What to Wear for Running 5k or 10k Race

5k & 10k Training Advice,Expert Advice on Running Clothing,Seasonal Running & Racing: What to Wear
What to Wear for Running 5k or 10k Race

Beginner's Guide to Race Kit

If you're training to run your first race you might want to start giving some thought to what you will wear on the day. You want to make sure you are suitably dressed for the weather conditions, and feel comfortable and confident in your choice of outfit. Training in the gear you will race in is definitely recommended. Here's how to put together a race kit list.

Shoes / Clothing / Accessories


If you don't already have a properly fitted pair of running shoes, that should definitely go on your 'to do' list. Ideally you should have the shoes a few weeks beforehand to make sure they are well worn in, but try not to leave it closer than two weeks before the race. Take advantage of our personalised shoe fitting service:

In-Store Natural Gait Analysis / Online Gait Analysis


It's important to bear in mind that most runners heat up more when racing, plus you can also get hotter running in a group of people if it's a large field. Many runners will race in less clothing than they would train in, and choose their race day clothing based on the conditions for that day.

So it's helpful to start checking the weather forecast a few days before you race – you don't want to wake up one spring day and find it's suddenly so much warmer than it has been, and your favourite t-shirt is in the wash after your last gym session! Also look at the wind speed – strong winds will bring the temperature down if the course is exposed. We've hand picked our top favourites to get you started!

Clothing For Racing In Cool Weather

In cooler weather or rainy conditions, you could look at a long sleeved top or thermal top, or a lightweight windproof jacket to go over a base layer. If you have a tendency to heat up, two thin layers may be better than one thicker layer, as you can always take one off. If it's chilly, then lycra leggings or trousers are a good option instead of shorts.

Running Tops / Running Bottoms

Technical Running Tops

As autumn and winter approach, it's important to choose the right running tops. Look for features such as reflective elements for visibility, moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry, and thumbholes for added warmth. Additionally, a zippered pocket can be useful for storing keys or a phone, and a breathable mesh panel can help regulate your body temperature.

Shop All Running Tops

Men's Ronhill Tech Top

Men's Odlo Seamless Baselayer

Men's Ronhill Tech Tee

Women's Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Baselayer

Women's Odlo Seamless Baselayer

Women's Ronhill Tech Tee

Running Bottoms

There are so many options of shorts and trousers on the market, the main consideration most runners have with their shorts is that they don't chafe – have you tried 2-in-1 style shorts? the extra lycra layer is great for preventing unplesant chafing. As the weather shifts, the wind can feel a few degrees colder against the skin. We have put together a great selection of shorts and trousers for you to try this season!

Shop All Running Bottoms

Men's Odlo Zeroweight Pants

Men's Adidas D4R Twin 5in Shorts

Men's Ronhill Tech Distance Twin Shorts

Women's Janji Transit Tech Pants

Women's Janji Pace 7/8 Tights

Women's Ronhill Tech Revive Shorts
£36.00 £27.00


By race day, you want to have tested out all of your kit and know your favourite items, plus what temperature they are most suitable for, so you can make a wise choice on the day. In terms of feeling 'fast' while racing, less is definitely more, but if you do need to carry things, think carefully about what you really do need to take, and look for the smallest, lightest option. See below for the best accessories to accomodate you on your race day.

Socks / Waist Packs & Race Belts / Bottles / Nutrition / Headphones / Watches / Chafe & Blister Prevention / Hats & Gloves / Compression

Running Socks

The type of socks you choose to wear for your race can be the difference between a good race and a not so good race! Make sure you test the socks (and all your clothing) that you plan to wear for your race in training, to ensure you feel good in them and have no issues.

We stock lots of running socks to choose from. It tends to come down to personal choice, regarding padding and length.

Shop Running Socks / Running Sock Guide

Feetures Elite Light Cushion No-Show Socks

Thorlo Experia X Speed

Injinji Trail Midweight Crew Toe Socks

Women's Balega Grit & Grace No-Show Socks - Unstoppable

Hilly Supreme Medium Cushioning Anklet Socks

Stance Performance Light Crew Socks

Running Waist Packs & Race Belts

Waist packs or pouches come in many shapes and sizes. They can be a useful accessory to store anything essential while racing: from gels to car keys and spare hair bands, there is often something you can't go without.

Some people don't like to run with anything attached to them, whilst others are happier to have the things they feel they need on their person. Whichever category you fit into, there is bound to be a type of waist pouch that will suit your needs when you just can't avoid carrying the essentials.

