Running Gear & Stuff: Marathon Prep

Running seems simple enough: put your shoes on and go. That’s basically why I started running in the first place – I didn’t want to sit on my butt and it’s an easy way to stay active, push yourself and get lost in your thoughts. When I started to race and run longer distances, I realized that you needed more than just shoes. I try to keep it simple but yes: you do need some running gear and stuff. I wrote this post before my first half about all of my goodies but an update is in order since I’m in MARATHON mode now. Woah.

I am by no means an expert and still have a bunch of things to figure out before my marathon (it’s not until December 14th) but this is what I’m using/doing thus far. Hope it helps in your running endeavors – I’d love to hear any tips and running gear/gadgets that you use and love!

Amy Goodlife Half Action Shot - May 2014 copy


I have really fallen in love with Saucony shoes – and no, not just because they are sent to me free of charge. They are seriously a great shoe! I love running in the Cortana 3s: they are super comfortable, pretty but best of all light and supportive. I highly recommend these running shoes – I just got the Cortana 4s so I will be giving those a try soon.


I like to do speed work (or sometimes CrossFit-style workouts) in the Kinvara 5s. I loooove how these shoes look but the heel is a bit thick and I’m not a huge fan of that for longer distances.

Sprints double unders pull ups


I use the Garmin Forerunner 15 to track my distance, time, etc. I really like it. Not only is it pretty, but it is smart. You can read more about my thoughts about the Forerunner 15 here. But the gist is: turn the watch on, click the running button, wait for it to find my location, click the running button again, run. I really only care about my distance (okay and my time a little) and this watch is perfect for that. It has many other features but I rarely use them.

14 miles


I LOVE my SPIbelt – it’s basically a cute fanny pack (I may or may not wear it run errands too). I keep my iPhone and fuel in it while I’m running and strap it right underneath my sports-bra – it doesn’t bounce around and I hate things around my waist when I run. I actually wish it was a bit bigger so I am looking into getting the “plus size SPIbelt” so things aren’t as squishy.


[Image source]


Tunes, Headphones & Podcasts

As I said, I almost always run with my phone. I don’t always run with it for shorter runs, but for safety and because I get bored running alone for so long… I take it. I just use the Apple ear-bud headphones that came with the phone – they work totally fine for me.

I have a random bunch of songs that need to be updated but as you can see below (and from this post) I like teeny-bopper music. Otherwise, these podcasts get me through my long runs:

Amy's Running Playlist


My fuel criteria is as follows: 1) no stomach problems; 2) easy to consume/carry; 3) enough nutrition; 4) real food. The ingredients list on most gels are not okay with me. I first started fueling my long runs with dried cranberries but I didn’t feel it was “enough” and it was kind of a hassle to eat. Then I discovered these awesome Baby Gourmet pouches. I totally love the harvest pear, pumpkin and banana flavor and it hit all my criteria: no tummy ache; super easy to eat and carry in my SPIbelt; provided me with a steady source of sugar and carb; yup, totally real food.

I think fueling is going to be a constant experiment but I am so far really happy with my baby food. Morganne sent me some Pocket Fuel Naturals to try – my only concern is the nuts in them and how I might react so we will see.

I fuel for runs longer than 13 miles. 

Baby food


At this point, I have been using this arm water bottle (or stopping at Starbucks). It only holds about seven ounces but I don’t drink that much water while I run (I guzzle when I get home). I do a mixture of regular water and coconut water and take small sips when I get thirsty. I’ve tried around the waist water thingy but hated it. I might just take this and rely on water stations during the marathon – not 100% sure yet.

I bring hydration with me for runs longer than 6 miles. 

Water bottle

[Image source]


With the colder temps unfortunately upon us, warm clothes are a must. I love running in all the Under Armour cold gear tights and tops. Gloves and headbands (or hats) or also imperative – I have some on the way from Saucony.

