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I'm running the London Marathon, here are 10 essential items on my kit list

These are the marathon training essentials I'm relying on to power through 26.2 miles

I'm running the London Marathon, here are 10 essential items on my kit list
Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
5 April 2024
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Spring has arrived, parks are flocked with run clubs and physiotherapists are overwhelmed with complaints of runner's knee; it's officially marathon season. 

If you told me one year ago that I would be gearing up to run the TCS London Marathon, I would have run a mile, no pun intended. And yet, on 21 April I'll be joining 50,000 runners at the start line in Greenwich Park to take on 26.2 miles in aid of PAPYRUS - the charity I've pledged to run for.  

Transitioning from a couch potato partial to the occasional Sugababes-themed spin class to long distance runner was not on my 2024 bingo card. Yet surprisingly, I now find an immense sense of joy replacing my Saturdays with bi-weekly half marathons and dedicating my mornings to completing laps of my local park. 

Georgia running at sunrise
I have spent the last six months training to run the TCS London Marathon

"My advice for first time runners would definitely be to stick to your training plan," Jeffrey McEachern, one of Peloton's global running coaches tells me as we hit taper week. 

"Make sure you don’t do anything crazy now. Don’t add any miles that the training plan doesn’t provide you with. Your long runs should get shorter, your hard interval sessions or speed sessions should become shorter and also less taxing, because your body now needs the time to recover and to get that energy back up so it’s ready for race day."

In the six months I've dedicated to training, I've learned a lot about the do's and don'ts of what to wear, how to fuel, how to aid recovery and how to ensure you're well equipped to go the distance.

From my favourite kit to train in to the pre-run supplements I couldn't run without, these are the running essentials every new runner should consider before hitting the start line.

What to wear for a marathon

"Make sure that you know what you’re going to wear long before you get to race day," says Jeffrey. "Prepare the outfit you're going to wear when it’s raining, when it’s not raining, when it’s warm, when it’s cold, so that you have all options and minimise stress on marathon morning."

Power Pro Running Bra

This Sweaty Betty sports bra is designed specifically for running and high impact workouts, rendered from quick drying fabric with mesh panels for superior ventilation.

Editor's note: I have rotated two Sweaty Betty Running Bras religiously for the last two years, both for marathon training and other workouts. I find the adjustable straps offer far more support than any other sports bra I've tried, and I know I can rely on it on marathon day to keep me secure.

Sleek High Rise Leggings

The NB Sleek High Rise Leggings are designed to offer the ultimate comfort, both in the gym and on the run. They have a fast-drying technology that wicks moisture away as well as a fold up cuff at ankle to reveal reflective taping - an all-important safety measure that shouldn't be disregarded for nighttime runs.

Editor's note: It took me months to find a pair of flattering leggings that didn't ride up or sag at the crotch on long-distance runs. New Balance's leggings have been my go-to for colder days; they're ultra-comfortable, keep me cool and dry and genuinely feel like skin when I'm running in them. If it's raining on race day, I'll be in these.

Salomon Active Skin 4

Featuring breathable, fast-wicking fabrics, several expandable pockets, hydration flasks and a large back pocket for carrying extra gear, the Salomon Active Skin 4 will be a game changer for you marathon training. 

Editor's note: Whether or not you need a running vest for anything other than ultra-marathon training is up for debate, and is a particularly hot topic in the run community. I can tell you that the length of my runs and quality of my training significantly increased when I purchased the Active Skin 4 - and it now comes with me on everything from 5km trots to 20 mile training sessions. 

If anything, it's incredibly convenient to hold your phone and keys without compromising your safety on late night runs. It's perfect for storing gels, water and an extra layer of clothing in case you need it in unpredictable weather conditions. 

What to fuel with during a marathon

"At this point, you should have your hydration and your fueling down. That means you should know what you’re going to eat on race day during the long time spent on your feet," explains Jeffrey.

"If you’re not sure, make sure to check out your marathon's route map to locate the hydration stations and to see if there’s any gels provided. In the weeks leading up to your race, stay on top of your nutrition - it’s powerful to fuel your body, to stay strong and healthy."


Vitals+ from Heights is an all-in-one multivitamin to fuel your body and feed your brain. It's made by both scientists and dietitians, and are free of allergen ingredients, toxin-free, non-GMO, and gluten-free.

Editor's note: I've never been a huge believer in taking supplements, mainly due to being overwhelmed by the endless amounts of options out there and a reluctance to load myself with several unnecessary 'health' pills. Vitals promises to encapsulate 20 nutrients (all the good stuff) into two daily capsules, which is what sold it for me. 

I've come to learn that perfecting pre-run nutrition is seriously important. When I first started loading on the training, my immunity took a major hit and I often came down with coughs and colds during my winter training block. I've been taking Vitals for the last few months and I've felt noticeably stronger, healthier and able to go further in my training.

