A lot of work goes into preparing for a marathon. Not only do most people spend weeks or months training their bodies to handle the stresses of running 26.2 miles, but you also have to know what to eat, how to stay hydrated, and tricks to remain mentally engaged throughout.
You should also know that the running gear you choose could have a marked effect on your comfort level, your performance, and your overall success when you run a marathon. Wearing the right clothing could make a world of difference.
If you're not sure what makes one sports bra or pair of running shoes better than another, here are just a few tips to help you pick the perfect apparel for your marathon training.
If you're only just becoming a serious distance runner, you may not realize that there is underwear designed specifically for running. Some notable features of such products include seam-free appearance, edges that won't ride up when you move, and wick-away fabrics that draw moisture away from your body and keep you cool.
Women should also take the time to find suitable sports bras. Running long distances can become tedious and uncomfortable if you don't have a bra that offers proper support and breathability without chafing. A maximum support bra is necessary for most women and you should not hesitate to spend a little extra here for added comfort.
New textiles have flooded the sports apparel market over the last several years so that now it isn't very hard to find running pants, shorts, and tops that feature wick-away materials to keep your body cool and dry during long runs. The garments you select will depend on your preferences, but in general you'll want to go for apparel that fits close to the body to avoid chafing from fabric movement.
You may also want to select some clothing items that are easy to remove when running. Once you've warmed up, arm warmers can be easily pulled off and shoved in your waistband, as opposed to the difficulty of pulling off a jacket and tying it around your waist, just for example.
This is arguably the most important gear for any runner, and it will cost you. Most serious runners pay roughly $100-$200 for a pair of running shoes, and if you're training for a marathon, a pair may last you only about 6-12 months.
The right shoes will help to minimize or even stop blisters, shin splints, and common aches and pains associated with long-distance running. The wrong shoes will do just the opposite. So how do you know which pair is right for you?
Your best bet is to go to a running store that specializes in gear for your sport. The experts there can help you try several pairs and even tell you which features (like extra padding in the toe or heel...or no padding) are most likely to work with your gait.
If you are able, run around the block before you buy a pair. Walking around the store won't give you a good idea of whether or not a pair of shoes will work when you run, so ask if you can take them for a spin, so to speak.
Weather Appropriate Apparel
Whether your climate is cold, hot, or a bit of both, you want to make sure you have the right gear to keep your body comfortable. In colder temps, long pants (that cover the knees) are a must, and if you like to run even during the winter, give Yak Tracks a try.
Regardless of the season, you should always wear sun protection, as well. This is easier in cold weather, when you're covered up anyway. However, you also need to find a good sunblock to wear in every season. It should be lightweight, designed for sports (so it stays on when you sweat), and offer UVA/UVB protection.
If you're running a marathon, there are sure to be abundant water stations along the route to ensure participants stay hydrated. What about when you're training, though?
Water carriers come in many shapes and sizes, from backpacks to belts to handsets that strap to your wrist. If you don't want to carry a water bottle in your hand, try some of these options to see what works best for you.
Chafing is kind of a given during long runs, and it can become terribly uncomfortable. Body glide is an anti-chafing product that can be applied almost anywhere that might blister or chafe, including toes, heels, inner thighs, armpits, and anywhere clothing might rub.