1.A race ticket ($20-$100)
This one is the most important and most obvious. If you purchase the ticket to run in a race, you are more likely to train for said race. The biggest obstacle to training is lack of motivation; a set date will keep you on schedule.
2. Training shoes ($50-$120)
You can run in regular athletic shoes– for a while–but at some point you will want/need to invest in something more sport-specific— running shoes. Go to your local runner’s store to find out about different shoes and about your specific needs for your feet.
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3. A GPS watch ($75-$250)
Now this isn’t necessary, but the article isn’t called “Necessary Purchases…” I am speaking from experience: having a GPS watch, specifically one with music built in, is a worthwhile investment.
4. Clothing and anti-chafing remedies ($30-$200)
You can get away with regular workout clothes if you have them; however, once you start to hit those high miles, when it is humid and near 80 degrees when you wake up, you will want the shorts, tops, and socks that minimize chafing.
Have you ever had to place tape over your nipples, had your thighs chafe, or your lats irritated to death for hours by the movement of an ill-fitting shirt?
You can get decent items from Walmart, TJ Maxx, and Ross for a bargain, or you can spend tons on the newest stuff out. Make it fit your budget.
Even with all that, you will have problems. To reduce the friction, use something like: BODY GLIDE– LOOK IT UP! I’ve found that coconut oil works well, too.
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5. Compression wear ($30-$100)
Compression wear is beneficial for post-workouts, when your body is sore and recovering; or you can wear it during the work out. The idea is the same: to minimize recovery time and increase comfort. Knee and calf-sleeves are my go-to’s.
6. Foam roller ($30)
A foam roller and muscle roller massage stick are going to be your best friends after a lot of your runs. They are beneficial for, well, your muscles– of course. Check out some Youtube videos if you haven’t seen them before. Well worth the money.
7. A training program (FREE-$60.00)
If you want, you can spend a good chunk of change on a plan and diet, but I wouldn’t do that if this is your first rodeo. It can be tough enough to stay on schedule, especially when the miles pick up. You can join your local run club and get helpful information. Another option is to find a reputable training program online for free and stick to it; also, join a forum if you are lost. There is a lot of free, quality information out there.
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8. Gels ($25 for a large box)
Not necessary, but definitely useful on those longer runs. There are alternative ways to create your own in-run snacks, but I find the gels to be perfectly sized and practical.
These are not all necessary purchases in the beginning– and a few you do not need at all– so don’t be too put off by the numbers; however, marathon training is an investment– in time and money. You want to make it as comfortable and practical a process as possible.