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Basic Running Gear for Marathon Training

Get ready for your marathon with these running essentials

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Updated June 14, 2014

If you're training for a marathon, your most important piece of running gear is the right pair of running shoes for your foot type . Once you've found a good pair of running shoes and your runs start to increase in distance, you may be thinking about other running gear that you may need. Here are some essential items that every marathoner-in-training can use.

Fuel Belt Helium

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As a marathoner-in-training, you're running long enough that you need to hydrate during your runs. Since finding fluids on the run isn't always easy, many long distance runners use hydration carriers such as a Fuel Belt to have their fluids close at hand.

 



Fuel Belt's Helium 4 makes it easier to carry your fluids. The belt is made of ventilated foam pads, which help make the belt lighter, comfortable and breathable. The belt has a Velcro closure, which makes it very easy to adjust on the run. It also has a detachable race pocket that can hold gels, money, keys, and other essentials. It comes in four different colors, so you can choose one that fits your style best.

Ultra Pocket Hat for Runners

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Marathoners need to carry a lot of stuff on the run and they're always looking for placing to stash it. This hat's zippered side pockets are perfect for quick access to energy gels, keys, money and ID. Other great features include ventilated mesh side panels, reflective safety piping, and moisture-wicking material. Available in pink, safety yellow, and black/white.
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Body Glide

Photo by Christine Luff
As you increase your distance, you may start to suffer from blisters and chafing if you don't take some preventive measures. Body Glide is a lubricant that's designed to prevent chafing and/or blisters in vulnerable areas, such as your feet, inner thighs, sports bra lines, and underarms. It comes in a stick and is applied like a deodorant, leaving no sticky, oily or powdery mess.
More: Blister Prevention Products
Chafing Prevention Products

Jelly Belly Sport Beans

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Once you start running longer than 90 minutes on training runs, you'll need to start replacing your stored energy with calories on the run. Jelly Belly Sport Beans are a tasty and convenient option for eating on the run. Available in six different flavors, sport beans contain carbs for energy, electrolytes to replace those that you're losing through sweat, and vitamins B and C. Many runners say that they're a tastier option than most sports gels.
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Amphipod Airflow Endurance Waistpack

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Even if you plan to carry fluids in your hand-held bottles for training runs and use hydration stops during the marathon, you'll still need something to hold your nutrition and other necessities. This waist carrier from Amphipod features three internal pockets designed for keys, cash, electronics, energy gels, jelly beans and other essentials. Its hybrid mesh technology wicks away moisture and circulates air between your back and the pack, so it won't feel hot and constricting. It also has a fully adjustable belt for a comfortable fit.
More: Running Belt Packs
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Foam Roller

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Many marathoners-in-training can't live without their foam rollers, which are cylindrical foam pieces. Using your own body weight and a foam roller, you can perform a self-massage that offers similar benefits as deep-tissue massage such as stretching muscles and tendons, decreasing muscle tension, breaking up trigger points, soothing tight fascia, and increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues. If you don't have the time or money for regular, professional massages, foam rollers are a convenient, less expensive alternative. They're especially helpful for long distance runners who are prone to ITB Syndrome and tight calves or hamstrings.

More: Injury Prevention and Recovery Tools

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WrightSock Double Layer Running Lite Anklet Socks

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WrightSock Double Layer socks feature two totally separate layers that allow movement between the layers. As a result, heat and friction stay between the layers, not between the sock and your foot. The socks' Dri-WRIGHT, multi-channeled yarns wick moisture away from the foot, which allows the moisture to spread out, giving it a larger area from which to evaporate. What does this mean for you, the runner? You'll have blister-free runs every time you hit the road. WrightSock's Lite Anklet socks are better for warmer weather running. If you're running in cold weather, try WrightSock's Running Quarter Crew Socks
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Timex Ironman Triathlon Watch

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Whenever a runner asks me for a recommendation for a basic running watch, I always suggest the Timex Ironman Triathlon Watch. It's a simple watch, yet it's powerful enough to meet your training and race timing needs. It features a 100-hour stopwatch with 1/100 second resolution; 50 lap memory, 50 split memory, 50 workout memory; a training log with best lap, average lap, and total segment time with date; indiglo backlight for easy viewing in low light conditions; 3 alarms; and 2 interval timers with 99 rep counter. In addition, it's very sleek, stylish, and available in a few different colors. I even wear it sometimes when I'm not running!

And, guys, don't worry, there's a men's version of the Timex Ironman Triathlon Watch.
More: Best Running Watches

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The Quotable Runner

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This book of quotes will help runners get through their toughest workouts or races. The Quotable Runner is full of inspirational, practical and humorous quotes about running. Mao, Bill Clinton, Churchill, and George Sheehan are among others quoted in this book.
More: Books for Runners
See also: More Running Gifts
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Related Video
How to Choose Running Shoes
Proper Running Form-Gait
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