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Our Top 7 Tips For Race Day Prep

Your nose is dripping, eyes are watering, the cold air freezes your lungs, and your breath becomes visible. Exercise outside in Winter, and you’ll enjoy these sensations. Consider them points of pride that you’re willing to brave the cold when most others are nestled under the covers. Below are the Top 7 Tips to conquer the 2019 Abominable Snow Race at Devil's Head Ski Resort:

1. Get Outside!

The #1 Tip we can give you is to get outside. Your body is very adaptable.. it will get used to the cold if you get outside and train. Grab some friends for the run… Misery loves company.... plus they’ll keep you accountable.

2. Arm Your Feet!

The Abominable Snow Race is not a Winter Wonderland. Mother Nature is going to test your footing on race day. So you’re going to need to Arm your Feet! We encourage the use of spikes. A YakTrax Run slip-on spike, or an integrated spike, like the Salomon Snow Cross or Spike Cross, will prepare you well on race day. Even an aggressive trail shoe will help in snowy conditions.
Wool socks are highly recommended, for their superior warmth and wicking capabilities. Cotton socks are your enemy on race day, and are not recommended. Finally, if you want to run in a boot, please make sure it’s a running boot or your feet will not like you at the finish. Running in snow boots or work boots is not recommended, although many have ventured down this path.

3. Learn About Layers!

We go by the 3-2-1 … 1-2-3 rule. When it’s 30, 20, and 10 degrees outside, plan to wear 1, 2 and 3 layers, respectively. You should feel cold at the start line. Your body will heat up in the first 1/2 mile… if you think being cold sucks, try wearing too many layers with 4 miles to go. You’ll be an ice shell at the finish. Get outside and test your gear, get familiar with how your body reacts at different temperatures and adjust your layers accordingly. Then, keep a watchful eye on the race day weather forecast, and plan accordingly.

Base Layer – We like to use a sleeveless hot-weather technical shirt (ie, a sleeveless Under Armor or Hammer Strength). This will provide a nice wind buffer for your core, and will provide superior sweat wicking. You want to keep the moisture away from your skin.

Mid-Layer – A long sleeve Under Armor or similar tech fabric is a great Mid-Layer. It provides an additive second layer or a solid first layer that will buffer the cold winds, and will keep the sweat away from your skin.

Outer Layer – A light softshell jacket is recommended only when the temps get down to 5F or colder. Be careful with this layer… this layer is usually more expensive than a Base or Mid-layer, and will hold heat very efficiently…. You don’t want to hang this layer on a tree somewhere… so use it as needed only.

4. Kick Start Your Muscles!

Warm up before heading to the start line. Go for a short run in the parking lot of the chalet, or drop and give us 50 burpees. Pick your poison, but be sure to get your blood flowing before your head to start line. When you’re ready at the start, Coach Pain will take over from there… he’s sure to get your blood pumping.

5. Mind The Wind!

Wind is not your friend on race day. We recommend that if you choose to wear gloves and hats, that you invest in products with sewed seams… sewed seams significantly reduce the amount of wind hitting your skin. Also, consider wearing a Face Shield (a buff as our English counterparts say).. .these are great because they provide a buffer from the wind on your neck, and can be used, as needed, to buffer your face from the bitter winds. And, if it’s 5F or below, consider wearing a light soft shell running jacket… These jackets are a formidable force against the wind chill.

6. Bring a Change of Clothes!

You’re going to sweat during the race … and that moisture will be sitting in your gear as you cross the finish line. Your body will cool down quickly and that moisture will render you miserably cold. So we recommend that you bring a change of clothes. We have a heated changing tents located in the heart of base camp next to race day check in tents. There will be fire pits outside scattered around that will help keep you warm while you wait in line. Once you’re in a dry set of clothes, head straight to the craft beer trailer (over 21). Craft Beer has a very good insulating property, keeping you warm and toasty out in the elements.

7. Bring a Positive Mental Attitude!

As with any challenge in life, your mental state plays a key role in your success. You’ve signed up, showed up, and now it’s time to perform. Your attitude will be tested at several times on the Abominable course, but maintain your focus… you’re already in the 10% that are even willing to attempt this Abominable Adventure. So enter the starting gates with a positive mental attitude and the impossible becomes the possible.


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