9 Must-Haves for (Half) Marathon Runners

Your race day is fast approaching. As you shouldn't be cramming extra training in the last couple of weeks before your big day, now is the perfect time to focus on your running kit preparation, which can improve your (half) marathon performance so much.

With our simple checklist, you will be race ready and flying through the finish line with smile.

So what are the 9 must-haves for (half) marathon runners?

Running Shoes

In case you've suddenly realised that your current shoes have done way too much mileage than they should have, or they are 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 we'll make sure that your shoes are still the right ones for you and won't bring you any surprises on your race day.

Running Socks

People 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 make 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:

Running Nutrition

Energy and electrolytes are important to take before and during a run (Mule Bar Energy Gel or Bar, High5 Zero Gels and Tabs). Mule Energy Gel is a very smart solution for runners thanks to its unique resealable cap, which means the gel doesn't need to be taken in one go but can be taken on multiple occasions. Protein, on the other hand, is crucial after your run to help your muscles with recovery (Pulsin Protein Bar, Bounce Natural Ball, SIS Recovery Drinks). Test your nutrition on your training runs to make sure you get on well with it during a race.

Race Belts & Waist Pouches

No matter how many marathons you have under your belt, a race belt should be your best friend! :-) You can fit your nutrition in there, your phone, keys and other important bits and pieces (like a photo of your family or a pet). And the best thing is that unlike those 'low price good quality' belts, they won't be bouncing around when you are chasing your PB.

Compression Gear

Compression running gear is such a fantastic help for runners' muscles and performance that we're dreading the day UK Anti-Doping will add it to their lists :-) But really, if you want to feel stronger, having your muscles supported and protected throughout the race, thus performing better, give these guys a go:

Running Caps

Running a (half) marathon in the UK means you never know what the weather's going to be like. But with a running cap you are ready for both the sun and rain. Only when it comes to strong wind, leave your cap at home, otherwise you may end up disqualified from the race due to a little detour when running after your cap.

Blisters & Chafing Protection

Some runners think that a marathon equals painful chafing and blisters. But all that can be avoided thanks to these great little helpers. Body Glide is an amazing miraculous invisible skin lubricant that glides over your skin and leaves a protective, slick layer, thus cutting down on all friction induced problems. Glide it well over your feet or underwear area to keep all 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.

Running Supports & Injury Care

Hopefully your (half) marathon training has gone smoothly and you are injury free. But in case you picked up some niggles or feel aches, these magical bits and bobs can decrease your discomfort, help you to focus on your performance and to go through your race with less pain. Rocktape is a kinesiology tape that offers fantastic support. Suffering from knee pain, ITB, shin splints of plantar fasciitis? Just tape it up to relieve your pain (taping instructions included). If you need to reduce stress on your achy knee, try out the UP Patella Strap. For relief from muscle and joint discomfort before/after your training, get some sport balms.

For the Joy of Running

Don't forget, it's better to be well rested than over trained, so make sure you remind yourself why you are doing this race. Are you supporting a charity or is it your own self-transcendence? In any case, try to enjoy your experience and treat yourself or your friends with fun cards, achievement bracelets or some inspirational reading.

Good luck with your marathon or half marathon! And here's our extra tip: Wear your new race running gear during a couple of runs before a race, to make sure everything goes smoothly on the day.

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