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These Are the Must-Haves for Marathon Training According to a Seven-Time Marathon Runner

Our expert breaks down exactly what you need to get you to the starting line. 

By Liz Kennedy

So you’ve decided to train for a marathon. Congratulations! Now what? We asked seven-time marathoner, Meredith Kennedy of Central Park Track Club, to give us the 411 on what you’ll need to train for 26.2. Kennedy says training for 16 weeks for a single race is hard, but it’s also addicting (hence her training seven times!), and a lot can happen over the course of your training cycle. The best way to avoid injury and get stronger each run is to be prepared with the proper training tools. After all, she didn’t run a 3:18 marathon by winging it. Invest in the items below and you’ll be a step (pun intended) ahead of the rest of the runners.

Bodyglide Anti-Chafe Balm


If there’s one thing you buy to train for 26.2 miles, it should be this. Buy a ton of it, apply everywhere, and repeat to avoid chafing. Your body will thank you. 

Nuun Hydration Electrolyte Drink Tablets


Training for a marathon produces lots and lots of sweat. Nuun hydration tabs will replenish all the electrolytes you lose during those miles. All you have to do is pop a tab in your water bottle and go. 

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews


Think of these little chews as the marathon version of gummy bears. They’re delicious but will also give you the fuel you need to power through your long training runs. With multiple carbohydrate sources, you won’t hit a wall if you chew on these. 

Amphipod Hydraform Therma-Lite Handheld Water Bottle


If you aren’t running a route that has regular water fountains, you’re going to need to bring your hydration with you. This water bottle is so ergonomically advanced, you don’t even need to grip it to keep it in your hands. 

Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller


If you’re going to train hard you need to recover harder. Running for hours on end will leave you with tight, sore muscles that need to be released. A foam roller acts as an in-house massage therapist to relieve all your aches and pains. FYI, this is going to hurt so good. 

Garmin Forerunner 230

When you’re training for 26.2 miles, every single mile in your training cycle counts. And while you could spend hours plotting runs to figure out mileage, you could also just run with this watch to track your every move. Not only will it track mileage, steps, calories, and PRs, it’ll also synch with your smartphone so you can receive texts while you run. 

SPIbelt Running Belt

It’s always best to travel light when running, but if you need to bring a few key essentials with you like, well, your keys, this is a your best bet. It even expands to fit big things like your cell phone and won’t bounce while you run.

Brooks Chaser 5

With a thick waistband (that has sweat-resistant pockets to hold things!) and a longer inseam (5”!) so your inner thighs won’t chafe, these are the must-have shorts for marathon training. They’re super lightweight and have a moisture-wicking brief liner to keep you cool and dry.

New Balance 1500v3 Running Shoes

When you’re running 26.2 miles, you want your shoes to be cushioned but also lightweight enough that you feel fast. The New Balance 1500v3 has an updated lightweight and breathable design that gives you an extra edge against the competition. But no matter what shoe you choose for marathon training, make sure you get fitted at a proper running store — it’ll make a world of difference. 

Lululemon Fast & Free 7/8 Tight II

Want a little more coverage than shorts have to offer? These tights are so light they leave you with a “naked sensation” (aka you feel like you’re wearing next to nothing), so you can be fast and free, just as the name suggests.

ASICS Running Socks

Ever had a blister? Ever had a blister while running? Yeah, it’s the worst. The best way to avoid blisters during your long runs is to invest in moisture-wicking socks that are padded in all the right areas. These babies do just that. 

Juno Sports Bra

Front-adjustable straps, which let you adjust on the run (game changer!), and super ventilation are what makes this sports bra perfect for long training runs. Plus, it’s engineered to keep you firmly in place.  


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