Sunday, October 4, 2015

My Marathon Training Must Haves

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Now that I've (mostly) made it through my marathon training, I thought I would share a few things that helped me make it through this training cycle.

Shoes (duh) - I used to do most of my running on trails and the treadmill. This time around I was 100% on the roads, which meant that some of my favorite shoes didn't work as well for me as they had in the past. I used to do most of my running in Brooks PureFlows, but for most of this training cycle I have run in Mizuno Wave Riders and Saucony Zealots.

I have mixed things up shoe-wise for shorter runs, but for long runs, those are my go-tos.

Calf sleeves - This is the first training cycle I have run with calf sleeves.

I love the compression and support of PRO Compression Marathon socks (and wear them for post-run recovery), but the foot part doesn't work for me when I'm running. I need more cushion. I have had problems with my calves cramping during half marathons before, so I figured these couldn't hurt. I wore them for all of my long runs and I really feel like they have helped me. It's possible that it's all in my head, but either way works for me!

Shorts - Until this summer I pretty much always ran in capris. I could do that because I had my treadmill in our air conditioned basement. I haven't used my treadmill since we moved because it's currently in the garage, which is definitely not air conditioned. Every single run has been outside, which means I had to find some shorts that worked for me. Loose shorts ride up, move around and generally drive me insane, so I ended up finding a couple of pairs from Oiselle (the Long Flyte and Vela shorts). They have perfectly respectable inseams, so I don't feel like things are exposed. They're also super comfortable and don't ride up.

Body Glide - No matter how in shape I get or how thin I am, my thighs will always touch. That's just life. Body Glide has saved me from some serious pain this summer. It's cheap, it's easy, and it makes it so you can run chafe-free for hours. Necessary.

TomTom Runner Cardio - I'm addicted to the data. I need to know how fast, how far, the elevation, my heart rate (with no chest strap!) and anything else my watch cares to tell me. I have gotten better about not checking my pace every three seconds, but I love having the stats to check out after my run. Plus I'm terrible at planning my runs, so I'm a big fan of running out until my watch tells me I'm halfway, and then I turn around and head home!

Road ID - Especially if you're like me and you don't usually run with your phone (I pretty much only take it on long runs), a Road ID is a great idea. Mine has my name, birth year, Tom and my mom's phone numbers, my blood type, and the fact that I don't have any known allergies. All great information to have readily available just in case. You can personalize them however you want, and there's even space to add a motivational quote if you want. I keep mine with my watch so I actually remember to wear it on my runs.

Sunscreen - You don't need me to tell you to wear sunscreen, right? I'm a fan of the spray kind for my body because I'm lazy, and I absolutely love the Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF for my face. If you read the reviews, you'll see that some of the bristles fall out, and that if you don't follow the directions you can make a big mess with it. Neither of these things is a big deal to me, and I love not putting goopy sunscreen on my face. I somehow made it through summer marathon training without getting a sunburn this year - gold star for me! The only sunburn I've gotten is when I was spectating at Tom's adventure race and completely failed to put sunscreen on my legs.

Hydration Pack - I hate carrying things when I run. I will do everything in my power to not hold anything. I have a Nathan Trail Mix fuel belt that has worked alright for me in the past, but the water bottles are tiny, and I knew they weren't going to cut it for my longer runs this summer. Enter the Teton Trailrunner 2.0 - you can't escape the sloshing sound no matter how you carry your water, and there is a slight plastic taste, but this pack does the trick.

It has a small mesh pocket on the front where I keep everything from my fuel to my phone (in separate ziplock bags). It is open at the top, but I never once had anything fall out. The only thing I really wish this pack had is a place to clip my house key.

Race day is officially a week away - I can't believe it's already here!


  1. I'm excited that you found my blog! Hoping we both have good races next Sunday!

    I'll wear my Garmin to keep an eye on my pace but the tall buildings in Chicago really mess with the signal.

    1. I didn't even think about the buildings messing with the GPS signal! It makes sense though.

      Fingers crossed for fun races! :)

  2. I am a huge Road ID fan! Can't believe your down to a week away!

  3. I heard that if you flip your hydration insert upside down and suck the air out the sloshing will stop, it creates like a vacuum. It works!!! I am sure it looked crazy doing it though. I am a Brooks shoe girl. I hope you have a great race and enjoy your taper.

    1. I'll have to try that hydration pack tip - the sloshing drives me crazy!


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