Running a marathon is an incredible accomplishment and requires proper preparation and planning. One of the most important things to consider when preparing for a race day is what to wear.
If you have never run a half-marathon or a full marathon and don’t know what to wear, you have come to the right place!
The right clothing can make all the difference in your performance, comfort, and safety during the race.
Tips to Plan Your Race Day Outfit
- Don’t use new gear at the race. Prevent surprises on race day by trying everything you intend to wear. Run longer training runs in your marathon outfit. Break the new shoes in during training runs, not at the race.
- Keep an eye on the forecast. Watch the weather forecast in the days leading up to the race. Weather can surprise us, so be prepared for changing weather when choosing clothes.
- Don’t overdress. Dress as if it’s 15 to 20 degrees warmer than it is. But once the race starts, your body will heat up.
We have put together a little guide to help you choose what to wear for a marathon, so you can just focus on finishing.
Tips on What To Wear For A Marathon (or a Half Marathon)
All races are different, but there is a basic template of what you should and shouldn’t wear. So for the sake of simplicity, this guide is going to be suitable for all kinds of running marathons.
You may need to adapt and change some items depending on the type of marathon you are running, but as a base, everything included here is suitable for this activity. And everything is also suitable for a half marathon as well.
So let’s get started!
1. Running Shoes
Above everything else, you will need a good and reliable pair of running shoes. You will want them to be in good condition, with no holes or breakage.
They also need to be comfortable, so if you haven’t broken them in already, it’s in your best interest to get that done a few weeks before the marathon.
Your running shoes are going to make and break your whole marathon experience, so make sure you choose a reliable pair!
2. Running Shorts & Top
As marathons usually cover long distances, it is very important that you choose a suitable pair of running shorts and a suitable running top.
You will want to wear something that is breathable and has good ventilation, and it is also important to make sure you choose clothes with moisture-wicking properties.
Another thing to consider when choosing the right shorts is that you want them to help deter chafing. So choose a pair that is tight enough to not slow you down but is loose enough that it won’t cause too much friction.
3. Compression Gear
Compression gear is incredibly beneficial for any runner because it will reduce the chance of muscle damage, as well as increase both your strength and power.
Compression gear also improves your endurance, which is just what you need to successfully complete a marathon.
You can find plenty of compression gear online and in sports stores, so if you haven’t looked into this yet, make sure you do it before race day!
4. Running Socks
Having the right pair of socks is one of the items that always gets overlooked, but you would be surprised by how much of a difference having the right pair is!
You could just throw on any old pair of socks, but we promise you that this is a bad idea and it will negatively affect how well you can run.
The best kinds of socks you can use are technical running socks. They will improve your endurance, keep blisters at bay, keep your feet fresh and comfy, and they will just overall put you in a better place while you are running the marathon.
Running accessories are just as important as the clothes you wear. It’s important that you get these accessories sorted out before you take part in the marathon.
You will need things like caps, which will keep the sun out of your eyes or keep heat in if it’s a colder day (you can get different hats depending on the weather), sunglasses, which will keep your visibility up, and more.
All of these things will make your race far more enjoyable and you will be able to complete it much easier than someone who may not be as well prepared!
Extra Things Needed For A Marathon
Aside from clothes and accessories, there are a few extra things you will need when running a marathon.
These items will work to your advantage and make your experience a lot easier and more enjoyable, so don’t forget to include these on the big day!
- A Bag – You can keep all of your extra accessories and things in here. Make sure it is a lightweight and comfortable bag that will not obstruct the way you run.
- Sunscreen – This will protect you from UV rays and if you already have some on, you don’t have to worry about it later.
- A Towel – You can expect to get very sweaty during your run, and having a towel handy means you can wipe yourself off and keep going comfortably.
- Water – This is arguably the most important extra that you will need. It is super important to keep yourself hydrated when running.
- Jacket – It’s good to have a spare jacket in case the weather takes a turn.
- Bandages – In case of injury, it’s always better to be safe.
Consider The Weather
A final thing we should mention – what you end up wearing will largely depend on the weather on the day.
If you are running in the winter, you will need to change your clothes to something more weather-appropriate.
You can get different hats for different times of the year, some are great for the summer and will keep you well-ventilated, whereas others for the winter will keep heat trapped in to keep you warmer.
The basics will always stay the same, such as well-ventilated and waterproof shorts and tops, but there will be slight variations depending on what sort of weather you are dealing with.
The Bottom Line
When you are properly prepared for a marathon, it is going to be a much more enjoyable experience.
Knowing what to wear and what accessories to bring with you will give you an advantage, keep you motivated, and then you won’t have to worry about anything except running!