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These products will help get you marathon ready

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Running for honor and victory

It’s been a couple of years since the first marathon was run in ancient Greece. Back then, it was a matter of life and death. It still can be today, if the marathon is being run to bring attention to noble causes or if your shoes are uncomfortable. More commonly, though, a marathon is run by hobbyists or so a beginner runner can say they did it. No matter your reasons, preparing for a marathon isn’t as hard as you might think. It mostly comes down to commitment and follow-through, but a few key items, such as socks and other clothes, can help.

Shop this article: Hoka Speedgoat 5 Trail Running Shoes, Baleaf Running Shorts and FlipBelt Running Belt.

BestReviews’ Jacob Palmer joins Olivia Horton to share BestReviews’ picks for the top products to help you prepare for a marathon.

To prepare for a marathon, you need to make a plan. It comes down to commitment and follow-through, but these key items can help.

How to prepare for a marathon

To prepare for a marathon, you need to run. That’s it. If you’ve never run consistently, you should start running a year or more before your chosen marathon. Daily runners, meanwhile, could change their running habits toward marathon training as little as a few months in advance.

Before you start your training, make a plan. Err on the side of caution, and make that plan slow and steady. Long-distance endurance comes with time. Don’t be afraid to adjust your plan if you’re adapting slower or faster than expected, but don’t adjust too much too soon. Lastly, give your body time to rest between runs and especially in the weeks leading up to the big day.

If you need help, joining a nearby running community is an excellent source of knowledge and, most importantly, support. To make it 26.2 miles, you’re going to need as much of that as you can get.

Everything you need to prepare for a marathon

All you really need to run a marathon is enough clothing to escape legal ramifications. You don’t even need shoes, as proven by one Boston Marathon runner in 2017. That takes years of training, though, so here are some items that can help get you to the finish line a little faster.

  • Shoes: The right shoes are the number one item to invest in for running a marathon. They must be comfortable and supportive. If they aren’t, return or sell them and try a new pair until you find the perfect fit. The Hoka Speedgoat 5 Trail Running Shoes are a good place to start.
  • Socks: The most important accessory to your shoes is a comfortable pair of socks. There are many kinds of socks made for running with features like extra breathability and moisture-wicking. Always test your socks and shoes together until you find the perfect combination.
  • Clothes: Make sure your running clothes can keep you comfortable in the climate of your marathon. Also, check for features similar to those found in running socks, especially moisture-wicking to help deal with sweat.
  • Accessories: Everyone needs a little something different to help keep them as comfortable as possible during a marathon. You could need an extra-supportive sports bra, for example, or a sweatband for your brow. If your climate is rain-prone or broiling hot, find comfortable raingear or sun protection.
  • Entertainment: It takes several hours to run a marathon, and countless more to prepare for one. Having a strap to keep your phone on your arm and earbuds that don’t fall out easily are a must.
  • Water: Marathons have aid stations where you can get a drink and some food, so not everyone keeps water on them. If you want to, get a water bottle or hydration pack and always go on practice runs with it at full capacity.

Best marathon shoes

Hoka Speedgoat 5 Trail Running Shoes

These shoes have a mesh upper to increase breathability and a Vibram MegaGrip outsole for better traction. They come in 13 colors, in 12 sizes and in two widths.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Brooks Ghost 15 Running Shoes

These patriotic shoes come from a trusted brand of running shoes. They have a soft midsole and a “Segmented Crash Pad” that increases comfort. They come in 11 sizes.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Best marathon socks

Balega Hidden Comfort Socks

These ankle socks have ventilation panels for better sweat handling and a high heel tab for ankle protection.  They come in four sizes and 34 colors.

Sold by Amazon

Adidas Crew Socks

These classic crew socks have some moisture-wicking ability. They also have arch compression and a cushioned footbed for extra support.

Sold by Amazon

Best marathon clothes

Nike Tank Top

This tank top from top athletics brand Nike offers Nike’s “Dri-Fit" moisture-wicking technology, plus mesh panels and vents for extra airflow. It has minimal drag.

Sold by Amazon

Baleaf Running Shorts

These comfy shorts have a high waistband and three lengths of fit. They also have pockets and come in 10 sizes. They are moisture-wicking.

Sold by Amazon

Best marathon accessories

FlipBelt Running Belt

This belt lets you keep key items on you during your marathon, such as your phone, car keys and some cash or cards. It comes in seven sizes.

Sold by Amazon

Acozycoo Headbands

This five-pack of headbands is great for keeping your sweat at bay. You could also soak them a bit to keep you cool during hot marathons.

Sold by Amazon

Best marathon entertainment gear

Tribe Cell Phone Armband

This armband comes in three sizes to fit any size phone and is available in 11 colors. It also keeps your phone dry and has a key pocket.

Sold by Amazon

Beats Powerbeats Pro

These top-dollar wireless earbuds offer up to nine hours of continuous listening and are water- and sweat-resistant. Earhooks keep them on.

Sold by Amazon

Best marathon water gear

Gear Beast Running Water Bottle

This combination water bottle and cell phone pouch lets you keep all your goods on you while keeping the rest of your body streamlined.

Sold by Amazon

Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle

You can keep this water bottle all folded up inside a fanny pack in case you need it later. It comes in five colors.

Sold by Amazon

Marathon training gear worth checking out

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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