by Paul Koks in Training Tips, image by little blue hen

Essential Gear for Marathon Training

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You may get through the initial weeks of marathon training just wearing whatever gear you typically use for workouts, but as the miles escalate you will need some essential marathon gear to keep your body comfortable and safe. Running for two hours or more straight is demanding on the body, but with the right gear you can make it a more pleasurable experience.

Running Shoes

The moment you decide to train for a marathon, do yourself a favor and start the quest for the perfect pair of running shoes. You can look online to see what shoes others find the most comfortable and durable, but remember that your feet are different. The shoes you ultimately feel the most comfortable in will depend on the shape and functioning of your own feet and how your body moves when running.

If you don’t know what type of feet you have and aren’t sure how to pick out running shoes, pay a visit to a sports store or another location where you can work with someone knowledgeable in this area. The shoes should be designed specifically for long distance running at the very least.

Don’t wait until it’s almost marathon day to buy a good pair shoes. You want to wear them in and get comfortable with them during training so they are as comfortable as possible when you run the marathon.

Running Socks

Look for socks designed just for runners. They are designed to contain moisture away from the foot so you are less likely to develop blisters and skin irritations from friction and sweat. There are different fabrics used for running socks, do some experimentation during training to see what suits your feet best. You will then know what to wear on race day.

Sweat Wicking Clothing

You may not need to select your clothing with great care when you first start training, but as your miles increase you will need clothing that wicks moisture away from the body. You will still feel the sweat on your body, but it won’t be as bad as it would without these clothing. Go to any sports store and you will find a large assortment of moisture wicking apparel as well as accessories. You can also shop online for these items if you know the right size.

Also make sure your tops, shorts and other clothing items fit your body correctly. If they are too loose or too tight they are more likely to rub and irritate the skin. You also want to be as comfortable as possible on those long runs. Clothing must also be appropriate to the season during training.

Don’t wear new clothing on race day. Wear something that you have trained in for long distances and know will stay comfortable until the end.


Experiment with different sunglasses, visors and hats to see what works best for you. These items may not be needed all the time, but you will need something to block the sun. You may be surprised that you even need something like this on an overcast day if you are running into the sun as it is coming up or going down.

Sunscreen/SPF Lip Balm

Make sure your skin is protected from the sun at all times. It is best to put on a good sunscreen and SPF lip balm even if it is overcast. If there is any sun, it’s a good idea to protect your skin. Long distance runners spend a lot of time soaking up sun rays, so make sure to protect against sun damage over time as well as immediate sun burn.

Chafing Stick

If you are worried about chafing or blisters around your sports bra, underneath the chest band for a heart rate monitor, or between the legs, there are sticks similar to deodorant that can help prevent this. These sticks will stop the rubbing that causes blisters and chafing in these areas.

Sport Gels or Beans

Sports gels and now Jelly Belly sport beans will help you keep your energy high on those long runs. Make sure you are rehydrating and refueling so you don’t have problems with exhaustion or dehydration.

Storage Belts for Runners

Finally, there are some belts on the market just for runners. You may not need them on the big day since you will have the stations established to provide electrolyte replacements and hydration, but they are essential when running long distances during training. Some belts carry small water bottles for hydration while others include storage compartments so you have a safe place to keep your keys and other small items. Some are also designed to carry sport gels or sport beans so you can refuel as well as rehydrate.