Clif Bloks Energy Chews

Clif Bloks provide a quick and convenient source of energy during training or racing sessions. These bite-sized energy chews offer a more accessible and easy-to-eat alternative to traditional energy gels, ensuring that you can stay fueled up without any hassle.

Editor's note: I try to opt for natural energy sources when running (dates, dried apricots, honey water) but when I really feel my energy depleting, I like to switch to Clif Bloks before I 'hit the wall'. I've found they're far more digestible than gels, and taste just as good as any pick 'n' mix sweet.

Madagascan Vanilla Organic Whey Protein

This organic whey protein combines ground vanilla pods and coconut sugar for a delightful creamy vanilla taste with 18.8g protein per serving.

Editor's note: Long distance running can break down muscle cells and cause damage to the muscles in your legs. Boosting protein intake after exercise can help reverse damage, build muscle, and get you ready for the next distance. I especially love the Organic Whey Protein from Organic Protein Co. because it only has three ingredients; it makes for a deliciously creamy post-run milkshake and doesn't wreak havoc in my gut like other protein brands have.

What to use for recovery

"In the final weeks of training, your body will tell you that you should do more," explains Jeffrey. "You shouldn’t do more. You’ve done most of the work now, it’s time to get back to recharging to be ready for race day."

Recharging and recovery is just as important as training to avoid injury and exercise burnout.

Lola Massage Gun

This lightweight massage gun has four interchangeable heads to target all areas of the body, and is ideal for preventing post-run muscle soreness, relieving tension and easing stiffness after exercise.

Editor's note: I didn't know I needed a massage gun until after I started using one. My ideal long-run day routine ends with a DIY Lola massage to ease up the stiffness I get in my quads and calves after getting in the miles. It's lightweight, near silent, and has a charge that seems to last for weeks.

Are you running the London Marathon?

Running the TCS London Marathon? Don't miss out on the post-run perks the city has to offer on 21 April 2024.

Brigid Kosgei of Kenya crosses the line to win the Women's Elite race  during the Virgin Money London Marathon at United Kingdom on April 28, 2019 in London, England.© Getty
  • Race-day travel is free for any runners travelling to and from the marathon. Simply show your race number or medal on the Underground, Overground, bus network, TfL Rail, and DLR to hitch a free ride. 
  • Barry's - London's favourite bootcamp - will be hosting a London Marathon after party at its SW1 studio featuring live music and refreshments. Marathon runners can drop in for a free HERMOSA protein shake from the Barry's Fuel Bar by showing their medal. It's free to join by signing up here
  • Deliveroo has partnered with Boots to bring marathon runners the ultimate post-run care via the 'Marathon Roo-covery hub'. Order everything from protein bars and snacks for refuelling after the finish line to Epsom salts for the ultimate muscle relaxation and mini-massagers to alleviate muscle and joint soreness to your door. The first 1981 (a nod to the marathon's debut) people to use code ROOCOVERY10 on Deliveroo app or website via Boots will get £10 off orders over £20. 
  • Fresh pasta restaurant, Pastaio will be giving runners just what they’ll need on race day, offering a free plate of pasta for all medal holders on London Marathon Dayl. Simply show your medal at the restaurant on 19 Ganton St, Carnaby.
  • For years, Bill's has welcomed London marathon runners through its doors on race day with the promise of a free burger and drink - just show your medal at any of the 10 restaurants in London to claim your post-run carbs. 
  • Urban's at-home wellness services deliver expert therapists straight to your door, making the service an ideal treat for post-marathon recovery. Book everything from physiotherapy to sports massages on the app, reducing the risk of injury and speeding up your recovery. 
  • Treat yourself to a free Argentinian Rib Eye Steak at Heliot Steak House or a Claire Heliot Burger whilst taking in the wonderful views across Soho from The Hippodrome Rooftop on 21 and 22 April. Just show your race medal to claim. 
  • What better way to recuperate and recharge your body after intense weeks of training and a strict diet, than with a luxurious stay and an abundance of delicious food at five-star boutique hotel, London Marriott Park Lane, with its indulging Bed, Breakfast & Bubbles package, and it's not even far from the finishing line.

Jeffrey's final and most-important tip as someone taking part in seven marathons this year, is to always pre-plan what's going in your race bag.  

"In my race kit bag, I have my shoes which I put on when I get to the race location. We then have Vaseline for chafing. I have a belt that carries my gels, and salt tablets. I will have my phone, as well as my headphones for hype up music for the run, which is preferably Beyoncé 99% of the time. 

"Don't forget pins to stick your bib onto your shirt. I also have sunglasses, a hat and also a rain jacket - to be prepared for all weathers. Don't forget to wear SPF too.

"I always pack a banana before I start the race, and I pack flip-flops for after because your feet want to get out of those racing shoes as soon as possible. The most important thing is baby wipes. Those portaloos can be rundown on toilet paper. You don’t want to be stuck in that situation, so I always bring some baby wipes."

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