How to prepare for a marathon
Posted 8th March 2016
The marathon is a gruelling race that’s as much to do with mental strength as physical ability.
But you can help your body and mind get through the 26-mile run by making sure you’ve got the right kit.
Shoes and socks
What goes on your feet is probably the most important part of the preparation. The wrong socks and shoes and you’ll be forced to quit after a few miles as the blisters set in.
We suggest some fitted marathon socks. Like regular sports socks, they help to wick moisture away from the surface of the skin, keeping your feet dry.
But these also have added stabilisation technology preventing you from pressing down too hard on either the inside or outside of your foot. Add to that cushioning and an anatomically-shaped fit, and your feet couldn’t be in better hands.
With shoes, go lightweight. Remember, you’re going to be carrying them for a good few hours. But more importantly, wear the ones you’ve been training in. Never, under any circumstances, wear new shoes.
Throw a few plasters in your pocket just in case – even with all the preparation in the world, you might get blisters just miles from the finishing line.
Again, you need to look for lightweight and breathable options. Avoid standard cotton t-shirts as they’ll just get soaked through with sweat and start to rub.
Go for synthetic materials like nylon that have wicking properties and will help your body breathe so it doesn’t overheat.
Make sure to wear your marathon outfit at least once before the big day, so you can pick up on any areas that rub or are uncomfortable, like a rogue label or a tight waist on your shorts.
Women will need a comfortable and supportive sports bra, and it’s also worth all runners taking a waterproof top in case it rains.
Many marathon courses have drinks stops along the way providing cups of water for runners. But you might want to have your own bottle so you can hydrate when it suits you.
A good option is a water bottle like the Citrus Zinger Sport Water Infusing Bottle. The leak-free bottle has a flip-up straw for spill-free hydration on-the-go.
It also includes active infusion technology to infuse water with citrus fruit flavours, vitamins, and nutrients so you can keep your energy up during the race.
Check the weather
Whether it’s sunny or wet can make a big difference to your run.
For warmer weather, make sure to take a cap and sunscreen to protect you from sunburn.
If it’s colder, pack some gloves and maybe a long sleeve running top or tights to keep your muscles and extremities warm.
Be ready for a wait
Before races start there’s lots of waiting around – so be prepared. If you’ve not brought anything you could end up pacing about and fretting over the task facing you.
We suggest something to sit on (a plastic bag is fine), a magazine to read and some clothes to keep you warm, that can either be thrown away or left with a friend.