22 items to keep you running comfortably on marathon day

Training for a marathon is only half the challenge of getting ready for the big race. Ensuring you have the right running essentials is equally crucial to getting you to the finish line. 

Whether it’s your first or 20th marathon, these essentials will keep you comfortable on your run.  

Men’s and women’s running shoes and socks

These shoes are great for overpronators.

Top of your marathon running essentials list should be a pair of comfortable shoes to help you run more efficiently and faster. Runners looking for support can keep their form aligned with the Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 22 Supportive Running Shoes, available at Fleet Feet. These sneakers are loved for their support, making them an excellent option for overpronators. You can also get them for under $120  on Amazon.

Shoes for the runner who likes cushioning.

On Women’s Cloudmonster sneakers an option for runners seeking a highly cushioned ride. They come with a distinctive design crafted to push you onward; a forefoot rocker ensures a natural gait for those longer distances and helps keep your feet and legs feeling refreshed.  Get them for as low as $170 at Zappos or shop for them on Amazon. You can find men’s sizes here. 

Try these for a light shoe.

Runners looking to clock their personal best will be propelled on the route wearing these Saucony Men’s Endorphin Pro 3 Sneakers. You can also grab them at the same price on Amazon. The shoes’ SPEEDROLL technology and robust carbon-fiber plate will push you forward for effortless speed. A thicker stack of PWRRUN PB foam cushioning gives runners more pop underfoot for the ultimate go-fast experience. The perfect blend of cushioning and responsiveness will give runners an edge in their performance. 

These socks provide comfort for every stride.

Socks may be somewhat of an afterthought for some, but they should take center stage regarding foot health. They are just as important as shoes for running because they provide support and cushioning, reduce friction and wick away moisture. These Balega Hidden Comfort Performance, No Show Athletic Running Socks for Men and Women are available on sale on Amazon for $12 or grab these socks at Feet Feet to rack up membership points. These socks can help keep your feet dry and comfortable throughout long runs. The sock’s moisture management fiber dynamix works to keep your feet cool and dry all day and reduces friction to minimize the risk of blisters.  

Try these compression socks. 

Reviewers boast that the Feetures Elite Max Cushion No Show Tab – Running Socks for Men and Women – Athletic Compression Socks, available for $18 at Marathon Sports and Amazon, are the best socks on earth. The socks are designed with extra protection in high-impact areas with high-density cushioning and come in a variety of fun and vibrant colors.

Electrolyte and energy gel essentials

Energy gels will give you a pep in your step.

Beyond the comfort of your feet, you’ll also have to think about on-the-go hydration and nutrition to keep you running. Long-distance runners should consider stocking up on energy gels like this popular, stomach-friendly Huma Chia Energy Gel available for under $30 at Walmart and Amazon. The gels are chia seed-based, and reviews say they are a little less thick than other popular brands. 

Try salt tabs for hot days.

Try these SaltStick FastChews Electrolytes, available for under $20 at Walmart and Amazon, for on-the-go hydration without weighing your body down with water. The salt tablets are packed with sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium in an easy, chewable electrolyte tablet form. They provide fast hydration to help stave off leg cramps on the big day. 

Optimize hydration with this hydration stick.

Mix this Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier, ready to purchase from Walmart or Amazon for under $25, into water after a long run to restore your body’s electrolytes and maintain proper hydration. Every serving contains five essential vitamins: B3, B5, B6, B12 and C. Plus, they come in convenient single-use packets and several different flavors. 

Running smartwatches and fitness trackers

Try this option for a great starter watch.

As far as accessories go, a good watch will make tracking your miles and speed a breeze. The Garmin Forerunner 45S is available at Walmart for under $160 and can be found on Amazon. It sports easy-to-use features including a built-in GPS, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sleep and stress monitoring, incident detection and remote assistance. 

This Garmin is a step up.

