October see’s the month where those lucky enough – and not so lucky – find out whether they’ve been accepted to run one of (if not) the greatest Marathons in the world, The London Marathon.
Now, when it comes down to it, the gear you wear can prove just as important as your fitness levels. We’re talking maximum comfort and peek performance enhancement.
No-one wants to get past the 1st mile only to discover they’ve bought some second-rate gear and run the remaining 25 miles with sore-blister-ridden feet and bleeding nipples.
We want our readers dressed in the best – Think of the pictures!
Below i have listed the must-haves for any runner and have recommended the best tried-and-tested items on the market.
These are items i personally use and having been an active runner for the past 3 years, i have been through a lot of kit.
How do you spell comfort? Salomon are a brand like no other. Although unfamiliar to many they are an exclusive and highly respected brand amongst the running community. The company has been making trainers since the 60’s and continue to provide the demand for lightweight, precision and ground feel footwear to top endurance runners world-wide! I recommend Salomon trainers to all friends, and they never look back.
This is important. Buy New Socks! There’s nothing worse for your feet than wearing stiff, threadbare socks that have taken a battering from over-wearing and over-washing during the winter. Ask for some for Christmas and save them for the big day! Adidas currently have a great selection of stylish, breathable cushioned ankle socks that offer a snug fit. They feature a no-slip fit for secure movement with built in ventilation technology so that your feet stay comfortable. Beautiful!
When looking for running shorts, try and go for a pair that are “split” and are either 3″ or 5″ long. These are a go-to style for professional runners and although they may feel weird and far-too short at first-use, it doesn’t take long for you to get used to them. All the great brands manufacture these, but i prefer mine from Adidas. They are very light and great for running and you barely notice that they are there.
Everyone else is wearing them. So why aren’t you?
A major concern for runners is “joggers-nipple”. This is when the nipples bleed, yes bleed!, as the result of irritation caused by the friction of clothing against the nipple during physical exercise. The solution? Invest in a good quality vest/top. I highly recommend going over to Iffley Road and checking out their collection. They are a husband and wife team who specialise in creating the best-quality kit for runners.
To keep warm before and after the race, i recommend investing in a tracksuit. The day starts early for all marathon runners, and its always nice to hang around in London with your family for a bit after the 26-mile trek. Its important to keep warm and comfortable whilst doing it. We at Earl have become massive fans of Arneclo in recent months. They have recently released a tracksuit range that are sleek, simple, yet elegant. But Hurry! Stocks Are Limited!
Again, important for keeping warm both pre and post run. Luckily, The North Face have developed jackets incorporated with Thermoball technology that creates a lightweight product with maximum insulation. Durable and easily packable, it’s a piece you can take with you whether you’re picking up a forest trail or running a marathon. Remember, you’re looking for efficiency. You dont want to be carrying a Parka coat around with you all day.
If you arrive on-time, you can take advantage of the courier service. Simply hand your bag in and collect it at the end at the finish line. A lot of runners dont know this service exists so either turn up with the bare minimum or discard of items at the start line. Bring a Bag! We cant recommend Stolt Running enough. Strong, versatile, compact. It will store everything a marathon runner needs for their big day.
To prevent chaffing, some runners opt for base layers that help protect and support your thighs during vigorous exercise. They are designed to wrap your muscles for a secure feel and made from a stretchy fabric that pulls heat and sweat away from the body. The UV protection qualities also help protect against the sun. Some runners however, feel that base layers are too restrictive and therefore decide against them.
Want to run quicker, for longer? These little beauties will do the trick and are a go-to amongst runners to increase endurance. And Oh Boy do they work! My favourite are these by CompresSport. They offer maximum support to the muscles of the calf and the Achilles tendon, reducing muscle vibrations by 30%. Increasing muscle oxygenation by 17% and venous flow by 10% to 15%, it limits aches and swollen legs after effort.
You dont want to be running around looking like a clown. You can buy a costume for that. Pick your outfit meticulously so that it all forms into one. Imagine you are designing a football-kit.
Do Not Clash Brands
Buy your marathon kit from the same brand. Shoes are an exemption, as are non-branded items i.e charity tops.
Wear Your Trainers In
If you have bought new trainers for the marathon, the first time you should wear them is not on the day you’re running. Begin wearing them 2-3 weeks before the event. This gets you used to them and avoids blisters ruining your big day!