How To Dress, Prep and Pack for Marathon Day

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.

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.

Endurance Move

About Jeana Anderson Cohen

Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of a premiere wellness media destination that creates content and community to help womxn live better lives and achieve their goals. Before founding health-focused companies Jeana earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison - and fresh out of college she worked on the '08 Obama campaign in Michigan. From there, she created and executed social media strategies for brands. aSweatLife fuses her experience in building community and her passion for wellness. You can find Jeana leading the team at aSweatLife, trying to join a book club, and walking her dog Maverick.

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