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Training for a marathon can be hard work, but there are some things that can make the gruelling training schedule a little easier. There are several items that have helped me during training for my first marathon, so I thought I’d share them below:
1. AfterShokz Headphones
These are a recent purchase of mine but my AfterShokz headphones are an absolute life-saver on long marathon training runs. I think, after my Garmin watch (see below), these are my favourite running gadget to date! I’m so impressed with them!
They are bone conduction headphones, so they basically allow you to listen to music while also hearing everything around you, meaning they are good for health and safety as you can still hear traffic for example. For this reason, they are approved by the England Athletics Association, meaning you can wear these headphones during road races where other headphones are banned.
Also, the fact you can hear everything around you means that you can also wear then during running with others without feeling anti-social. Winner all round!
2. Garmin Running Watch
There are many running watches available but the one I have is the Garmin Forerunner 235. It’s a popular running watch and great value too.
3. A Decent Running Vest
The last thing you want to be worrying about on race day is an uncomfortable running vest or belt that rubs you for example. During training, I’ve tried a couple of running belts and about 3 running vests.
There are many running vests available but I finally found a vest that felt right for me, that felt light whilst running but also had enough compartments to hold my water and gels etc.
The one below is the one I purchased and it feels light as a feather when I’m wearing it, and doesn’t rub at all, like some of the belts I’ve tried. Would definitely recommend spending a bit more on a running vest, especially for marathon distances or above.
4. A Vibrating Foam Roller
A foam roller is crucial for helping to break up the lactic acid after a long run. You can pick these up from the high street, but I do love my vibrating foam roller, which you can get from Amazon as below:
5. Decent Trainers
I think I’ve realised how important it is to have decent trainers after upping the miles during marathon training.
I would recommend having a gait analysis done with a professional, there are many running shops which offer this for free.
They can then recommend the right trainer for you, which will reduce your risk of injury and be more comfortable for running in.
These are important for keeping hydrated and replacing key nutrients before or after a run. You can pick these up from running shops, the high street or Amazon.
7. Energy Gels
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to fuelling during long runs, but I like to have an energy gel every 4-5 miles. I prefer the Hi5 energy gels as they seem to agree with me, some people find that energy gels upset their stomach but I have never had this issue. I like the energy gels, as I know that they contain everything I need and they are easy to take whilst running.
8. Magnesium Bath Salts
There’s nothing I look forward to more after a long run than a nice hot bubble bath. Magnesium is great for muscle recovery, so adding some salts to the bath can really help aching muscles.
9. Resistance Bands
When marathon training, cross training is important. This includes strengthening your glute muscles, which is where resistance bands come in. I have been visiting a physio every few weeks for a sports massage too, which really helps loosen up the muscles.
10. Winter Running Gear
Unfortunately, as most of the marathons are in the spring, this means training throughout the cold, dark, winter months.
Happy training, you got this!
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I had scoliosis surgery in 2010 and blog about my experiences living with scoliosis. My aim is to raise awareness of scoliosis and help and inspire others with the condition.