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My top 12 running ‘must haves’ for race day

  1. Asics Gel Kayano 25s - Whilst you can run in most sorts of trainers, when you start to increase mileage it is imperative that you invest in a decent pair. Most good sport shops offer to measure and fit your feet with the most suitable brand for you taking into account your pronation type from analysis of your gait. You can also determine this yourself by doing ‘the wet foot test’ where you wet the sole of your foot and place it on the ground to see your footprint type. You will probably find that you will have a preferred brand once you have racked up some mileage in the trainers. For me it’s my Asics Gel Kayano 25s, they have enabled me to complete several half marathons and two marathons. I always go a size up to allow for my feet to swell as they get hot.

  2. Balega Unisex Enduro socks - Underestimate the importance of socks and your mileage will be cut short due to blisters, something I struggled with when going past 10miles until I discovered these. Again experiment until you find a brand that works well for you.

  3. ASICS shorts or leggings and bra top - Again this is down to preference, however, I find these to be the most comfortable, breathable and the shirts/leggings always come with a handy zip pocket (you can never have too many pockets!) They do have some nice stylish designs too.

  4. Running T-Shirt - Once you start entering some running races you will find your wardrobe inundated with them. (As they are usually given out after you cross the finish line, I must admit I still prefer the medal bling to a t-shirt). However, my favourite t-shirt at the moment is my VLM2019 top

  5. Flip belt - They say never to change anything before the lead up to a race but I decided to buck the trend and purchase a flip belt whilst at the ExCel and I’m so glad I did. The one I had used in my training run was ok but clipped around my middle and sometimes was uncomfortable and a nightmare if I wanted to take a layer off during the race (well impossible unless I wanted to stop!) It sits nicely on my waist and has enough pockets and a clip for keys, valuables, phone and most importantly refuelling snacks. I also know I can now remove top layers without a fuss so maximising my chance of a race pb

  6. Garmin Forerunner 35 - I felt like I could call myself a runner once I owned one. Up until then I’d been happily using my AppleWatch to record my race stats. However it decided to let me during the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Half Marathon so I had to ask fellow runners what pace they were doing and their estimated finish time to keep on track. This did still result in me obtaining a pb but also unnecessary energy wasted. However with the Garmin on board I have been able to track and record so much more data that is enabling me to keep improving.

  7. ‘If found on ground drag over finish line’ Bib clips - I purchased these the week before the London Marathon at The ExCel and are my new favourites as they don’t unclip, move around hurt your fingertips like magnets can do. They’re much nicer than safety pins and negate the unwelcome prick to your finger or skin when trying to fasten!

  8. Enacfire E18 Bluetooth wireless headphones - Oh How I have struggled to find a pair of headphones that stay in my ears since upgrading from wired to wireless! After many unsuccessful purchases I was pleased to finally find these and they stay put (well for me anyway) and they won’t break the bank either. Also you can wear just the left one if you still want to be security conscious when out road running. (N.B most race events don’t permit the use of headphones but these are so discreet (especially if under a hat)

  9. Plastic waterproof poncho - Invaluable piece of disposable kit and so much more attractive than a black bin liner!

  10. Karrimor Sunglasses - My current ones are just a cheap pair but they stay put on top of my head when the sun isn’t shining and help reduce the glare of the sun but also stop the pesky bugs that are hell bent on flying right into your eye when running through the countryside! Any recommendations for a good pair?

  11. Hairband - My trusty black headband helps absorb the sweat, keeps my hair off my face and doesn’t squash my head! Plus in the winter keeps my ears warm.

  12. Karrimor gloves - I have cold hands in the middle of summer. As my friends can testify I always have my gloves with me. I have thin and thick pairs depending on the temperature but a must have essential for me!

Oh and don’t forget your phone 📱 Happy Running.

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