A marathon is 26.2 miles of repetitive running. Your legs need to be strong, your heart needs to be stronger and you need to be able to go the distance! For the most part you are working your aerobic energy system, which allows you to exercise at a steady pace for a long period of time. Your body will go through extreme contrasts of temperature - very cold in the pre and early stages of the race to very hot once you get going. Much like your body and legs, what you wear needs to be able to go the distance too. Over this enduring period you will feel thirsty; joints, particularly knee caps and ankles will be sore because of the constant pressure from the impact of running on the tarmac for such a long time and chafing can be a major problem.
A marathon outfit needs to stay comfortable throughout the duration of the race. A seamlessly constructed top will reduce friction, lightweight sweat wicking shorts give breathability and double layer, blister resistant socks will stay firmly in place. Make sure trainers are tailored to fit and worn in before the big day.
Proper running shoes that fit you correctly and give appropriate, structured support to the feet, ankles and legs with each foot strike, you need good cushioning and a perfect fit around the heel
what should I wear
If your race starts early in the morning and is a cold weather marathon, there is likely to be a lot of hanging around and you can get very cold, make sure you wear an old tracksuit that can be discarded as you start to run and consider a pair of socks or cheap gloves to keep your hands warm which can also be thrown away. Take some big, black bin bags with you so you can stretch out on the ground before the race. Anything you leave behind will be picked up by organized charities. To keep your sugar levels up and give you some oomph and energy pop a stash of jelly babies in your bum bag. No need to carry water bottles as there are plenty of water stops along the way.
Bum bag for essentials
Supportive, sweat-wicking bra that is designed for maximum impact activity
Good, padded, non rubbing socks with anti slip grippers to make sure the sock stays in place and that allow your feet to breathe
Tight fitting, seamless top to prevent chafing with silicon grippers at the hem so it stays put whilst you run
Capri pants/shorts in a technical sweat wicking fabric, to allow sweat to sweep away from your skin, keeping your legs fresher for longer
Ipod in a sport's holder to keep you uplifted as you break through the miles
Headband or running cap that will to keep the hair out of your eyes