Putting in all those miles of training is of course a big factor in reaching the finish line of a marathon or half-marathon. But it can be just as important to get the right kit, and to give yourself enough time to test it before a race. With this simple checklist, we hope to get you race-ready and flying through the finish line with a smile. So what are the 9 must-haves for marathon & half-marathon runners?
In case you've suddenly realised that your current shoes have done way too much mileage than they should have, or they're causing you some problems, just pop in. The friendly expert teams in our London, Edinburgh and Cardiff branches are happy to help you! With our Natural Gait Analysis service we'll make sure that your shoes are still the right ones for you and won't bring you any surprises on race day. If you can't make it to a store, check out Online Gait Analysis.
When running long distances, it's especially important to wear technical running gear with excellent moisture-wicking properties and breathability. On top of that, you will also appreciate having plenty of storage space in your shorts to carry your energy chews and gels.
Men's Ronhill Tech Marathon Tee
Men's Ronhill Tech Marathon Twin Shorts
Men's Odlo Blackcomb Ceramicool Tee
Women's Ronhill Tech Marathon Tee
Women's Ronhill Tech Marathon Twin Shorts
Women's Odlo Zeroweight Engineered Tee
A GPS running watch is a great companion for runners, and even more so for a race. It can help you during your training to measure your distance, time, speed, heart rate etc. It will also track your stats and give you detailed running data. The models featured below tick all the boxes.
In addition, some models will also offer you training plans to follow (Garmin Forerunner 245, Garmin Forerunner 55) or they will even create a personal training plan for you based on your individual metrics (Polar Vantage M2). Some watches can help prevent injury by giving you advice on your recovery or notifying you when it’s time to rest up (Coros Apex Premium, Polar Ignite 2, Polar Vantage M2).
Garmin Forerunner 245 GPS Watch
Polar Vantage M2 Multisport Watch
Garmin Forerunner 55
Polar Ignite 2
Coros Pace 2 Premium GPS Sport Watch
Runners don't always realise how important it is to have a pair of proper running socks. If you think an old pair of regular socks will do, you may find yourself having to stop to adjust them a few times during a race, or even end up with a few unwelcome blisters. To keep your feet comfy, fresh and blister-free throughout the race, we recommend you invest in a pair of technical running socks. Here are some of our top tips:
Injinji Run Lightweight Mini-Crew Toe Socks
Hilly Lite Comfort Quarter Socks
Balega Enduro Quarter Socks
Injinji Run Lightweight No Show Toe Socks
Women's Hilly Lite Comfort Socklets
Thorlo Experia Ocean Breeze Socks
According to research, compression wear reduces exercise-induced muscle damage, accelerates recovery processes, removes lactic acid faster, increases strength and power, improves endurance, increases muscle oxygenation, and improves body temperature control.
Men's Skins Long Tights Series 3
Compressport R2V2 Calf Guards V3
Men's Skins Series 3 Half Tights
Women's Skins Skyscraper Tights Series 3
Compressport R2V2 Calf Guards V3
Women's Compressport Trail Under Control Half Tights 2021
These running accessories won’t make your marathon or half-marathon distance shorter, but they can definitely make it more enjoyable. Running caps and sunglasses will keep you protected from the sun, and race belts come handy for carrying essentials.
Ronhill Air-Lite Split Cap
Dark Blue/Lime £18.00
Sunwise Greenwich Polarised Sunglasses
Odlo Visor Cap Ceramicool Light
Running Belt With Window
Fitletic Hydration Belt 16oz
Energy (e.g. Maurten Gel 100, Maurten Drink Mix 320, Lucho Dillitos,) and electrolytes (e.g. Nuun Tabs, Saltstick Fastchews) are important to take before and during a run. Protein, on the other hand, is crucial after your run to help your muscles with recovery (e.g. SIS Rego Rapid Recovery Drink, Pulsin Protein Bar). Test your nutrition on your training runs to make sure you get on well with it during a race.
Maurten Gel 100 Box
Maurten Drink Mix 320 Sachets
Lucho Dillitos Guava Paste
Nuun Sport Tabs
Lemon Lime £7.00
REGO Rapid Recovery Protein Drink 500g (NEW FORMULA)
Some runners think that a marathon equals painful chafing and blisters. But all that can be avoided thanks to these great little helpers. BodyGlide is an amazing, miraculous, invisible lubricant that glides over your skin and leaves a protective, slick layer, thus cutting down on friction-induced problems. Apply to your feet or underwear area to keep blisters and chafing at bay. Nip Guards are great protection for male runners. And Compeed could save your feet if the worst comes to the worst. Best to put it on your hot spots in advance.
Original Anti-Chafe Balm 22g
Men's Nip Guards
Compeed Blister Pads Medium
In case you picked up any niggles or feel any aches, these magical bits and bobs can decrease your discomfort and help you through your race with less pain. Rocktape is a kinesiology tape that offers fantastic support for runners suffering from knee pain, ITB, shin splints of plantar fasciitis. And to massage your sore muscles before or after training, try a massage aid and/or BioFreeze Gel.
Trigger Point STK Contour Massage Stick
Flow Mini Massage Gun
Trigger Point The Grid Foam Roller
Fitness-Mad Foot Roller
Biofreeze Gel 30ml
Best of luck with your training and preparation! Get loads more free tips from our expert advice team in this Run Better section: