Proper Marathon Equipment

When training for a marathon, the last thing you want is your equipment to distract you or slow you down. The right equipment can make all the difference. Overall, dress in what is most comfortable for you, and take advantage of the latest running technology and gear.

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

Shoes: The right running shoes are key when training and participating in a marathon. Just as runners have their own individual style of running, everyone also has a shoe that works for him or her. You can expect a good shoe to range in price from about $80-$120. When shopping for a shoe, find an associate who is knowledgeable about running. That person should study the pronation (foot rolls inward while striking the ground) or supination (foot rolls outward while striking the ground) while walking barefoot and checking your old shoes, which she should bring with you. Although it is sometimes tempting, don’t base your shoe on look. If you find a shoe comfortable after running in them for a while, don’t be afraid to buy another pair or two because shoes should be replaced after running 100 miles or more in them. If you wear new shoes, make sure you allot time to break them in before a race.

Socks: If you’re investing in running shoes, your socks should be good as well. Wear socks that are snug fitting and made with performance fabric (like CoolMax) for maximum comfort. Test socks in training before a race, just as you do shoes. Use mole skin or second skin on your feet to further avoid blisters.

Shirts: Running shirts are specifically designed to wick away moisture from your body. Unlike cotton, synthetic and fast-drying fabric such as Supplex, Nylon, Spandex, and Polypro doesn’t cling to your skin when you sweat. These materials will provide comfort and make you look and feel like a runner. You can find both cool and warm-weather shirts made from performance fabrics.

Shorts: Shorts tend to be longer than previously worn, and often contain a pocket (for your license, bank card, or house key). It is popular these days to wear spandex tights under your shorts to prevent chafing or any other kind of discomfort, and you can buy the combo shorts and spandex. Applying lubricant such as petroleum jelly or specially made sports stick may further assist this problem.

Hat: As you train the heat from your body escapes through your head. Wearing a hat can keep body temperature warm, and in summer, shield you from the sun. Keep in mind on hot days it may be dangerous to trap too much heat. A custom summer running hat is a perfect solution because it is thin enough to allow heat to escape.

Running pants: On cold days running pants can warm up your legs faster. There are versions with varying thicknesses, and lengths, some loose fitting, some actual tights. Again, choose performance fabrics, that are lightweight

As a rule, thin, layered clothing, which allows you to shed gear as you warm up, is better than thick layers.

Running water bottles: When running long distances (especially over 60 minutes), hydration is key to keep your body going. Attach water bottles to your hand, back, or hips. Running water bottles are available at most athletic stores. If you choose to run without water bottles, make sure your route passing drinking fountains, or that you plant drinks in strategic locations along your training route.

Ipod: If you prefer to run with music, an Ipod offers entertainment and a way to track your mileage and pace with special programs (that feature a pedometer). If you prefer not to listen to music you can also wear a GPS running watch.

Reflector Lights: When running at night it is crucial to wear running lights for safety, as well as reflective running gear. Many shoes and clothing brands come with built-in reflective material and/or stripes.

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