Skate Race Clothes Albany OR
What to Bring and Wear for an Inline Skating Marathon
By Kim Perkins
Kim Perkins ... ready to roll.
Q: It's my first skate race. ... What should I wear?
Male or female, if you want to blend in, wear a bike jersey with pockets in the back for your gear and Lycra (spandex) tights or shorts, such as the kind worn by winter runners or sold by Under Armour in your local big box store. This is about as flattering to all body types as it gets, without pegging you as a newbie who doesn't know enough not to wear cotton or other things that get heavy with moisture and/or flap in the breeze. Bike shorts are okay in a pinch. For women, tank tops are a cute alternative, but not as practical, as they lack pockets and leave shoulders exposed to sun, cold and road rash. If you are male and absolutely abhor the thought of Lycra, please keep in mind that everyone else will be wearing it because it's the "right tool for the job."
Q: Do I need a skinsuit?
Not unless you will be competing in the Pro category. But if you want to, go ahead. No one will object.
Q: What should I wear under the Lycra?
If it's warm, your regular sports underwear will do. On the other hand, a double layer of Lycra shorts will preserve modesty while supplying extra road rash protection. If it's chilly, wear tights under your regular gear, and if it's extra cold, wear an additional Lycra top, but remember that it adds a lot of heat and you won't be able to take it off en route.
Q: What kind of padding should I wear?
Pros make it look cool to roll with no protective gear save helmets. But you'll be happier if you wear enough padding to ease your mind about falling. If you want full protection without looking like the Michelin Man, don a double layer of heavyweight Lycra (shorts plus tights or Capri-length tights), use palm (gel) sliders or bike gloves, and tuck bare knees or elbows into an Ace bandage or similar neoprene splint/wrap. And always bring sunglasses for the wind.
Q: What should I put in the pockets of my bike jersey?
For a marathon, bring a water bottle, a small skate tool or allen wrench, an energy bar and a couple servings of Gu or similar gel for when you feel tired. I prefer the gels that come in a small reusable squeeze bottle — less messy. Staffers will hand out water along the course, and you should take it. But it's best to have your own — or your favorite sports drink. The energy bar is for after the race — or during if you run out of gel. Camelback-type carriers usually add more weight than their worth; fanny packs aren't as good as pockets. Feel free to bring your iPod, but don't tune out the world — you'll need to hear people approaching or yelling directions to you.
Q: What about a heart rate monitor? GPS?
Wire yourself to your heart's content, but remember that the excitement of race day will make for wild readings. Neither gadget is required for a good time — or for good training.