I’m writing this post the week of my third and most challenging Spartan Race, the Beast. This 12 to 14 mile, 25 to 30 obstacle event will kick my 50-something fanny all over the Monterey hills on Saturday, June 7! At least I get to come home to a serene, welcoming Athlete’s Space! Do you?

Ath Gar - Kari Roberts

Great athletes like Kari Roberts need great storage
(Photo Courtesy: Kari Roberts)

If you followed my first post in this Athlete’s Spaces series, you may have created a high-performance Athlete’s Kitchen to prepare healthful food for your workouts.

If you took any tips from the second post in the series, perhaps you updated your Athlete’s Bathroom to refresh your sore and tired muscles.

Maybe you even created an Athlete’s Mud Room to clean your gear after reading the third installment in the series.

This post will handle the final frontier: An Athlete’s Garage. For many of us, that’s the first space we see and enter after coming home from a race or workout.  How does yours welcome you home?

For some, it’s a jumble of junk that barely leaves enough room to park the car. If that describes your garage, plan a weekend to sort, donate, recycle and trash before tackling any organization or remodeling projects.

Ath Gar - Family Storage Ctr - LowesDoes your garage welcome you home?
(Photo Courtesy: Lowe’s)

 Storing your gear

Chances are, what’s left after a good clean-out includes a pile of fitness gear, large and small. The large items may include a kayak and paddle, bicycle (or two), surfboard, skis, golf clubs, hiking poles, backpack and tent, etc., depending on your sports.

Hooks or racks are a great way to store these items off the floor.  They’re available at both hardware and sporting goods stores.  Any large items that are less frequently used can be stored in overhead racks professionally installed on the ceiling when they’re out of season.

Ath Gar - Hooks - Gladiator

Hook and rail systems work well for sports gear
(Photo Courtesy: Gladiator)

Small fitness-related items needing storage could include hats, visors, different types of gloves, shoes, wrist bands, jump ropes, weights, etc. These can go in clear plastic (i.e., washable and easily-identifiable) bins that sit on shelving units.  You don’t need anything fancy; in fact, I advise against that, as these bins and shelves will store hard-used items.

Your gear can be organized by sport, (e.g., water sports box), or by item type, (e.g., gloves), depending on how much gear you have. I like to organize my gear by sport, so it’s quicker to grab and go for a hike, ruck, obstacle race or trail run.

All of the in-between-sized items, like Camelbaks, ruck sacks, sandbags and other gear too small to stand up and too large, heavy or awkward to fit into containers. These can sit on the shelves on their own, organized by sport. For example, near the trail shoes I use for Spartan training, I also store the race bucket (for muddy clothes), hydration pack, earbuds and wrist bands.

I like my storage shelves to be 24 inches deep to accommodate the larger items I own, but you will need to determine maximum depth capacity based on having room between the shelves and car (or cars) parked near them.

If the shelves are at the front of the garage, you need enough room for the back of your vehicle to clear the door and room to access the shelves with the car parked in front of it.

If the shelves are on the side of the car, you need room to open the car door fully.  This should also provide enough space for you to access the shelves and walk between them and your vehicle.

Ath Gar - Shelving - Costco

Deep, sturdy shelves can hold much of your gear
(Photo Courtesy: Costco)

 More essentials

In addition to storage, it’s great to have a spigot, hose and wall-mounted hose holder in your garage. That way, your race clothes can get conveniently “de-mudded” before they go in your washing machine, and the rest of your gear can get cleaned before it goes back onto your shelves.

It’s also handy to have a metal folding chair handy for putting on and taking off shoes, and a broom and dustbin for keeping the trail out of the house.

Ath Garage - Hose Reel - Lowes

 A hose holder can be attractive and practical
(Photo Courtesy: Lowe’s)

Eye candy

Since the garage is the first “room” most of us see when we come home, it’s nice to have it be a welcoming space. Don’t hesitate to add an attractive door mat, framed photos from your races and, of course, a decorative medal holder.

Ath Gar - Medal Rack - Epic Medal Racks

 Hang your medals where they’ll motivate you to get going!
(Photo Courtesy: Epic Medal Racks)

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