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Our Favorite Running Gear for Marathons and Ultramarathons

Three trail runners run together during the summer

The marathon is perhaps the most iconic race distance.

At 26.2 miles, the marathon’s sheer length makes it a daunting physical challenge, and the time you spend on your feet is an equal test of your mental toughness.

The sub-two hour marathon is one of the greatest tests of the limits of human performance. The barrier has yet to be broken even as shoe companies make running shoes more efficient.

If 26.2 miles wasn’t enough for you, there’s also a growing number of ultramarathons that push you even farther out of your comfort zone.

So if you signed up for a marathon (or beyond), you need running gear that will help you along the way. With technical running shirts and hydration vests built specifically for long distances, this marathon running gear will be with you from start to finish.

The Tops

An assortment of women's running gear for a marathon

A technical running shirt will make your race a whole lot more comfortable.

Cotton T-shirts will soak up sweat and moisture, and they dry slowly. Running in a wet shirt is uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. So get yourself something that’s made for running.

A shirt like the men’s ASICS Dorai Short Sleeve or the women’s New Balance Transform Perfect Short Sleeve will wick sweat away from your skin and dry quickly, so you stay comfortable for all 26.2 miles.

Like a good pair of running shoes, women also need a sports bra that provides ample support, mops up sweat and doesn’t irritate skin. Enter the Brooks Juno sports bra. The Juno is one of the best-selling sports bras for runners because it delivers high-impact support and adjustable straps for a dialed-in fit.

When you’re running for hours on end, there’s always the chance the weather can turn sour. One of our favorite layers for the unexpected is the On Weather Jacket. Built with water-resistant pockets and a DWR coating, the Weather Jacket is the perfect protection against wind and rain.

An assortment of men's running gear for a marathon

The Bottoms

Shorts and leggings made specifically for running are designed to let you move freely so you can focus on your pace.

One of our favorite running shorts for men is the On Hybrid Short. The Hybrid Short is built from lightweight technical four-way stretch fabric and includes a detachable internal compression short that can be worn on its own.

For women, we love the Brooks Greenlight Capri and On Running Short. The Greenlight is soft and supportive, thanks to Brooks’ DriLayer HorsePower fabric, and it includes no-bounce pockets that are perfect for stashing a few essentials.

The On Running Short are a minimalist option for runners who don’t want to think about their clothes during a long training run. The short’s stretchy and light fabric dries in a flash, and an extended inner short gives you coverage without holding you back. And, like the Greenlight Capri, there’s a pocket to hold keys and a few cards.

The Socks

Having the best running socks is a non-negotiable part of your training and race day kits.

Compression helps improve blood flow so you feel fresher for longer. That’s why we like the CEP Compression Sock 3.0.

The medical-grade compression in the 3.0 can help reduce swelling and muscle strain, which can help you recover faster. High-tech fibers mitigate moisture to keep you dry during your longest runs.

For runners who don’t want compression, the Feetures Elite Light Cushion No Show Tab will keep your feet happy. The socks are cut specifically for your left and right foot to eliminate bagginess that can cause hot spots and blisters. Plus, the nylon, polyester and spandex blend delivers a snug fit and excellent moisture management.

The Accessories

You’ll need to hydrate and get some extra calories when you’re spending a few hours on your feet. But carrying water and nutrition with you can be cumbersome.

Nathan packs make carrying your calories a breeze.

The Nathan VaporKrar 2.0 4L and Nathan VaporHowe 12L were designed in collaboration with elite ultrarunners Rob Krar and Stephanie Howe. The packs each hold two soft flasks on the front and work with extra bladders so you can haul all the H2O you need, and they have enough storage space to stash energy gels, chews or whatever else you like to eat on the go.

When you’re preparing your pack, think about grabbing Maurten energy gels. Maurten uses a unique hydrogel to help transport carbs and sodium through your stomach and into your intestines, where it can be absorbed easily.

Fleet Feet runners have been using mixing Maurten into their nutrition plans and found that it lives up to the hype.

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