Right Equipment for the Free Press Flagstar Marathon

Right Equipment for the Free Press Flagstar Marathon

Right Equipment for the Free Press Flagstar Marathon

Wearing the right equipment on race day can significantly improve a runner’s experience. The farther the distance the more critical it becomes to have appropriate gear. I asked local running specialty stores to provide suggestions for this year’s Detroit Free Press Flagstar Bank Marathon.

Shoes: The marathon is not the time to be experiment with shoes you will wear on race day. With five weeks to go, check to see if you racing shoe will hold up by October 21. If not, buy a new pair this weekend.

Dave Howell of Total Runner had this to say; “Shoes are a very individual thing, and should be tailored to the individual runner. Popularity contests for shoes do not necessarily produce a good result. By now, runners should have a pretty good idea what shoe they are going to use in the marathon and not be experimenting at this point. “

“The shoes we have had the most success with would be the Brooks Adrenaline 7 (very good combination of cushion, stability and flexibility), the Brooks Addiction 7 (very good motion control shoe, width sizes, reasonable price) and the Nike Air Structure Triax 10 (good combination of cushion, stability, flexibility).”

The Windsor Running Factory favorites include the Asics 2120 for fit and feel and the Mizuno Wave Precision 8 as a lightweight race day shoe.

Manager Dave Peterson at the New Balance Store (the official shoe and apparel sponsor of the marathon) recommended the MR/WR 1223 stability trainer for its blend of stability and cushioning on hard pavement.

Shorts and Tops: Too many runners are overdressed on race day. Use your long runs to find clothing that fits well and doesn’t absorb moisture otherwise you’ll be stuck with wet clothing clinging to you. The dryer the clothing the warmer and more comfortable you’ll be. If it is cold at the beginning of the race wear a shirt that you can throw away later.

Peterson recommended the NB Bonita run skirts that are becoming popular. Also, a full line of technical clothing with the marathon logo will be available at the New Balance stores and at the marathon expo.

Howell didn’t find major difference in which brand runners use as long as the short and tops are made of synthetic, wicking materials. “One recent feature runners look for are places to carry energy gels. Many apparel manufacturers now offer shorts with pockets, either side pockets or rear pockets, some with zippers and some with mesh or velcro.”

Socks: Don’t experiment with socks on race day no matter what the advertising claims, such a blister free. Again synthetic, wicking materials seem to work best. Plan to wear lighter socks on a warmer day or thinner socks for a wide foot.

Playmakers recommended the Smartwool socks in the adrenaline series and Feetures light.

Hats and gloves: Playmakes suggested the lightweight mesh caps from RaceReady. A microfiber (water-repellent) cap may help on a rainy day. I like the new shorty and long tailed bandanas made by Headsweats. On a very cold day a polypropylene gloves work well. Throw away cotton gloves are an inexpensive way to keep your hands warm at the beginning of the race. Don’t worry about throwing them away.

Miscelaneous: If it’s a sunny day, sunglasses help remove the need to squint and allow you to run more relaxed. I like the fit and price of Surfas sunglasses or try the Rudy Project shades. Bodyglide is one of the all-time most popular products at Total Runner. “It is a very useful preventive measure for potential chafing, under arms, between thighs, on feet, on nipples, or any place susceptible to chafing”, according to Howell. Don’t forget to pick up some GU for your long training runs.