Otherwise my favorite running (and workout) gear is from Lululemon and Athleta. Honestly, it is worth the investment. I like to buy a few more expensive, higher quality staple items rather than a billion cheaper items that won’t last as long. From Lulu I love the wunder under pants, run swiftly tech long sleeve, race your pace 1/2 zip and power y tank. Athleta is overall awesome and fits great – especially their tanks and spandex booty shorts.

I also can’t forget about my favorite headband: Sweatybands. They are the only headband that I have found stays in place. I love my black one – I need more.

In Hawaii, I won’t need to wear gloves or a hat (thank goodness). I will likely run the marathon in a pair of Saucony spandex shorts, a Lulu power y tank and a long sleeve I “don’t care about” because I’ll toss it when I get too warm.

Lulu bag


I have been avoiding running in the dark (aka super early morning runs) but when I do, I wear two of these reflective snap bands (one on my arm, one on my leg) praying cars will see me.


[Image source]

So that’s where I’m at with my running gear and other stuff. If things change, or if I discover new awesome gear, I’ll let you know. But, as always, if you have any questions… just ask!

Updated December 2014 (after running the Honolulu Marathon)

I ran the race with this hydration belt and loved it.  It carried my phone, fuel and I also affixed the little pink pouch (sorry can’t find the link online) to carry more of my fuel.

What did I feel like I was missing?

  • More electrolytes
  • Compression socks

Amy Honolulu Marathon

I’m running a 25K Race (the RBC Run for the Kids) tomorrow, which translates to about 15.5 miles… aka my longest run yet. Eek! Here we go… have a great weekend!


Questions of the day…

What shoes do you run in? Favorite gear? 


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18 thoughts on “Running Gear & Stuff: Marathon Prep

  1. I agree that the fit and pocket situation with all the lulu stuff is worth it. I’ve run all my races in lululemon gear because of this. I hate the prices but since I use it all constantly it’s worth it. I’ve tried other brands and the stuff sits and doesn’t get used. Since my injury last year I’ve been running in asics kayano 19s. And I’ve so used baby food for fuel :)

  2. I run in Saucony’s too :) And I LOVE them! I just bought another pair of the exact same ones I’ve been training in. Good stuff. I’m always impressed by you runners that can run with a hydration belt… or a belt at all. I can’t stand them, haha!

  3. Crazy how you just think you need shoes… I know that was the reason I first started running! You never realize how nice the gear + stuff is until you have it (just like with CrossFit, in my opinion!). Love the baby gourmet idea! Squeeze pouches are awesome! I’m learning to invest in the higher quality apparel! It lasts so much longer + keeps its “fresh” look as well!

  4. Now, for clarity for those of us across the pond; a fanny pack = a bum bag? Wow! How to the two worlds are so different! I run in Vibram five fingers and did my last half marathon in them. Never tried baby food to fuel a run but what a good idea, seems logical. At what point during a half do you start to fuel?

    1. Yes… bum bag! I actually did not fuel for my past two halfs but wish I did (I feel the difference in these past training runs). I now fuel for runs longer than 12-13 miles starting at 7 miles.

  5. Right now, I’m running in Saucony’s but I’m also a huge fan of New Balance and Asics footwear. As for fuel, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who eats baby food. I agree with you that ingredients are important and have slurped down several pouches during long bike rides (We’re talking 50+ miles). I plan on stocking up on pouches and other snacks for an upcoming half Ironman.

  6. Good luck tomorrow! I should probably find running shoes that are more ideal for my feet, but since I’m yet to go for any appreciable distance, I don’t feel like making that investment right now. Not when i can instead spend my $ on sweet CrossFit gear. =)

  7. I love that spi belt, John and I were talking during the race today about how we could never run with an around the waist fuel belt. It just seems awful! I hope your race went well today <3

  8. Thanks for all the suggestions! I just can’t get into the comfortable feeling of ever having a fsnnypaack or belt on my body(getting myself to get used to a bra was horrendous to begin with) so i think ill carry my phone with the endomondo track by hand, as annoying as that is I think it’s better.

    Should I really invest in more Lulu wear? Really? Workout clothes last me a good while, I don’t know what kind of clothing is really prone to getting wasted easily so what should I get at lulu?

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