Or you could opt for the more advanced Garmin Forerunner 245, GPS Running Smartwatch, which can be found on Amazon for under $300 or Dick’s Sporting Goods. The Garmin Forerunner 245 is highly rated for its accurate mileage tracker. 

Essential running accessories

This is what you need for anti chafing.

One accessory you can’t do without to reduce problematic chafing is the Body Glide For Her Anti-Chafe Balm, available for under $10 at Walmart and Amazon. Apply before you put on clothes, on your inner thighs, around your (sports) bra and wherever your skin is sensitive to rubbing.

Grab a belt to carry valuables.

Another thing that runners should consider is where they plan to store their belongings, like car keys and money. This Athle Sport Running Belt with Vertical Bottle Pocket, priced at under $20 at Walmart and Amazon is light, comfortable and won’t weigh you down as you run. The straps are adjustable to secure it tightly for minimal movement. Owners say it’s the most comfortable waist pack they have ever owned!

For on the go hydration.

Don’t forget to plan for on-the-go hydration. This Nathan SpeedView Flask, Handheld Water Bottle and Phone Case Holder hold 18 ounces of water and doubles as storage. The hand strap features a large, expandable, zippered pocket for your phone or other essentials. Get it for under $40 at Nathan Sports or Amazon.

Make sure to take you cap.

Remember your sun protection and gear to reduce glare on the road. The Adidas Men’s Superlite 2 Relaxed Adjustable Performance Cap is made of a lightweight stretch fabric with perforated side panels for added ventilation. Get it on sale now for under $12 at Zappos or you can order through Amazon. 

Perfect for ponytails.

TrailHeads Women’s Race Day Performance Running Cap is another excellent option with a dark under-bill to keep light from reflecting into your eyes.  You can grab it for under $25 at Trailheads or Amazon. 

These sunglasses are a great budget option.

Goodr OG Polarized Sunglasses, available at Fleet Feet or Amazon, protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays and won’t break the bank at $25. These shades feature a unique grip coating that eliminates slippage when sweating, and the snug, lightweight frame fits comfortably on the face to prevent bouncing. They come in a variety of designs and frame colors to choose from.

Try what the elite runners wear.

Use the sunglasses that elite athletes choose and grab a pair of the Nike Show X3, on sale for under $100 at Amazon or you can buy through Nike. These sunglasses offer optimum performance with superior clarity, anti-fogging ventilation, UVA/UVB protection and lightweight comfort.

Essential men’s and women’s running clothes

You’ll also want to take a close look at what you wear. Uncomfortable running gear will quickly stop you in your tracks, but the opposite could help you reach a personal best. Check the forecast in the days leading up to your race to plan the perfect outfit.

Keep your core cool in this option.

On a warm day, TLRUN Men’s Ultra Lightweight Running Shirts will help keep you dry and comfortable by wicking away sweat. New Balance fans can stay cool and comfortable all run long in the New Balance Q Speed Jacquard Short Sleeve top, priced at $50 at Fleet Feet.

Smartwool for all season running comfort.

This SmartWool Women’s Merino 150 Baselayer Short Sleeve is another highly-rated option that delivers insulation in colder climates and manages heat and moisture in warmer weather. Get this great all-season shirt for $80 and under at Smartwool or Amazon. 

These shorts get high marks.

These CRZ YOGA Women’s High Waisted Running Shorts feature built-in underwear and are crafted from lightweight, fast-drying fabric. They also have a handy zippered pocket to store your phone or other essentials. They are available for under $30 at Walmart or Amazon. 

Great bra for impact sports.

This Nike Women’s Victory Compression Sports Bra provides a snug compression fit to minimize bounce. It’s made of jersey fabric and wicks away sweat.  Buy it for under $40 at Amazon or Nike.

Try this windbreaker for rain protection.

If you are running in spring weather, be prepared for unexpected weather with the adidas Women’s Marathon Translucent Jacket on sale for under $60 at Amazon. Or you could also try the updated Terrexx Xperior light windweave jacket, on sale for $150 at Backcountry.

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