Must Have Running Kit For Half-Marathon Training
What are the must-have bits of kit for long runs? Here’s the running4women team’s top ten pieces of half marathon training kit.
1) Good Running Shoes
Running shoes which give you the necessary amount of support, cushioning and structure are a must. One size definitely does not fit all when it comes to shoes for long training runs, so visit your local running shop and ask their advice. Your shoes should suit your gait, your style of running, your weight, your training load and mileage. Consider buying two pairs, especially if they’re in the sale!
2) At Least Two Running Bras
For us ladies, a good sportsbra is essential for running. Have at least two so that you never find yourself without one even if there’s laundry to be done. Get a high-impact bra for running and, again, consider buying two of the same make and model once you’ve found one which fits, supports and doesn’t chafe.
3) A sportswatch With GPS
When you’re clocking up the miles in training for your half marathon, you’ll want to know how far and how fast you’ve gone so you can measure progress. We wouldn’t be without our sports watches, most of which include GPS and a heart rate monitor.
4) An MP3 Player
The running4women team are split on the subject of running listening to music, but those of us who do feel at a loss without a small MP3 player. Some listen to music, some listen to podcasts or audio books on long runs. Others swear by running with just one earphone in (leaving the other ear clear to listen out for traffic or pedestrians).
5) Earbud Earphones
If you do choose to run with an MP3 player, you’ll need to find earphones which stay put! There’s nothing more annoying and distracting than earphones which fall out or move about as you run. Expensive doesn’t seem to mean the best with earphones so try a few. The earbud type which go into your ears are our favourites.
6) A heart Rate Monitor
Many sports watches have a heart rate monitor facility but you may want to have a separate heart rate monitor if your existing watch doesn’t include one. It’s very useful to keep an eye on heart rate not only whilst you’re running but during recovery too.
7) Quality Running Gloves
Spring half marathons mean you’ll be out training in some very unpredictable weather. We find that if our hands are warm, everything else stays a little warmer no matter what we’re wearing. Get a good quality pair of light running gloves and choose a bright colour or reflective material.
8) Capri Running Bottoms With A Pocket
We like 3/4 length running tights or capris for Spring half marathon training as they bridge the gap between heavier long tights and shorts. Make sure they have a pocket which can fit your keys, your running ID and your phone if you run alone.
9) A Lightweight Running Jacket
Even the sunniest Spring days can turn rainy and cold so wear a lightweight running jacket which can easily be removed and folded or tied up if you get too warm.
10) Long-run Nutrition And Hydration
Finally, don’t forget food and drink to support your long runs. You may choose to take gels, sports beans or other sports food with you on very long runs, and you’ll need to stay hydrated with electrolytes both during and after your run.