The 20.20.20 gym bag

Just how many articles am I going to get out of the upcoming 20.20.20 mini marathon held by Campus Rec on May 15? Well, at least one more!

Just how many articles am I going to get out of the upcoming 20.20.20 mini marathon held by Campus Rec on May 15? Well, at least one more!

 This time, I’m going to help make sure that all of the participants, or at least the ones that read my articles, are fully equipped to be successful at the mini marathon. I’ve already covered how to train for the marathon, so now let’s look at what supplies an aspiring champion should have at their disposal on the big day.

Proper attire

This should almost go without saying, but I’ll mention it anyway: Be sure to bring the proper clothing for the events! Some type of swimsuit and towel should be brought for the swimming portion of the event. A swim cap, goggles and a nose clip would also be helpful. For the running and biking portions of the event, be sure to bring comfortable shoes and athletic wear. An additional towel may come in handy for those who are prone to high levels of perspiration.


Speaking of perspiration, for the sake of the other competitors, please follow the advice of Del the Funky Homosapien and practice good hygiene. Nothing is worse than being stuck next to a stinker while gasping for breath. Bathe prior to the event and make use of some sort of deodorant.

I suppose that smelling like last week’s garbage could be a viable tactic for slowing down the competition, since other competitors will keep their distance from the offender, but let’s hope no one sinks that low.

Motivational music

We’ll classify this one under “optional,” mostly because I’m not quite sure if using an MP3 player during the biking and running events will actually be allowed or not. Assuming that they will be allowed though, music can make a noticeable difference in performance. Make a playlist with some cheesy ’80s film soundtracks, preferably stuff that was used in some type of montage scene. My personal recommendations: “You’re The Best Around” from “The Karate Kid,” “Fight to Survive” from “Bloodsport,” “Eye of the Tiger” from “Rocky III,” and, of course, the opening theme from “Chariots of Fire.”


At the very least, be sure to pack a trusty water bottle and sip on water during the events when possible. If optimal performance is

desired, a sports drink is definitely the way to go. While I normally advise against sports drinks, since they’re usually counterproductive to the common goal of fat loss, I make an exception when performance is the number-one priority. A sports drink will provide simple carbohydrates for an easily convertible source of energy and electrolytes (along with water) to ensure optimal hydration. Adding as little as a quarter scoop of whey protein or a serving of branched-chain amino acids will make for an even more potent cocktail. This addition will provide the body with a readily available source of amino acids, thereby further reducing muscle breakdown (i.e., catabolism) during exercise.


Ingesting 50–200mg (depending on personal sensitivity) of caffeine 20–60 minutes prior to the event can offer a noticeable performance boost. Tablets or capsules are preferred, since no one wants coffee or an energy drink sloshing around in their stomach during the marathon. Caffeine, of course, offers an energy boost, but it can also increase endurance and reduce the perception of discomfort associated with physical exertion. If combined with the sports drink cocktail mentioned above, caffeine may also enhance the uptake of the carbohydrates contained in the drink. Just be sure to practice common sense. Those with adverse reactions to caffeine, high blood pressure, heart conditions, etc., should avoid caffeine.

With all these useful items in one’s gym bag, peak performance is much more achievable. Good luck! ?