By: Katie Verburg
Katie Verburg is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer who is currently studying to become a Holistic Health Coach. She has been in the health and fitness industry for a decade. Here, she shares what she’s using as she continues marathon training.
As a someone who is planning to run her first full marathon in April, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the information there is to learn about optimizing my marathon training. I’m already knowledgeable in biomechanics and mobility thanks to my experience as a holistic and fitness professional. However, proper footwear, apparel, and nutrition were topics I didn’t feel as confident in. Researching the best, most user-friendly products for marathon racing was important to me, as I plan on performing to the best of my ability on the big day. Here are some of my go-to top products when it comes to running:
As an avid exerciser – and future marathon racer – taking care of my body has become a priority in more ways than one. Using a foam roller (I own the TriggerPoint!) has been beyond beneficial. It not only allows me to make the time for self-care, but it also slows me down, and allows me to focus on my breathing. It also helps to treat my muscles with a mini massage. Our bodies do so much for us on a daily basis, it’s important not to take them for granted. Adding in a simple 20-minute foam rolling stretch to your recovery routine is crucial, especially once the mileage starts increasing.
Purchasing an expensive pair of sneakers isn’t the easiest thing to do, and you’ll find yourself questioning if a $150 pair of shoes is worth it. But if we’re being honest here, it is worth it. Twenty-six miles is a long time for your feet to be pounding the ground, and that’s not including the training miles you’ll put in months before race day. Everyone has a different gait pattern, and no one lands the exact same way. Not only that, but experts recommend switching out shoes every 300-500 miles! Stop by a local running store, as their employees are the most educated people to help you with this. Vital tip: be sure to ask about socks! No one likes blisters, so do your feet a favor and stock up on the right kind. (Features and Swiftwick are two of my favorites).
GU Energy Labs creates nutritional products for use during exercise. Some may feel that a scoop of peanut butter, apple slices, or some almonds are more beneficial – but just imagine the level of difficulty to bite and chew on them while running! That’s why I love taking GU Energy Gel packs with me on runs. They’re also pretty tasty. To help support stronger hair, skin, nails, and joints, I mix in a scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to my water. I stay hydrated while also getting to enjoy health and beauty benefits.
Chafing is one of the most irritating feelings ever, especially during long runs! Since using Chamois Butt'r GoStik, I haven’t experienced chafing. Finding a good pair of running shorts or leggings that won’t gradually slide down during your workout is also important. I’ve had the most success with Lululemon because they stay put without having to hike them back up above the hips.
What works for me may not work for the next person – but as I get closer to my big day, I plan to utilize all the tips that have been successful for me during marathon training.