My first marathon is looming. I’ve learned one thing about myself over the years and that’s if a feat intimidates me, I’ll do one of two things – learn everything about it or act like it doesn’t exist.
I’ve taken both approaches to this marathon, at times acting like I don’t know how long a marathon is and at others asking everyone how they prepare. It’s down to the wire and it’s happening.
I sought help from a few friends at Nike Running Club and Fleet Feet who shared all of their knowledge with me so that I can stop acting like this isn’t happening and start my journey to 26.2.
Preparing for marathon day is an element of three things: knowing what to wear, what to carry on your person and what to give to your loved ones or to gear check so you can transition to post-marathon.
What to wear
Layers. No matter the marathon, you’ll start the race at a different temperature than you’ll end it. Here’s what I’m wearing.
- Shoes: Nike Vomero
- Socks: CEP compression socks
- Underwear: Comando Brand Thong (not cotton)
- Shorts: I’ve had the Lululemon Groove Short forever, but the closest thing is the Train Times Short
- Sports Bra: Nike Women’s Pro Victory Compression Sports Bra
- Tank top: I’m wearing a Run Chi tank top available in-store at Fleet Feet, but you can get your official marathon gear there too
- Sweatshirt: I’ll be wearing a Reebok Classic Crew Neck sweatshirt, but this Reebok Classic Track Jacket is pretty phenomenal
- Sunglasses: I’ll be wearing these Goodr sunglasses in black on black. They don’t slip and they’re polarized
- Sunscreen: I’m going Neutrogena Sport Faces and Coppertone Sport SPF 50 everywhere else
What to carry on your person
- A fanny pack or belt: I’m carrying the Nathan six-pocket belt
- Your fuel of choice: On course, Gatorade Endurance will be fueling the marathon. I have some of the brand’s gels and the Clif Bloks I’ve been fueling with for marathon training
- A water bottle: I have the amphipod handheld water bottle which fits in my hand so that I can take my gels and chews when I need to even if I’m not close to a water station (hint: take your gels and chews with water)
- Chapstick: You’ll be doing about four hours of mouth-breathing
- Body Glide: Even if you’ve never chafed before, you just might on marathon day. Bodyglide will help to keep you skin happy if your shoes or clothes start to rub
- My phone: I’m keeping it in airplane mode with my playlists loaded up! Try these Marathon mixes by the DJ Firm
- Headphones: I love my Bose Soundsport Headphones, but Bluetooth uses a little extra battery, so I’m going straight iPhone headphones
- A small mobility ball: The Foot Rubz ball will help me with any plantar fasciitis flair ups on the way.
- ID/Credit Card/Keys: In case I stop at Starbucks, mostly.
What to have waiting at the finish line
- Fresh kicks: After putting 26.2 miles on your shoes, it will feel great to put on some fresh shoes that haven’t had the cushion beaten out of them
- Clean and dry clothes: You need an entirely new outfit, from socks to underwear to all of your layers in case it’s colder than you expect
- A headband or hat: Cover up those sweaty hairs
No matter which race you’re running, your gear can help you prepare for the best and worst-case scenarios. Pack wisely, friends.