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Marathon running gear: 6 essentials to have on race day

Marathon running gear: 6 essentials to have on race day
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Whether you're getting ready for your first marathon or your 20th, having the right marathon running gear can make or break race day. Here are six essentials.

You've trained for months, , and now the big day is here. While the miles you've put in are critical, so is having the right marathon running gear. Make sure you have these six essentials on race day:

  • 1. Running shoes. This one is pretty obvious, but you don't want to arrive on race day only to realize you've packed the wrong shoes. A lightweight pair you've already broken in will keep your feet happy.
  • 2. Clothing. Check the forecast in the days leading up to the race. Plan accordingly — have layers you can strip as the temperatures rise. If it's looking rainy, wear tight-fitting technical fabrics that won't get bogged down with water.
  • 3. Before and after gear. You might have to stand around before go time, so have some warm layers you can toss once you start running. After the race, get out of your sweaty race kit as soon as possible — have "after" clothing in your bag, too.
  • 4. Other apparel. Don't forget your race bib, a hat, gloves, and anything else that will make you most comfortable in the conditions.
  • 5. Nutrition. A marathon requires many calories to complete, so bring along your favorite running fuel, whether gels, chews, or real foods. Check to see how far apart aid stations are and if you'll need to carry your own water bottle to cover the gaps.
  • 6. Accessories. This is the most personalized part of essentials on race day. If you like to check your splits regularly, make sure your GPS watch is charged and ready to go. Worried about chafing? Add something like Aquaphor or Body Glide to your bag. Other considerations include sunglasses, a few dollars, your cell phone, and anything else you like for racing and running.

A marathon is a big deal, and your marathon running gear is, too. Bring along these six essentials on race day, and the rest is up to you.

Our writer's advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition, or fitness routines.

Written By
Amanda Loudin

Health and science writer

Amanda Loudin running in a forest

I've been a runner for more than two decades and a journalist for just as long. I'm also a certified running coach and nothing makes me happier than marrying up writing and running. Find me on the trails with two- and four-legged friends.