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26.2. A distance well-known in the world of running requires extreme mental toughness and the ability to remain on your feet and run for an extended period. When it comes to marathon training and preparation, the list of to-dos before race day seems endless. But, one thing you can directly tackle relatively simply is getting and training in the right gear! To ensure you are truly ready and comfortable for your big race, you must use every training run as a practice and an opportunity to test your running gear. Check out our list of top tips for choosing the perfect marathon training gear from our Fit Experts.


Plan out what you want to wear for the marathon day beforehand and try it out to make sure it’s comfortable for the long miles. Is your outfit comfortable from the beginning to the end of your run? Does it wick away enough moisture to be dry and comfortable through the long distances? Practice some of your runs with running apparel from different brands and in different weather conditions so you know what is most comfortable for your running style. Fit Expert note: many runners prefer to run in shorts during warmer weather but may actually run in longer pants, think bike short length, on race day as a way to avoid chafing. Practice with different style options and find the one that feels best for you. 


 If you’re a woman, a run bra is a must for running, and on marathon day, you want to ensure you have the best fit for you. Consider the important factors, like does your run bra provide enough support through your run while being comfortable for the long distance ahead? When selecting a run bra, you should feel supported and secure but you do not want it too tight. It should not be a super tight squeeze. Also, be on the lookout for strap and closure details to make sure all pieces of the bra will be comfortable while moving. 


Although socks may be a detail, runners tend to think of last minute choosing the right socks for race day can be a game changer. Some runners prefer ultra-thin socks, while others find more cushioned socks to be most comfortable while running. Try out various running socks throughout your training and see which one feels best for you. Fit Expert note: will your socks and shoes still be comfortable once wet if it rains?


We cannot stress enough the importance of nutrition for marathon runners. The right nutrition helps refuel your body and gives you the extra power to keep going through all 26.2 miles. With many nutrition options out there, including gels, chews, and bars, it’s not always easy to know the right combination for you; hence, we recommend trying out different nutrition brands and types during your training. However, if running nutrition is new to you and you need some more insight, ask one of our Fit Experts or a fellow runner for some suggestions based on their experience. From others’ recommendations, see if the same flavors also work for you or if they may need some adjustments to your liking. During practice runs, try various nutrition types and flavors and evaluate what works best for you.


We could go on and on about tips for race day and training shoes, but if we could only pick one thing to share it’s that you should have a newer pair of your favorite training shoes for race day. By the end of your training, you will likely know which shoe is your favorite but, running shoes wear and you will likely need a fresh pair for race day. But you also may not want to use a brand new pair of shoes that you open for the first time on race morning. Running with your race day shoes even one time before the big day will help your feet mold to them beforehand and ensure that you and your feet are comfortable come race start. Also, trying them out with the socks you plan to wear will help make sure you have the perfect combination to keep you comfortable for the long miles ahead.


 Most runners can’t run without some form of Garmin or running watch to help keep track of their mileage, pace and other running stats. Come marathon day this will be no different, we promise this is a run you will definitely want to show off to everyone so make sure to have it ready for race day. Before race day make sure you are used to the settings and workings of your watch. Wear it on all of your runs to test out the features, battery life, GPS capabilities, etc. 


Once you’ve covered the basics, make sure you have your extras that make your race fit the perfect fit for you. When you decide what nutrition and hydration works best for your running plan, start thinking about how you will carry it on race day. Does the apparel you chose have pockets to fit your nutrition of choice? Do you have a specific hydration mix that you’ve grown to love during training? All marathon races will provide water throughout the course and some will also provide a form of sport drink, but you may want to research when and where the different hydration stations are located to make sure it fits with your run plan. If you find that the water stations are too far apart for your hydration needs or the sports drink offered is not of your preference it would be a good idea to carry a hydration belt with your own so you can be sure to have what you need exactly when you need it. 


Post marathon, you will need some recovery time; a plan beforehand will help this process quicker. No matter how much training and preparation you have had for the big day, it’s a lot for your body to take on and will need some help to bounce back, so make sure to have recovery tools during marathon training and post-race. Immediately after the race, we recommend you change your sweaty running shoes into recovery sandals, like Oofos, to help with arch support and help you not feel pain from common runner injuries like plantar fasciitis. Also, consider bringing with you in your race bag tools such as foam rollers and massage balls to help loosen tight calf and thigh muscles. These are good tools to have even days after the big race.

Deciding to train and run a marathon is a big undertaking that takes time and dedication. At times you may even reconsider, but we promise it’s a journey you will love to have accomplished. You will learn a lot about running and yourself throughout the process that you will never forget. And luckily, you have your friends at Fit2Run cheering you on every step of the way! Follow us on social @fit2run_therunnerssuperstore and share your marathon journey with us.  

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