Beyond Shoes: Four Other Things To Purchase Before You Start Marathon Training

One of the great things about distance running is how little equipment is actually required to participate in the sport. But when you move from running shorter distances like 5ks and 10ks to training for marathons, there are a few pieces of equipment, besides just shoes, that you'll want to add to your collection.

A Water Bottle Belt

When you're running shorter distances like 5 or 8 miles, you might be able to make do with the water fountains along the way or wait until you get home to drink. But when you're in marathon training and your long runs are frequently 16, 18, or 20 miles long, it becomes necessary to carry water with you so that you can stay hydrated along the way. One of the most efficient ways of doing so is with a belt that contains several removable water bottles. Look for a water bottle workout belt with at least 4, if not 6, small bottles rather than one or two larger ones. The weight will be more evenly distributed (for greater comfort) with a few smaller bottles than with one or two big ones.

A Foam Roller

Injury prevention has to be a key element of your marathon training if you want to get to the starting line in one piece. A foam roller, which you can use to roll over tight and sore muscles, will go a long way towards ensuring that soreness does not progress to a full-blown injury. Foam rollers look like short pool noodles. They come in an array of fun colors and patterns, so choose a bright and cheery one that will lift your spirits when you're feeling the training doldrums.

A Body Lubricant

You'd be surprised what areas of your body experience chaffing once your long runs reach several hours in length! Slathering on a body lubricant before your runs will ensure your shower does not sting later on. Look for body lubricants made specifically for runners. They come in roll-on forms and will last through hours of sweating.

New Socks

Those old, worn out running socks you've been wearing for years may work for shorter runs, but they'll probably cause blisters when you're first adapting to being on the road for hours on end. Invest in a few new pairs of socks at the beginning of your marathon training cycle, and your feet will thank you. Look for socks with some arch support and moisture-wicking material for best results.