T-minus 3 days until my marathon and I’m starting to feel all the pre-race jitters. So what am I doing to cope with all my crazy taper emotions? Putting together a slammin’ compilation of nonnegotiable marathon must-haves and optional should-look-into’s that could probably also double as the runner in your life’s Christmas list.
The St. Jude Marathon is on Saturday and I’m more excited than anxious, but I feel for those who are about to run a half or a full for the first time. I’ve gotten countless questions during this cycle of marathon training so today I’m tackling gear, but tomorrow I’m talking about everything to expect for your first marathon.
This is a list of my favorite marathons products, which make the training and race day itself a lot less risky and a lot more enjoyable.
- Base Layer
A base layer is good for any running in the winter, but especially useful in a marathon. They keep you at your body’s most comfortable temperature so you can stay warm without over heating. If you want one of these Craft Sportswear long sleeves, I’m giving one away and you can enter for a chance to win all week!
- GPS Watch*
I love my Garmin Forerunner 620, but I bought my sister the Forerunner 15, because it does it all. It’s has great battery life, tracks your miles with the same GPS, is heart-rate compatible, and tracks your steps, calories, and sleep patterns. It’s pretty amazing for such a low price. A GPS watch is seriously the key to technical racing, but oh how nice it is to sometimes run without it.
- The Right Bra*
They say right bra is just as important as the right shoes and I must say that I’m a believer. Moving Comfort makes some of the best running bra’s for all types of blessed and I haven’t bought any cheap bras after I tried one… so be careful.
- Compression Socks
You may or not want to run in them during actual marathon, but you’ll definitely need some compression socks for recovery. I live in these during marathon season and I love me some Swiftwick especially since they are based in Tennessee.
- Synthetic Running Socks*
Whatever you do, don’t run a marathon in cotton socks! I’ve make the mistake before and it wasn’t pretty. Cotton gets wet and stays wet, which causes friction and friction leads to some nasty blisters and black toenails. Feetures makes some of my favorite running socks because they are thin, wick the moisture beautifully, and have a tight fit, but definitely try some different brands and find your favorite.
- Foam Roller *
This bad boy will literally get you through your training, make you cry after your marathon, but help you be able to walk the next week. Trigger Point is my favorite, but I also like RunMD. You can get generic ones at Target or Walmart, but they aren’t responsive enough to get deep into your muscles and you definitely need one with good texture to it.
- Stick Roller
Foam rollers are great for your larger muscles and IT bands, but stick rollers help you get down to the nitty gritty. Addaday makes a great product and feels like knuckles digging into your acute pains such as calves or even shoulder blades.
- Handheld Water Bottle*
Some people carry handhelds during the marathon, but I prefer just to use them in training runs. I love Nathan’s product because it has a little pouch for my phone and as bloggers, we’re encouraged to document our runs or they didn’t happen.
- The Right Shoe
I love my Brooks Pureflows, but some people prefer not to run long distance in a minimal shoe. You can get fit at a local running store or I made a guide for finding your perfect running shoe.
I can’t say I love eating Gels on the reg, but they are hands down the best source of fuel during a marathon. Huma Gels are my favorite because they have natural chia energy so much better ingredients, but still get the job done.
Now let’s get into the things that are sure to supplement you in your winter marathon.
- Neck Warmer
I bought this Lululemon neck warmer yesterday so I’m pretty pumped about it. It has a drawstring at the top so I can tighten it up and not let any nasty elements get in there. I ran in it last night (def wasn’t cold enough yet, but I looked good) and loved it!
- Race Belt*
A race belt is great for holding gels and your phone if you want it on you during your race. I prefer to use them only in training runs, but it’s very common for people to wear them and they can hold your bib on securely without safety pins.
- Shoe Inserts
I’ve been wearing green Superfeet inserts for over a year and they have helped to keep me injury free along with recovery and strength training. I over-pronate quite a bit, but love my minimal shoes and these give me the best of both world by allowing me to wear what I want. I would definitely recommend looking into them if you have plantar fasciitis or shin splints.
- Bubble Lace*
Bubble laces are a silly invention with a silly name, but if you ever have anxiety about your laces coming untied mid-marathon this is the answer.
These Craft gloves are the best because they double as gloves with an extra mitten protection layer. If you want some fo free, enter my giveaway by Friday!
This is the one product on the list that I haven’t tried, but it was an extremely popular item when I worked at Fleet Feet and everyone I know who has some loves them. So for all of you who listen to music while you run, check the race rules and if they allow them, get you a pair of these Yurbuds because they’re made for high activity.
- Seat Towel
If anyone else suffers from sweaty booty syndrome like me, you’re going to need an Orange Mud Seat cover. Neither you or your loved ones want a stinky car and this zips right over your seat and then can be thrown in the wash.
- Arm Warmers*
Not only are these Oieslle arm warmers s t y l i s h, but they’re also very functional for racing. Since many marathons start off cold and get warmer as the morning and your activity progresses, it’s nice to have something to keep you from freezing that you can just slip right off when you heat up.
There you have it, folks! These are the things (with the exception of the ear phones) that get me through marathon training and racing during the winter. I’m so exciting for everyone running St. Jude this weekend or if you’re training for something this spring!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you purchase any of the products marked with an *asterisk*
Anyone running St. Jude?
Do you have any races coming up?
What are your 3 winter marathon must-have’s?
What’s the most recent piece of running gear you tried?