You've done the training, you've bought the highest-rated shoes on the market and you're in the best shape of your life. But, before you're tie up your laces and head to the start line, make sure you've covered yourself for the essentials on marathon day.
Physically you may be ready to take on 26.2 miles and come home with a brand spanking new PB, but there's still plenty you can do to ensure that race day goes without a hitch, from making sure you're properly hydrated to having the right kit to change into after you cross the finish line.
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We've run dozens of marathons around the world, from cold mountain races in winter to sweltering equatorial events that feel like you're running through a sauna.
Here's our guide to some of the essential items to pick up before the big day to ensure that all of the blood, sweat and tears you've put into training aren't ruined by the weather, or worse still, chaffing.
Buff Pro Run Cap
If you're 26.2 miles is taking place in hot conditions a lightweight running cap can be a lifesaver. As well as offering protection from UV rays ‚Äď a necessity if you're someone who's follically challenged ‚Äď the visor can help keep the sun out of your eyes and, if worn backwards, can work well as a sweatband.
It doesn't have to be hot to get benefits from a cap, though. If it's cold or you're running through the rain a cap can add an extra level of protection that can help make endurance events slightly more bearable.
The Buff Run Cap is made from a lightweight fabric that's designed to wick moisture away from the head. In addition, it features laser-cut holes to increase ventilation, lateral holes in the side to hold your sunglasses when you're not using them and it's machine washable ‚Äď something that comes in very handy after running a marathon.
Fitletic Mini Running Belt
It's almost impossible to run a marathon without carrying some sort of essential kit on you, whether that's your mobile phone, your keys or a cash card in case of emergencies. Although many shorts have pockets specifically designed to hold smaller items, there aren't many that do it without slapping against your thighs ‚Äď which can be very annoying if you're running for a few hours.
The Fitletic Mini Running belt is a simple but highly effective piece of kit that we use for the majority of our races. The elasticated pocket can stretch to hold most sizes of phone while the adjustable strap can be easily customised for a secure fit without being uncomfortable. There's also a nice big zip to make it easy to pull out your kit when you need it.
Goodr Running Sunglasses
Running in sunglasses is an acquired taste and can take some getting used to, however, if you're about to take on a marathon in bright conditions it can make the whole experience significantly more enjoyable, as well as protect you from 3-hours+ of UV rays.
Although many running sunglasses can be expensive, the range from Goodr sits at the affordable side of the spectrum. But just because they're cheap doesn't mean they're not good quality. As well as being made from a lightweight resin, the polarized lenses are glare-reducing and offer UV400 protection that blocks 100% of harmful UVA and UVB rays.
They also come in a wide range of designs with new editions added all the time, including some very eye-catching special editions.
Precision Hydration PH 1500 Electrolyte Tablets
The need to keep yourself hydrated during an endurance race is no big secret but there's a lot more to performing at your best than just swigging from a bottle of water every few kilometers. These Precision Hydration tablets are designed to be dropped in 500ml of water to provide 1500mg of sodium, replacing the salt you lose through sweat.
Designed to be consumed before or after intense exercise, the range comes in different concentrations of sodium, depending on how much you sweat. To find out how much you should be drinking on race day you can use the handy tool on the Precision Hydration website.
Premax Anti Friction Balm
Even the world's best athletes have to deal with chaffing every now and then and if you've ever run a race when friction has started to become an issue, you'll know what we're talking about.
For many, Vaseline is the go-to solution for warding off impending soreness at key locations across the body, but it's not without its drawbacks and can feel oily and uncomfortable. This Anti Friction Balm from Premax is made with natural anti-bacterial and skin-nourishing essential oils and can be applied accurately using the special nozzle, so you can reach those areas that need special attention.
Premax Anti Friction Balm is available for both men and women.
Nuasan Active Bodycare Kit
There's nothing like stripping off after a marathon and getting in the bath or shower ‚Äď shortly followed by getting into bed with a pizza. So make sure you make the best of it with toiletries designed to help you recover as quickly as possible.
Nuasan's range of body care products is created specifically for sportspeople, including Magnesium and Arnica to help relieve sore muscles and a natural antibacterial ingredient to keep you fresh after sweating for the best part of the day.
The Bodycare Kit also comes with some handy Active Body Wipes which are perfect to have at the finish line for a quick freshen up before you head out to replenish those carbs.
Oofos Ooahh Sport Slide Sandal
Running a marathon is just part of the challenge. As anyone will tell you who has completed the distance before, there's a whole series of aches and pains to look forward to in the aftermath, not to mention the joys of going up and down stairs.
Oofos's range of shoes is designed to absorb 37% more impact than traditional footwear. That may not sound like a necessity when you're slowly walking around the house, but trust us, the soft cushioned foam and support around the arch of the foot feels incredibly comfortable and therapeutic, especially in the days after a big running event.
As well as the impressive level of cushioning, the Ooahh Sport Slide Sandal is also machine washable and Oofos offer a 30 day risk free guarantee. So, if they don't do the job you can always send them back.