You have decided to participate in the upcoming marathon and have been training hard the last few weeks, maybe months, for the event. That means you are in good shape and are training not only your muscles but also your brain for this difficult feat you have chosen to participate in.
Well, congratulations! It takes a lot of guts, training, and discipline to participate in a marathon race, and not a lot of people can muster up the courage to do so. But you have, and that means you are cut out for it.
Now that you’re preparing for the marathon race, there are quite a few things you need to be aware of, such as the weather forecast of the marathon day, the route, and what items to take with you.
While we can’t quite help with the first two, we can definitely give you a list of essential items that can help you feel your best and ace the marathon. Let’s take a look at those.
#1. Long Distance Running Shoes
Be it a full marathon or a half marathon, needless to say, you need a good pair of running shoes. But what you specifically need to look for is a good pair of long-distance running shoes – something durable that will not wear or tear during the whole race.
Well, it can be tricky trying to understand what to look for in a pair of running shoes for the marathon. First and foremost, it needs to be comfortable. Get shoes that are not too tight for your feet but don’t slip off easily either.
Another thing to look for is the amount of cushioning; you want shoes that can protect your feet from getting sore from the hard roads and pavements. At the same time, you should look for a pair of lighter shoes so that it doesn’t add extra weight on your long run.
There are quite a few great running shoes that match this description. Do your research to learn more about the best running shoes for a marathon.
#2. An Extra Layer of Disposable Clothing
Say you’ve dropped off your bags at the designated point before the race and have been huddled up with a group of others, waiting for the officials to let you get moving. The wait itself can be quite long, often taking as much as 20 minutes or more. During this time, you need to keep warm in order to conserve body heat, especially if the weather is chilly.
To help with that, carry an additional layer of clothing – something that you can easily take off and throw away when needed. An old sweater, for example, that you’ve just kept around for no apparent reason for all these years, could be a good choice of such an expendable clothing item.
#3. Portable Box of Petroleum Jelly
The traditional marathon outfits are usually made of latex and can be skin-hugging. This means that sensitive parts of your body can get chaffed during the long race. This can leave wounds on your skin that can continue to hurt for a few days after the race.
To prevent that, apply petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) to the sensitive parts of your body before the race. Not just that, make sure to carry some petroleum jelly with you in a small container so that you can quickly apply some more if you feel any irritation in your skin during the race.
#4. Drinks for Hydration
For any physical activity-based event, staying hydrated is a priority. But for the marathon, it can become a necessity. While most marathons have water, sports drinks, and other hydrating beverages placed at various spots throughout the track, it is still a good idea to carry your own drinks, particularly if you have particular preferences or medical conditions.
For example, if you prefer fruit juice of a particular flavor, or if you need a beverage with a special formula, it is a good idea to carry it yourself, as that may not be readily available at the designated water/beverage stations.
All this talk about staying hydrated brings us to the next essential item, which is…
#5. Toilet Paper
Drinking so much to stay hydrated has one unfortunate disadvantage – it will make your bladder full. There certainly are toilet facilities for the marathon runners every few miles, and frankly, you really would need to use them.
However, there might not be enough toilet paper left in the washrooms by the time you reach them. So, carry some toilet paper with you. No, not an entire roll of toilet paper – that would be inconvenient. But a few feet of toilet paper that you can easily carry with you is ideal.
#6. A Towel & A Deodorant
Here’s the thing, you’ll sweat, but there might not be a private changing space at the finish line. So after the race, when you commute back home or go to a restaurant to have a feast to celebrate, you’ll probably stink. To save yourself from the embarrassment, and others around you from the body odor, carry a towel and a deodorant. Dry up using the towel and then apply deodorant to mask the BO.
#7. Your Favourite Snack For Afterward
Yes, many marathon events provide snacks at the finish line. However, similar to the beverages mentioned earlier, you might have specific food preferences that may not be available at the race.
Alternatively, you might have dietary restrictions and thus cannot enjoy the snacks provided by the event organizers. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to bring your own snacks – something you would enjoy without any consequences.
However, if you’re looking for recommendations on what snack to bring with you, dietitians have various recommendations, including the following:
- Granola bars
- Greek yogurt
The marathon is not just a test of physical fitness but also a test of the psyche. Therefore, it is important to prepare both physically and mentally for the race. By bringing the essential items mentioned here, you can take a positive step – no pun intended – towards preparing for the big run.
Good luck with the race! Now go, bring home that medal, you champ!