As I count down the last few days until my next 26.2 mile race, I thought I would share with my readers the list of what I consider to be marathon must-haves. These are items that would not want to cross the start line without.
This is in no way a sponsored post, nor are any of the links affiliate links. I spent hundreds of my own dollars on these items and am in no way compensated for this post.
(However, if any running companies would like me to review their products, please feel free to consult my PR page for more details).
First up in my must have list is my faithful Garmin GPS watch. I have been through a number of GPS watches throughout the years, including three Garmins and one Fitbit, and I’ve got to say, the Garmin Forerunner 630 is my favorite so far. If you wish to purchase a Forerunner 630, here is the link to Garmin’s site.
Along with the Forerunner, I wear the HRM Run strap, which I actually find to be quite comfortable compared to other chest straps I’ve worn in the past. In fact I often forget I am wearing a strap, which is a first for me when it comes to heart rate monitors.
I also absolutely insist on running fulls with my Camelbak, which holds 1.5 litres of fluid. As I’ve mentioned in previous running posts, this particular model is actually geared towards children, but it fits quite fine, and the only drawback I can see is that it holds less liquid than the adult model. However, the price was significantly less, and I figure that in any marathons I run, there will be fluids along the course if/when I go through a full litre and a half and need more hydration.
What I especially like about my Camelbak is that it distributes the weight of the liquid (and whatever else I am carrying in the pockets) evenly and frees up my hands.
Carrying a water bottle in one’s hand may be fine for a 10k or even a half, but for me at least, I find my posture is significantly affected if I carry weight unevenly for more than about an hour of running.
Ever since I had a couple of scary experiences during long races, I’ve run with my phone on me, and the Camelbak’s front pocket keeps it nicely shielded from the elements.
So: GPS watch, heart rate monitor, and Camelbak. Those are all the big ticket items I hate to run a full marathon without. But don’t underestimate the importance of the cheap things!
I am pretty particular about what kind of nutritional supplements I take during the course of a full marathon. I am partial to the GU brand (and believe me, I feel like I’ve tried everything out there commercially), in particular the GU Chocolate Outrage and GU Peanut Butter.
I also always carry at least one packet of salt with me. Many marathons give them out at the start line, or you can simply pick up a few packets at your local fast food restaurant the next time you go out to eat. Personally, I’ve never had to take a salt packet whilst running, but if I ever get to that point where I start feeling the need for one, I like to have it at the ready. Electrolyte imbalances are no joke, y’all!
Finally: sunscreen, and the kind that won’t wash away easily with sweat. I know, I know, I sound like someone’s grandma harping away about the importance of skincare, but seriously. Skin cancer kills. My mom died of it. I had a skin cancer scare a few years ago. Again, skincare is no joke!
Ok, I’m off to ring in the new year with my family, college football, good food and wine!
Until next year,