Marathon Season is Coming!
KIT ESSENTIALS FOR EVERYONE!
Marathon runners have had a long wait for their racing fix ever since COVID came into our lives. With most of the European marathons either cancelled or delayed for the past two years, we recently saw the return of the Berlin Marathon and Great Manchester North Run, with the Virgin London Marathon squeezing into a packed October calendar.
ARE YOU READY??
You've been waiting for months and training for miles. But the question is... are you truly ready for what's to come??
MARATHON RACE DAY ESSENTIALS
At its most basic, all you need is a pair of trainers, shorts, a run top and a water bottle to keep hydrated. It really can be that simple. But if you want to feel your best and perform at your best, you can do some specific things to make race days even better. Whether you're aiming for a medal spot, a run-club record, PB, or to get round in one piece, these are some simple items that can make a huge difference...
RUNNING SHOES FOR MARATHON
It's not just about style, fit or comfort with shoes... It's much more than that! We all have our preferences, but we also need to consider things like pronation (side to side rotation of the foot), heel to toe drop and other aspects of our running style, as well as the type of surface underfoot.
The On Running brand has developed a wide range of shoes based on their patented CloudTec® technology.
With a relatively flat heel-to-toe drop and cloud soles that allow soft landings and explosive take-offs, you will notice the difference that Running On Clouds makes.
For the fastest urban marathons, the CloudBoom Echo gives a flexible, breathable upper on an explosive Carbon Speedboard, cushioned with a double layer of Helion Superfoam CloudTec®.
For trail racing, go for the CloudUltra. It features MissionGripTM to give you that extra power on challenging terrain, as well as a Flip Release Tool for fit adjustment on the go.
For a well-cushioned shoe with a wider fit for longer runs, the CloudFlyer is an excellent choice.
For a more neutral running style on the roads, go for CloudFlow, with its 6mm toe drop.
If your running club would like to Try On Running Shoes, drop Neuff a message on firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can bring a range of shoes & sizes directly to you to run in before you decide!
COMPRESSION GEAR FOR
TIRED FRESH LEGS
Compression is well known to support and secure muscles during long runs, reducing fatigue, lessening impact injuries and improving blood flow in the process. 2XU are the top name in compression, offering competition-beating technology for both racing and recovery.
For the best support, we run in a combination of compression leggings with calf guards, or you can wear them separately too.
LONG DISTANCE RACE NUTRITION
The official partner to the Berlin Marathon and trusted by athletes such as Abdi Abdirahman, Eliud Kipchoge, Mary Keitany and Mo Farah, Maurten products ensure you maintain your peak performance throughout your marathons! With a choice of Hydrogels or Drink Mix, Maurten's unique formulation is palatable, easy on the stomach and delivers a smooth carbohydrate energy source of up to 80g. Their unique Hydrogel formulation decreases gastric distress and increases gastric functioning by eliminating the sloshing sugar mix of other carb-based products.
Athletes like ultra-runner Zach Bitter, the 100 mile World Record holder, prefer a low-carb, high-fat nutrition approach. SFuels is the market leader in LCHF nutrition, offering a series of training, racing and recovery products to support your marathon effort. Just make sure to train on LCHF, so your body gets used to optimising your fat-burning. If you try it on race day without any prep, it certainly won't be your best race! In our opinion, the Chocolate Revival Drink is incredibly delicious for a post-race boost!
If you are a heavy sweater or waste a lot of sodium in your sweat, it is worth thinking about electrolytes, especially if race day falls on an autumn heatwave! SaltStick do a great range, from caplets to Fast Chews, which are delicious, melt-in-the-mouth chews that don't taste overly salty. Our favourite is the peach flavour!
HOTSHOT SPORT SHOT
Cramps can be the worst enemy of the very best athletes. Muscle cramps and soreness don't start in your muscles; they begin in your nerves. These obstacles happen when your motor neurons (the nerve cell that signals to the muscle) get hyper-excited and blast your muscles with constant and uncontrollable signals. HOTSHOT's proprietary formulation of all-natural ingredients goes straight to the nerve. By stimulating sensory nerves located in your mouth, oesophagus and stomach, HOTSHOT works to prevent motor neurons from misfiring. So, by downing a HOTSHOT, this fiery little bottle may just save your race.
Many race organisers give safety pins for race numbers, but some athletes feel more comfortable with a race belt. Not only does this avoid dragging on your run top, but it also gives you space to stash those all-important gels and bars for your race nutrition. Keep it simple where you can!
RECOVERY FOR ATHLETES
Plan what you will do for recovery, both straight after the event and the next day. Feed your body well with high protein and good quality carbs. Additionally, recovery wear like 2XU's Compression Recovery Socks and compression leggings can boost blood flow and speed up recovery, all while providing much-needed support to your tired muscles. A clean pair of comfy shoes in your post-race bag can make all the difference too!
It's always worth doing a post-race review a couple of days later. Try and work out what parts of your plan worked, what didn't, what went well and what you would do differently next time. There are always things to learn, no matter whether you stormed a PB or if you never ended up finishing.
DONATE YOUR OLD RACE KIT
And when you have finished… please do send us your pre-loved shoes and kit for redistribution through Soles4Souls. Neuff is Soles4Souls UK Partner, collecting gently used shoes and kit for resale to athletes worldwide who don't otherwise have access to decent quality kit for their training!