Accessories for Racing: 2m, 5k, 10k & Half Marathon

5k & 10k Training Advice,Expert Advice on Running Accessories,Seasonal Running & Racing: What to Wear
Accessories for Racing: 2m, 5k, 10k & Half Marathon

It's best to minimise what you carry when racing, but some running accessories can be useful. Things like specialised running drinks bottles, waist pouches and a watch can make your running more comfortable, and help you achieve your race targets.

For 2 miles or 5k, you shouldn't need to actually carry anything, but certain accessories could help, such as running socks, a watch or calf guards.

For 10K, 10 miles and beyond, you may also start to think about how to carry drinks (depending on what's provided) and energy nutrition such as gels.

Before racing with any accessories, remember to try them on your training runs, to make sure they don't irritate you, and won't affect your performance on race day.

Socks / Waist Packs Race Belts / Hydration Belts / Bottles / Nutrition / Phone Holders / Headphones / Watches / Chafe & Blister Prevention / Hats / Compression


The type of socks you choose to wear for your race can be the difference between a good race and a not so good race! Make sure you test the socks (and all your clothing) that you plan to wear for your race in training, to ensure you feel good in them and have no issues.

We stock lots of running socks to choose from. It tends to come down to personal choice, regarding padding and length. The main types are:

  • Thin socks, for example Stance Run Feel 360 Tab Sock
  • Double layer socks that can help prevent blistering, for example Hilly Twin Skin
  • Padded socks which can help alleviate foot pain, for example Thorlo Experia
  • Thick socks are great for colder weather or more off road racing, for example the 1000 Mile Trail sock
  • Socks with some wool content in, again are great for warmth and off road racing any season, for example Hilly Supreme Anklet sock
  • Toe socks, for example Injinji Performance Lightweight Toe Sock

Shop Running Socks / Running Sock Guide

Thorlo Experia Socks
£13.95 £11.16

Hilly Twin Skin Socklets
£14.00 £11.20

1000 Mile Trail Sock Twin Pack Socks

Hilly Supreme Medium Cushioning Anklet Socks


Waist packs or pouches come in many shapes and sizes. They can be a useful accessory to store anything essential while racing: from gels to car keys and spare hair bands, there is often something you can't go without.

Some people don't like to run with anything attached to them, whilst others are happier to have the things they feel they need on their person. Whichever category you fit into, there is bound to be a type of waist pouch that will suit your needs when you just can't avoid carrying the essentials.

Shop Running Waist Packs & Race Belts

Minimal Options

The Ronhill Race Number Belt toggles to fix your number on and 8 loops for gels, a great choice for someone who likes to be as minimal as possible!

If you don't want to use a race number belt and equally don't want to put your number on by sticking pins through your running top, race number magnets are another option.

SPIBelt is a great pouch for those who do not like to carry much at all – it's so small and lightweight you're barely aware of it at all when running. It's great for the likes of gels, phones, keys. The elasticated strap allows is to fit around your waist or hips, with no movement as you run.

FlipBelt feels like part of your body, as it secures tightly to your waist. Make sure you choose the right size for your measurements. In the pockets you can fit small things like cards, keys, gels etc. It works without a zip – to secure your possessions you just flip the belt over, inside out.

SPIBelt Running Waistbelt

FlipBelt Classic

Larger Options

A slightly larger example is the UP Ultimate Performance Titan Touch – a great choice if you like to race with your phone. There is a pocket with clear plastic so you can use your phone's touch screen without needing to take it out. There's a separate inner pocket for keys or gels.

Another great, really lightweight option is the Salomon Pulse Belt. This has 2 pockets, which would be large enough for a soft bottle or a phone.

Larger still would be something like the 3L Montain Trailblazer Waist Pack. The larger packs and race vests are more ideal when it comes to off road or hill racing, where often you are required to carry waterproofs on your person in addition to the gels/drinks you may be carrying already. This sort of size is probably a bit excessive for a road race, unless you are going beyond the marathon to the world of ultras!

Salomon Pulse Belt

Montane Trailblazer 3


Sometimes runners like to carry their own drinks, so they can drink as they go rather than waiting for the next water station. It can also be useful if you tend to finish at the back of the pack in a long race, as support may not always be available when you need it. Check with the organisers before the day.

Another reason might be if you want to take your own energy drink. Check with the organisers if there will be energy drinks on the route and if so, which brand. Remember to train with the same product, to make sure it doesn't upset your stomach.

There are many different shapes and sizes of hydration belts that contain bottles / bottle holders and usually some space for keys or gels etc.

Shop Running Hydration Belts

Fitletic Hydration Belt 16oz

Salomon Agile 250 Set Belt

Running Bottles

Soft bottles – which collapse and get easier to carry the more you drink – are now very popular. They come in different sizes, from 150ml to 500ml.

