When I knew for sure that I would tackle a third marathon, I started to tally all the gear I would need so that I could be stocked up and ready to go. After going through this experience twice already I had a pretty good idea of what I would need and one or two other items to complete that list.
Probably the first and most important item is shoes. The general rule is that you need to replace your current pair somewhere in the 300 to 500 mile range. I’m nearing that 300 mile mark with my current pair and knew I would need some new kicks early on and timed that with a sweet sale at the National Running Center. They are ready to go when I need to start breaking them in on a few easy runs.
The next item I always seem to keep stocked up on is Gatorade. Stop & Shop/peapod.com always seem to have a Gatorade 32oz 10 for 10 sale and the bottom shelf of my fridge is usually filled with a rainbow of flavors.
Speaking of fuel, I always get a couple of cases of Gu, also through a sweet deal at the National Running Center. You can mix and match your favorite flavors and the more you buy the more you save. My flavor staples are Vanilla Bean, Tri-Berry, Jet Blackberry, and Chocolate Outrage. I believe they also have deals on other gels like Powerade but since I never liked the texture or taste of the other gels I don’t really do a cost comparison. I also don’t really use the Clif Shot Blocks. While I like the taste of them you do need to chew on three of those babies to get the full 100 calories that you need and I find that a bit annoying when on the run.
I’m partial to my FuelBelt for fluids on the go and I have added a couple of extra pouches to meet my full needs. I’ve heard some people complain about it being too heavy but I barely notice it. I haven’t tried the CamelBak but I know people who swear by that but since my FuelBelt works I’m switching it up. Since I’m a slower runner I need to pack more gels and those can take up some space in addition to my iPhone, money, keys, and other items I need to carry those extra pouches some in handy.
Of course I also have my BodyGlide on hand to prevent chafing. My rule for applying this is put it everywhere — even there. However, it seems that I always miss a spot and that will be the one spot where I chafe that day. After having to buy a small bottle of vaseline at a Queens gas station one year I started searching for the perfect chafing triage item. I found it in these small A&D Ointment packets. The packets are small enough to fit in your pocket or other pouch and work better than Vaseline. I was never so happy to have these on hand when I ran my 18 mile long run on one of the hottest days of the year. My shorts were soaked with sweat and my thigh started to chafe where the bottom hem of the shorts was rubbing against it. The A&D Ointment saved my run that day.
Of course there are also the usual watch, sunglasses, hat, and clothes but having all of these extra little things on hand makes planning for these training runs a bit more easier and lets me focus on more important things like my route and the actual running part.
What are some of your training must haves?