One of my favorite things about running is that all you really need is a pair of shoes. But, after running more than 25 marathons, I’ve come to learn that some well-chosen gear can make the journey that much more pleasant and fun. Here are some of my favorites!
I carry a hand-held water bottle with me on every run, not just for long training runs but for races too. I find that it helps me stay in control of my hydration throughout the race. In more crowed races, I love the feeling of running through the center of a crowded aid station and continuing on my way. My hand-held also triples as my iPhone carrier (GPS! Mid-run photos!) and is the perfect place to tuck a snack.
Shorts with pockets at the waistband are my go-to marathon training and racing togs. I tuck four things here: Ginger chews, salt tabs, Advil, and a small energy bar. The ginger candy is a good hit of sugar and helps to calm a mixed up tummy. Each hour, on the hour, I pop one salt-tab. This helps regulate my electrolytes without really thinking about it. (On hot marathon days, I take two each hour.) And the energy bar is my just-in-case calories. I’ve run a few marathons where aid stations came at either the wrong time for me, or weren’t offering something familiar. My most enjoyable marathons and long training runs were ones where I didn’t break routine.
To round out my marathon and training run outfits, I dress in layers. I’m fortunate enough to train in sunny Northern California, so my classic outfit is a supportive sports bra, a long-sleeve wicking shirt and a breathable hat. Even on warm days, I like to start with a long-sleeve, and tie it around my waist if I get hot.
For my colder-temperature runs, I wear a pair of fleece mittens and drop in a set of Hot-Hands to each. I am cursed with always-cold fingers, so this combo does the trick to keep me running cozy.
For shoes, I lace up either a pair of trail shoes or neutral trainers. I train in the shoes I plan to run my race in—no experiments on race day!