work (4×5 min intervals).  Day’s total: 10.75 mi

  • AM: PR Day with NP.  Parked at Cricket Hill, ran to the totem pole to meet everyone, then back to Cricket Hill for a few laps.
  • PM: Met with Fleet Feet to do speed.  4×5 minutes on the path with 2 minute jog recovery between.  First two were with a side/tail wind at 6:45, 6:34 pace. Last 2 were into a headwind/side wind at 6:53 and 6:46 pace.

Thursday: XT/Rest Day.  Day’s Total: 0 miles

  • AM: Buddha Yoga Burn at Zen Yoga.  LOVED it
  • PM: Bike for 20 minutes.  Short and sweet

Friday: November Project + EZ 8.  Day’s Total: 9.92mi, 7:43 pace

  • AM: November Project at the Bean + 6.5 mile run home.  Lots of ab work which was awesome!

Saturday: 16 w/ 2x 3-4 miles @MP. Day’s total: 16.17, 7:29 pace

  • Great first run out in Barrington!  The weather was perfect- even better than last week’s F3 race!  My MP is between 7:15-7:20, so for the first set my paces were 7:15, 7:29, 7:18, 7:01.  That last mile was almost all downhill. The second set was 7:02, 7:29, 7:16, 7:29.  The second mile was mostly uphill, and the last mile I was pretty tired by then.  Overall though it was really encouraging!

Sunday: EZ 5. Day’s total: 5.37, 8:05 pace.

  • AM:  Slow run
  • PM: Bikram Yoga.  Much needed sweat and stretch to end the weekend.


Week’s total: Planned: 51 miles.  Actual: 56.32 mi

Felt really strong out in Barrington, although kind of sore the next day.  Only able to make it to 2 ClassPass classes this week but I loved both of them, especially the Thursday yoga class so I have already signed up for next week’s class!


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