Shop Running Bottles

SPIbelt H2O Companion Running Bottle

Ultimate Direction Body Bottle II 150ml

Ronhill 350ml Fuel Flask


Nutrition is a really important aspect to consider when racing. What works for one person probably will not work for another! The best thing to do is to try a variety of options when training. For anything above 10 miles it is certainly a good idea to consider Energy Gels, Energy DrinksEnergy Chews or Energy Bars. For more information on nutrition for racing, see Fuel Your Body for Running.

Shop Running Nutrition

Maurten Gel 100

High 5 Energy Gel

Tailwind Nutrition 2 Serving Stickpack

Clif Shot Bloks

SIS Go Gel Isotonic


Armbands for storing your phone are popular with many runners today – either for staying in contact, or for entertainment such as listening to podcasts or music. With some runners using phone applications to track their speed, distance and race route, this is an increasingly sought after accessory.

If a waist pouch isn't your thing, you could consider a wrist pocket. These are are good for small items, but not so good if you need to pack a lot of things in, as you may feel a little imbalanced unless you wear one on each side!

Another alternative is the lightweight, bounce-free Runitude Vest.

Shop Running Phone Holders / Phone Carrying Guide

Ronhill Stretch Wrist Pocket

Ultimate Performance Ridgeway Phone Holder

Fitletic Surge Armband

Runitude Vest Phone Holder

SPIBelt Running Belt With Window


The only note of caution here is that you must remember when racing to check with the race organiser as to whether it is permitted for you to run with headphones in. It is common for this not to be allowed due to safety issues. The only headphones that are now generally permitted in road races are the bone conduction headphones. Aftershokz Open Move and Aeropex are Scottish Athletics and English Athletics race-approved headphones. They sit just in front of the ear and the music you are listening to travels by bone conduction to the ear while you hear everything else in the normal way.

Shop Shokz Headphones

Shokz OpenRun Pro Headphones

Shokz OpenRun Mini Headphones

Shokz OpenMove Headphones


The most basic function of a running watch is to track how long you've been running, and perhaps to record your mile splits on a longer race. This will help you ensure you're meeting any targets you've set yourself, while making sure you're not running too fast and peaking early.

Beyond that, GPS watches have a wide variety of features, such as a heart-rate monitor, route mapping, multisport features, and sophisticated training programmes.

A watch is, however, not essential and some people just prefer to run how they feel without the pressure of being aware of the time.

Shop GPS Running Watches / GPS Running Watch Guide

Garmin Fenix 7 X Sapphire Solar

Garmin Forerunner 255s Music
£349.99 £299.99

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar
£550.00 £499.00


There is nothing much worse when racing than to chafe. It is not very comfortable, and especially in warmer weather when you sweat more it can be pretty stingy as well! Anti-chafe products are great at preventing this from happening.

BodyGlide works similar to a stick deodorant, you just roll it on the areas where you are likely to chafe and it creates a protective layer between your clothing and your skin. It is not greasy and therefore does not cause any discolouring on clothes.

Shop Running Anti-Chafe & Blister Protection

Original Anti-Chafe Balm 22g

BodyGlide Original Anti-Chafe Balm 42g

Compeed Blister Pads Small

Compeed Blister Pads Medium


You don't want to wear too much when racing, and end up carrying more than you need. Again, training in the gear you're considering for a race is a great idea – preferably in conditions that the race is likely to be in.

When it's sunny, a Running Cap or Visor helps shade your face and keep sweat out of your eyes. In colder weather, hats, gloves and headbands are definitely worth considering.

Running Gloves range in their thickness and weight. Even a lightweight glove will help keep your hands more comfortable and will be easy to put into a pocket if you get too warm.

Running Hats are great for really cold weather, or if you tend to feel the cold. Your choice will depend on the weather, your constitution, and the pace at which you'll be running. Some hats are really lightweight, so could easily go in a pocket or waist pack if you get too warm.

A Running Headband is a great alternative to a hat when it is not as cold. It also helps to keep your hair out of your face.

A multipurpose option would be Running Neckwear such as a Buff –make it into a hat, a headband or a neckwarmer.

Shop Running Hats, Caps & Gloves

Odlo Ceramicool Pro Cap

Odlo Ceramicool Headband
£18.00 £14.40

Ronhill Reversible Contour Headband
£17.00 £13.60

La Sportiva Neo Beanie
£22.00 £18.70


Calf sleeves or compression socks are a great accessory if you're prone to sore or tight calfs, or simply want to give your calfs and shins a bit of protection when racing. Compression gear helps blood flow and keeps your muscles warm, so in colder weather especially these are great. They may just give you that extra bit of confidence to go flat out in your race!

Shop Compression Running Socks & Calf Guards / Shop Compression  Running Clothing

Compressport R2V2 Calf Guards V3
£32.00 £22.40

Compressport R2 Oxygen Calf Guards

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