Marathon season is here once again and everyone’s hard at work training to achieve their goals and cross that finish line. Kudos to you if you’re signed up to run a marathon. Kudos to you if you run in general!
Running can be an excellent way to keep fit. However, many have complained about the tolls it takes on one’s personal health if not approached correctly, and not done with the correct gear.
Usually I like to buy things as cheap as possible so I can understand if you aren’t willing to spend a lot of money. However, with health I am not willing to skimp. Spending more will be better for my health, and yours, in the long run (no pun intended!).
What should be in your basic running kit:
Kicks that will make you fly
Running shoes are the most important item when it comes to running. Spend money on that super expensive pair if they will supply you with the support and comfort that your feet need when pounding the ground.
I suggest checking with a doctor or orthopedist before buying to see what type of shoes you need – you may need ones with more support in various places etc. You may also need insoles.
Research the different types of shoes for the various types of running. If you are running for a short time, you won’t need the same type of shoe as if you were running a full marathon.
When buying shoes, buy the socks also and make sure the shoes are comfortable with the socks you want to wear. The socks need to be breathable and thick to stop blisters forming on your feet.
Like with shoes, the type of socks you buy depends on the length of the run, and your foot type. Read more here.
Sweat wicking leggings
Trust me, you need this – especially if running in a hot climate. If running when it is cold outside, look into thermal leggings that will keep you warm while also wicking away sweat. I tried running with regular cotton leggings which was actually fine for shorter runs but in the heat, and during longer runs, I could’ve done with a pair of moisture wicking leggings. I then invested in a pair for the next marathon I ran and wow! The difference was amazing. I was cool and content – and my legs thanked me for it! Loose fitting shorts can be good for shorter runs but the swishing about may cause chaffing.
Sweat wicking T-shirt and hoodie
The same goes for a t-shirt. I actually didn’t realize the difference it made until I ran a marathon and was given one of their t-shirts. Granted their t-shirts aren’t the best quality either, but it made a huge difference.
Invest in a moisture wicking zip up hoodie also in case it rains or is cold.
The right underwear
Women – you need to get a really good sports bra. I’m assuming that you can understand why you would need one of these. What most people don’t know however, is that guys also need a form of nipple protection if running for a lengthy amount of time. The friction between the shirt and body can cause some painful chaffing. There are nip guards that men can buy but many say putting on band-aids, vaseline, or unscented gel works great too.
Getting underwear that was designed specifically for running will also make a difference to your performance, and protect your body better from chaffing or wedgies.
If you have long hair – get a headband. It will keep your hair out of your face, and pick up moisture. You can wear one if you have short hair too!
If it will be sunny out, you should get sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen. Sunscreen in fact is something that should be applied year round – rain or shine. It’s just a lot more important to wear it if you will be out in the sun.
An Armband or Smartwatch
I can’t run without my phone. It has my music for my runs, plus a time tracker for me to keep track of my progress. Be wary though and buy an armband that is thick and will protect your phone. You don’t want your sweat getting into the phone and killing it…
Note: armbands are adjustable but only to an extent. Get a smaller or bigger size if you do not fit the ‘normal’ size bicep range.
Additionally, know your phone’s battery life. If it is likely that it will run out of battery during the middle of a run, then buy a battery juice pack that will charge it while you’re running.
Now days there are alternatives like smartwatches that will eliminate the need for an armband, and give you the same benefits but without the bulk of carrying it on your bicep.
Don’t bother with headphones because they are big and bulky. Get earbuds or earphones that will sit securely in your ear (and not need adjusting every 2 minutes). If the cord annoys you while you run then buy wireless Bluetooth earbuds that connects to your tracker or music playing device via Bluetooth. Problem solved!
A hydration belt
Not a necessity but some like to have a hydration belt for longer runs and marathons when you need to stay hydrated more than usual. Marathons usually hand out bottles of water at regular intervals. The choice is up to you whether you feel you need the extra hydration or not.
Last but not least
A lot of motivation and a champion smile
P.S. Your post race kit should include:
- Plenty of water
- A towel
- Band-aids and anti-septic for blisters
- Flip flops
- Extra clothing to change into (unless you are showering sometime soon)