Shop Running Waist Packs & Race Belts

SPIBelt Running Waistbelt

FlipBelt Zipper

SPIBelt Running Belt With Window
£29.99 £23.99

U.P. Titan Runners Pack

Salomon Pulse Belt

Ronhill OTM Belt

Running Bottles

Drinks will probably be provided at your race – be sure to check that out ahead of time. Depending on the weather and your physical fitness, you probably won't need to drink much, if anything, during a 5k anyway. Some people like to be in control of their fluid intake though, so a handheld bottle can be useful. Soft bottles – which collapse and get easier to carry the more you drink – are now very popular too, and can fit into a waist pack.

Shop Running Bottles

FlipBelt Water bottle 6oz

Ultimate Performance Runner's Bottle 300ml

OMM Ultra Flexi Flask 350ml + Straw

SPIBelt H2O Companion Running Bottle

Running Nutrition

Nutrition is a really important aspect to consider when racing. What works for one person probably will not work for another! The best thing to do is to try a variety of options when training. For anything above 10 miles it is certainly a good idea to consider Energy Gels, Energy DrinksEnergy Chews or Energy Bars. For more information on nutrition for racing, see Fuel Your Body for Running.

Shop Running Nutrition

Maurten Gel 100

Running Food Chia Charge Bar

Precision Hydration Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets

SIS Go Gel + Electrolytes

Clif Shot Bloks

Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel 2 Servings

Running Headphones

The only note of caution here is that you must remember when racing to check with the race organiser as to whether it is permitted for you to run with headphones in. It is common for this not to be allowed due to safety issues. The only headphones that are now generally permitted in road races are the bone conduction headphones. Shokz headphone are Scottish Athletics and English Athletics race-approved headphones. They sit just in front of the ear and the music you are listening to travels by bone conduction to the ear while you hear everything else in the normal way.

Shop Shokz Headphones

Shokz OpenRun Mini Headphones
£129.95 £89.95

Shokz OpenRun Headphones
£129.95 £89.95

Shokz OpenRun Pro Headphones
£159.95 £109.95

GPS Running Watches

The most basic function of a running watch is to track how long you've been running, and perhaps to record your mile splits on a longer race. This will help you ensure you're meeting any targets you've set yourself, while making sure you're not running too fast and peaking early.

Beyond that, GPS watches have a wide variety of features, such as a heart-rate monitor, route mapping, multisport features, and sophisticated training programmes.

A watch is, however, not essential and some people just prefer to run how they feel without the pressure of being aware of the time.

Shop GPS Running Watches / GPS Running Watch Guide

Garmin Forerunner 255
£299.99 £259.99

Garmin Forerunner 265s

Garmin Forerunner 965

Running Anti-Chafe & Blister Prevention

There is nothing worse when racing than to chafe. It is not very comfortable, and especially in warmer weather when you sweat more it can be pretty stingy as well! Anti-chafe products are great at preventing this from happening.

BodyGlide works similar to a stick deodorant, you just roll it on the areas where you are likely to chafe and it creates a protective layer between your clothing and your skin. It is not greasy and therefore does not cause any discolouring on clothes.

Shop Running Anti-Chafe & Blister Protection

Original Anti-Chafe Balm 22g

Men's Nip Guards

Sidas Gel Toe Caps

Compeed Blister Pads Small

Running Hats, Caps & Gloves

You don't want to wear too much when racing, and end up carrying more than you need. Again, training in the gear you're considering for a race is a great idea – preferably in conditions that the race is likely to be in.

Running Gloves range in their thickness and weight. Even a lightweight glove will help keep your hands more comfortable and will be easy to put into a pocket if you get too warm.

Running Hats are great for really cold weather, or if you tend to feel the cold. Your choice will depend on the weather, your constitution, and the pace at which you'll be running. Some hats are really lightweight, so could easily go in a pocket or waist pack if you get too warm.

A Running Headband is a great alternative to a hat when it is not as cold. It also helps to keep your hair out of your face.

A multipurpose option would be Running Neckwear such as a Buff – make it into a hat, a headband or a neckwarmer.

When it's sunny, a Running Cap or Visor helps shade your face and keep sweat out of your eyes. In colder weather, hats, gloves and headbands are definitely worth considering.

Ronhill Merino Seamless Gloves

Ciele CR3 Beanie

Odlo Revelstoke Performance Wool Headband

Ronhill Prism Gloves

OMM Kamleika Cap

Compression Running Gear

Calf sleeves or compression socks are a great accessory if you're prone to sore or tight calfs, or simply want to give your calfs and shins a bit of protection when racing. Compression gear helps blood flow and keeps your muscles warm, so in colder weather especially these are great. They may just give you that extra bit of confidence to go flat out in your race!

Compression Running Socks / Calf Guards / Compression Running Clothing

Men's Pressio BIO Run Tights

Women's Pressio BIO High Rise Tights

Compressport Calf Sleeves R2 3.0

Pressio Equilibrium Compression Socks

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