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Essential Gear For Running A Marathon

Don't leave home without this essential gear for your marathon.

Running is typically a sport which does not require a great amount of gear but one noteworthy exception is marathon running. While it is true the basic gear is all that is required for participation in a marathon, many marathon runners find other pieces of gear to be very important during their training as well as on race day. This article will describe basic pieces of equipment necessary for running such as sneakers, socks and clothing but will also examine other pieces of gear which are highly recommended for the purpose of training for and competing in a marathon. This may include equipment such as a heart rate monitor, packs for carrying food and water, specialized pieces of clothing and watches. None of these more advanced pieces of equipment are necessary for completing a marathon but they can all make the race easier and more manageable.

It is no surprise that sneakers are one of the most important pieces of gear for any marathon runner. The sneakers you were to compete in a marathon should provide proper support to your foot but should also be well broken in without being overly worn. Purchasing a new pair of sneakers approximately 2-3 weeks before your marathon will give you time to sufficiently break in your new sneakers before the big day but should not allow enough time for the sneakers to start to break down. This is important because sneakers which are too new can cause problems such as blisters while sneakers which are too old can cause problems such as shin splints or heel injuries. If you have been training regularly for your marathon, you probably have already determined which brand and model of sneaker works best for you. Selecting the same model or a similar model will help to make sure your transition into your new running shoe is rather smooth.

Selecting clothing for a marathon is also very important. You should select clothing which is comfortable, appropriate for the expected weather conditions and constructed of materials which wick moisture away from the skin. Ideally the outfit you select for running in your first marathon will be an outfit you have worn several times and in which you are comfortable running. It is not considered to be a good idea to select an outfit in which you have never run to wear for a marathon. This is because there may be problems such as chafing which may occur unexpectedly and cause pain during the race. This pain can have an impact on how well the runner performs during the race. The weather should also be carefully considered when selecting clothing to wear during a marathon. For example, shorts and a t-shirt are ideal for marathons taking place in a warm climate while runners who are planning to run in a marathon in a cold climate may consider wearing warmer clothing or dressing in layer.

Many marathons scheduled to take place during cold weather provide runners with the opportunity to have their clothing transported to the finish line. This enables the runner to wear the extra clothing until shortly before the start of the race and then take off the extra layers and complete the race in more lightweight clothing. However, this transportation of clothing may require the runner to hand in the excess clothing a half hour or more before the start of the race which can cause the runner to have enough time to become chilled before the start of the race. The New York City Marathon is an example of a race in which the runners often opt to wear their excess clothing until the last possible minute. In this case representatives from the Red Cross standby with collection bins to offer the runners the opportunity to donate their clothes to the Red Cross. These runners often wear older clothing to the start of the race specifically for this purpose. They know they will want to wear their excess clothing until just before the race but they also know there will not be a viable option for transporting this clothing to the finish line.

Proper clothing and well fitting sneakers are essential pieces of gear for any runners but marathon runners may wish to invest in other pieces of gear when training for and competing in a marathon. Heart rate monitors are one example of a piece of equipment which marathon runners find useful. During the training process the runner can use the heart rate monitor to evaluate the intensity at which he is training. This is useful because low intensity workouts are ideal for establish a good training base while high intensity workouts are more useful for improving speed and strength. Too much of either type of training can be detrimental especially if it prevents the runner from performing a sufficient amount of the other type of training. Heart rate monitors are also useful during a marathon because they can help a runner to avoid overexerting himself early in the race. Maintaining a steady and even heart rate throughout the marathon is ideal because spikes in the heart rate can result in the runner not having enough energy to complete the race.

Packs for carrying food and water during a marathon can also be very useful. Most marathons provide support in the form of water, electrolyte replacement drinks and quick energy foods throughout the race but they may not offer the drinks and foods preferred by the runner and they also many not offer these forms of nutrition at a rate preferred by the runner. Carrying food, drinks and water can help the runner to avoid becoming sluggish and unable to complete the race.



The video clip above is from my DVD about running stetches and other running related information. Click on the DVD case below to find out more.

Running Stretches and Running Tips

Click Here to view the DVD.

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