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This post is all about half marathon essentials.

7 Half Marathon Essentials

Running a half marathon is a huge achievement! To ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for your own half marathon and do your best on race day, you'll need to commit to consistent training. However, you'll also want to invest in essential products like good supportive footwear or a fitness watch to track your runs.When I ran my first half marathon in 2022, I was very dedicated to my training programme but I didn't invest in that many products that would've helped me to be more prepared for race day or would've just made training more enjoyable. Even though some of the products are expensive, in hindsight they are so worth it!!So, I've taken the time to round up the 7 (+ a bonus) products, which will definitely improve your HM training and race day.This post is all about essential products you'll want to get for your half marathon.

Waist Belt

Universal Running Belt for All Phone (iPhone 14/13/12/11/8/SE/X/XR/Mini/Max/Plus/Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22/S21/S20/S10/Ultra). Sports Waist Pack for Runners, Fitness, Exercise and Gym Workouts (Black)

Rating: 4.6/5 (over 2500 reviews)

Click here to buy this item on Amazon

Having to carry your valuables whilst your running is a pain. There's a couple of options for you... you could wear leggings with pockets which holds your keys or you could wear an arm band to hold your phone. However, these options only help you carry one or two of your valuables.

I found the best and most comfortable option to carry multiple valuables (phone, keys, credit cards, snacks etc) is a running belt. I would highly suggest buying this for your runs, it's so handy. They are comfortable, convenient and don't get in the way!

I eventually bought a running belt to carry my valuables on my half marathon race day. I just wish I'd bought it earlier in my half marathon training!

Wireless Earphones

Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones - 30 hours battery life - Over Ear style - Optimised for Alexa and the Google Assistant - with built-in mic for phone calls - Black

Rating: 4.7/5 (over 14000 reviews)

Click here to buy this item on Amazon

Trust me when I say, that going out for two hour runs without music or an audiobook or podcast gets boring real quick!

I used to dread my long-distance runs during my half marathon training because I found them so tedious and boring having nothing to listen too. Whereas, I feel like if I was listening to something I'm interested in, it would've definitely made my runs much more enjoyable.

Whether you prefer earphones to headphones is down to personal preference. I've always preferred headphones as earphones never stay in my ears. The headphones linked have excellent reviews, they are noise cancelling, wireless, they've got great battery life, they will definitely stay on whilst running and you can make phone calls whilst they are on!

Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS 45mm) Smart watch - Midnight Aluminium Case with Midnight Sport Band - Regular. Fitness Tracker, Blood Oxygen & ECG Apps, Water Resistant

Rating: 4.7/5 (over 900 reviews)

Click here to buy this item on Amazon

A fitness watch is so useful to help you track your runs! This will help you analyse your distance and workout time as well as your running pace including how long each km/mile is taking you to run, your heart rate whilst you are running and calories burned.

With the Apple Watch Series 8, it delivers even more advanced analytics too including temperature monitoring, blood oxygen monitoring, vertical oscillation, ground contact time and stride length, allowing you to analyse your runs in even more detail. Also, if you've got an iPhone, this Apple Watch will link and share your data with it.

I used an Apple Watch for tracking my own runs and it was so helpful to see my improvement in speed and distance as I got further through my HM training programme. I'd highly recommend getting one, even if you don't have or like Apple products, then you could get a fitness watch from another brand like Garmin or Fitbit.

Supportive Footwear

Women's running shoes:

On Women's Cloud Sneaker

Rating: 4.5/5 (over 1500 reviews)

Click here to buy this item on Amazon

Men's running shoes:

Cloudswift, Men's Sneaker

Rating: 4.4/5 (over 450 reviews)

Click here to buy this item on Amazon

If you take away anything from this list, let it be this.. good supportive running shoes are a MUST. Running is a high-impact exercise, which can cause a lot of stress on your body. For the half-marathon, you'll be running for at least 1.5 hours, so you'll want to get shoes that properly support your feet.

The "On" running shoes I've linked above get incredible reviews for being supportive, comfortable and perfect for running! Good running shoes will protect your body including your knees, ankles and back from injury. They aren't cheap but they are totally worth it!!

I can personally vouch for the importance of good running shoes as for my own HM, I bought generic £40 Nike running shoes and found that I'd often get a sore knee, lower back or hip, which impacted my training. Also, make sure you buy your shoes a couple of weeks/months in advance of your HM race day so your feet has time to adjust and get used to them.

If you are in or around the Glasgow area in Scotland, I would also recommend Achilles Heel on Great Western Road. They specialise in running shoes and will analyse your foot shape and running style to pick out a shoe that is right for you.

Running Socks

DANISH ENDURANCE 3 Pack Running Socks for Long Distances, Quarter Length, Anti-Blister for Men and Women

Rating: 4.7/5 (over 15500 reviews)

Click here to buy this item on Amazon

A good pair of running socks are just as important as your running shoes. There's nothing worse than socks rubbing and giving you blisters especially during long distance running. So, you need to make sure you pick the right socks for your half marathon.

These socks I've linked above are actually designed for long-distancing running, so are perfect for your half marathon. They are cushioned to reduce foot fatigue and are anti-blister, they have arch compression and are non-slip. They are also made of a breathable fabric too!

Energy Snacks

Science In Sport GO Isotonic Energy Gels, Running Gels with 22g Carbohydrates, Low Sugar, Variety Pack of Assorted Flavours, 60ml Per Serving (7 Pack)

Rating: 4.6/5 (over 3500 reviews)

Click here to buy this item on Amazon

These energy gels above get great reviews. They are easily digestible, convenient to carry and will give a quick supply of carbohydrates for energy. Which snacks you choose comes down to personal preference. Snack options include energy gels, sports bars, jelly sweets, or dried fruit.

It's up for debate whether you actually need to use snacks for an energy boost during your half marathon race. If you aren't sure, I would try them during your HM training. Do a long-distance run without snacks vs with them and see if they improve your energy and running ability.

I definitely could've used snacks during my half marathon race. As I found my energy took a huge dip around the 8th mile and the last 5 miles were a total struggle!

Foam Roller

Maximo Fitness Foam Roller - Exercise Rollers for Trigger Point Self Massage and Muscle Tension Relief, 15cm x 45cm Massager for Back, Legs, Workouts, Gym, Pilates and Yoga, Black

Rating: 4.6/5 (over 8000 reviews)

Click here to buy this item on Amazon

You NEED to make sure you are doing a warm-up and cool-down before every run to help reduce the risk of injury. I would suggest that you incorporate a foam-roller into your warm up and cool down routine.

Foam rollers help to reduce pain after exercise, release muscle tightness, helps ease knots in muscles and can even improve your athletic performance.

I've used a foam roller for a couple of years now and it's one of my favourite exercise accessories, especially when my muscles feel that little bit tight! It hurts like hell using one but honestly, it really helps ease the muscle tension and means that I'm less sore on day 2-3 after exercising. Totally worth it!

BONUS ESSENTIAL: Best Baubles for Long Hair

Goody StayPut Elastics

Rating: 4.6/5 (over 7000 reviews)

Click here to buy this item on Amazon

This is a bonus one on the list but I couldn't not mention it! It's specifically aimed at anyone who has long hair.

Trust me when I say that having long hair during long-distance running can be a huge inconvenience! There is nothing more annoying when your hair keeps falling down when running and you have to keep stopping and fixing it every couple of miles.

I've always struggled to find bobbles that would actually keep my hair up and secure when running long distance. Make sure you test out your hair bobbles during your training so that on your HM race day, you will be confident knowing that you hair won't budge!

This post has been all about half marathon essentials.

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Kirsty x

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