Marathon Essentials

A Pretty Place to Play Marathon Essentials

I can't believe it's only a week and a half until Edinburgh Marathon! I know I keep saying it, but this training cycle has FLOWN. True, it's been a bit shorter than the usual. Plus my milage has been lower. But still, it has whooshed by, and now I'm sorting out all the 'stuff' for the big day!

Packing for marathons is something I always put thought in to. I've never run a marathon 'at home' so I need to make sure I have everything I need in advance and that it makes it with me to my destination. I travelled to my last two marathons by train, so there weren't too many restrictions on how much I carried (although I did learn that hauling a massive suitcase on the Paris Metro the day after a marathon just isn't a good idea), but this time I'm flying up to Edinburgh, and I'm one of those awful people who refuses to check luggage. In part its paranoia about my bags getting lost (which would be a nightmare right before a marathon - remember, no new kit!), but there's also the fact that it's cheaper not to have hold luggage. Plus I that like to pretend I'm an airport ninja bossing it through airports at ludicrous speed. You can't do that with checked luggage.  

A Pretty Place To Play Marathon Essentials

Going hand luggage only has it's challenges. There'll be weight restrictions, size restrictions and limits on the fluids you can carry. Which kind of stops you carrying all the stuff. So I need to get a little more discerning and only take the essentials. It's taken a little work (and a lot of lists in the back of my training journal), but I think my list is down. 

What's essential on marathon day is a really personal thing, so this is just what works for me, your list of essentials might be different, but as a starting point I reckon it's a pretty good list!


  • shorts, vest, bra, running pants and ProCompression socks for the marathon (Corey, I'll be thinking of you!)
  • leggings, vest, bra, running pants and socks for the 5km shakeout
  • Aptonia recovery compression socks, OOFOS and warm comfy clothes for post marathon
  • chuck away clothes for before the marathon
  • 361 Spinject running shoes
  • sunglasses (I recently lost my Adidas running sunnies, so I'll be wearing my everyday ones)


stuff you never knew you needed

  • instant cold packs (handy if your hotel doesn't have a bath)
  • Aptonia Anti-Friction (trust me)
  • Aptonia factor 50+ suncream
  • Aptonia Recoup massage cream
  • Mini Foam Roller (so much smaller and lighter, so great for travel!)
  • lacrosse ball (I swear by this to ease out my feet)
  • lipbalm
  • safety pins (the thing that I always forget, so I've bulk ordered from Amazon)
  • hair ties
  • blister treatment
  • painkillers
  • magnesium gel
  • resistance bands (mobility the night before a race, always!)
  • headphones, charger and a curated list of podcasts, playlists and audio books (I'm going to be on the road for a long time, I may as well catch up on some pop culture)
  • nice shower gel to clean up after the event (after all that work you deserve good smells)
  • watch and charger (I'm going to be managing my pace pretty tightly, so this is an essential)


  • race packs - shake out run and marathon (my Mum has my marathon race pack...I really hope she remembers it!)
  • ID and flight details 
  • training journal and my list of positive affirmations (I'll be preparing mentally in the lead up and my A, B and C plans are in my journal)

I think that's everything! Have I missed anything? 

*images: Anna Rachel Photography

**many thanks to Decathlon, OOFOS and 361 for supporting me on my journey to ultra - while these brands do provide me with products, all opinions are my own.