5 products to help you go 26.2 miles
Whether you're a veteran or newbie, running a 26.2-mile race is both a mental exercise and a physical feat. Worldwide, there are more than 500 marathons each year, but this Sunday brings one of the most iconic -- the ING New York City Marathon, an event that's been around since 1970. Prepping for a top performance in this or any race means eating, sleeping and hydrating properly for weeks before the big day, but the right gear can also help you put some pride in your stride.
Figuring out the proper running shoe can be, to say the least, overwhelming. Body type, footfall and biomechanics can all be factors. For many, though, it's about support. This smooth, smart shoe has a 3D Fit Print overlay for a lightweight, flexible, no-stitch fit. A segmented crash pad boasts full ground contact, giving you a comfortable heel-to-toe transition. Even the laces are designed to even out pressure. Price: $120
Gels, chews, chomps, blocks and bars are the ticket if you're going to "hurdle the wall" (read: overcome glycogen depletion) at the 18- to 20-mile marker. This source of carbs and electrolytes provides an energy boost in a convenient package. Its rounded corners and Litter Leash make for easy carrying, opening, eating and disposing -- the tear tab stays attached. As a side note, these are kosher and vegan friendly, but not gluten free. Price: $29.99 (for a 24-pack box)
Post-run care is just as critical as the prep. Experts say the best time to get a massage is about 2½ hours after you've completed your run, but that isn't realistic for most marathoners. For a light massage you administer yourself, the stick works wonders. It's perfect before or after to hammer out the kinks and aftershocks. Price: $31.95
Skip the breadcrumbs, but leave a trail so friends and family know where you are when you're training for your big race (or other outdoor adventure). You can register for free, create a detailed online plan or route, and enable your contacts to locate you if something goes wrong (sprained ankle, cramps?). Peace of mind for marathon training was never so easy. Price: Free
Avoid chafed, dry, blistered skin by using a preventative balm -- in a specially developed women's version -- that stops trouble before it starts. An all-natural lubricant, Body Glide creates an invisible, greaseless barrier against moisture and friction without clogging pores or trapping perspiration. Put it around your sports bra and on thighs and feet to ensure a rash-free run. Price: $7.99