The $200 marathon starter kit

Training for a marathon is hard enough without having to worry about what to wear on race day. To eliminate the stress (emotional and financial), we’ve put together a sensible marathon starter kit. Former Olympic Trials marathoner Laurie Mizener of Fleet Feet Sports in Boulder, Colorado, helped Grind round up some all-time budget-friendly favorites.

Part of preparing for your first marathon is getting the right gear for race day. Photo courtesy Fleet Feet Sports

Because they’re so specific to each runner, we’re leaving shoes out of the mix. “Be sure to visit a running specialty shop to get fitted for proper footwear before your training even starts, and make sure you’ve run in the pair you plan to race in for at least a few weeks,” Mizener says. A good pair will cost between $110 and $130.

Here’s everything else you’ll need:

Blister beater
Nothing can hinder a strong performance like a horrible mid-race blister or agonizing chafing. Apply Body Glide to feet, thighs, the undersides of your arms, or anywhere else painful rubbing might occur.
MSRP: $8-$10


Performance socks
Always avoid cotton socks, which trap moisture and can cause painful blisters on a long run. Try running-specific Balega Enduro socks (above) or Feetures! Elite Ultra Light No Show Tab.
MSRP: $11-$15




saucony short

Technical shorts
Again, no cotton! You want clothing that breathes and won’t chafe. Men: Go for Saucony’s best-selling Run Lux III Short (above). Ladies will like the fit of the Epiphany Stretch Short II by Brooks.
MSRP: Saucony, $48; Brooks, $23







Keep-cool cap
A good running cap that breathes is key. The Pearl Izumi Infinity In-R-Cool Cap comes in both men’s and women’s sizes and colors and will provide sun and rain protection. (Speaking of sun protection, stock up on a reliable no-run sunscreen like SolRX Dry Zinc SPF 44.)
MSRP: $23



Squint-free sunglasses
You want to keep your face and jaw relaxed when racing, and squinting makes this impossible. Plus, good eye protection is always a good idea. Two affordable and effective options are the Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 and the Ryders Saber.
MSRP: Tifosi, $79.95; Ryders, $49.99



Lightweight waist belt
Consider Amphipod’s AirFlow Microstretch Race—a mini, breathable, no-bounce waist belt for carrying gels, ID, keys, cell phone, and other race essentials.
MSRP: $24.95





Addaday Roller

Post-race roller
Great to use before and after long training runs—and certainly after a marathon day. The Addaday Ultra Roller flies off the shelves at Fleet Feet Sports.
MSRP: $37




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