Gearing up for the marathon?

9 May 2017

Gearing up for the marathon?

The Air New Zealand Hawke's Bay Marathon is just over the horizon. We know you've been training hard for the big day; yet, we wonder if you’ve picked out the race gear you’ll wear on May 13?


If you haven’t given it much thought, now is the time to work out exactly what you’ll wear. If you have selected your gear, have you trained in it?


If you’re new to marathon running, you’ll want to spend a little more time testing out what you’ll wear to conquer 42kms.


Why? Strong performance is linked to mental focus -- and you’ll need strong mental focus as you push through the hard yards. When distance running, even the smallest physical distractions can slow you down and chip away at morale. So, while it might be tempting to wear all new clothing the day of the marathon, you may discover these choices weren’t the best options for you at about the 6km mark.


Our best advice: use your last training sessions to fine tune your sportswear. Wear the clothing, shoes and any other gear that you are going to run in on race day.


Then answer these questions honestly: Do you feel too warm? Do you feel cold? What about too sweaty? Is your clothing rubbing against your skin or cutting into you?


If you’ve said yes to any one of these, now is the time to prevent race day distractions.


Set yourself up for success


Once you’ve put your clothing and footwear to the test, you can be sure your gear will deliver the performance the day of the event.


During your last training sessions, simulate everything -- down to the last detail.

Group 2


Get great performance from head to toe:  

what to look for when selecting your gear

1) Select the best footwear for your running style

Generally, it’s best to stick with the footwear you’ve been training in. Wearing new shoes the day of the event can cause blisters and soreness that could leave you in recovery mode for longer than you’d like.


So, the week before race day is your last chance to replace your beloved trainers in the event something out of the ordinary happened -- they wandered off without you (kidnapped!) or your toe popped out through the side.


Choosing the best footwear for you means selecting a shoe that leaves you focused on your performance, not how your shoes feel. (You’re confident you won’t roll an ankle and you’re not feeling pressure or pain in your knees or hips.)


Here are three quick tips for getting the best shoe for you:


  • Have your gait checked by your local running store or a specialist.
    The way your foot strikes the ground will help determine what sort of features you’ll need in your footwear. Also be sure to ask your footwear professional to tell you more about your foot type. Flat feet require a different level of stability support than those with high arches.
  • Take a little jog down the aisle of the shop. Try the different shoes recommended for you based on your gait and foot type, and keep an open mind. They might not be the colours you wanted, but how does the shoe make you feel when you move? Does your big toe have room to move? Listen to what your body tells you. Consider shoe shopping later in the day when your feet have stretched out a bit.
  • Replace your shoes around the 500km mark. Over time, you’ll wear out the support in your footwear, which will change how your body feels and may change how you perform.


2) Save your skin with the right accessories


Preventing skin cancer and avoiding damage to your eyes from the sun’s UV rays means choosing your sunscreen and eyewear wisely. You may also want to wear a hat to protect your scalp on particularly bright days.


Try these items during your training sessions. Does your sunscreen have that “too sticky” feeling or does it sting when it sweats into your eyes? Does your eyewear stay in place? Is the hat you put on trapping too much heat? Make changes now so you can be sure you’re protecting your health and eliminating annoying distractions.


A functional bag will help you stay organised on marathon day. Try packing everything a few days beforehand to be sure all your gear fits and you can carry your bag comfortably. Stashing this bag with a friend or family member around the 5km mark may come in handy in case you need to make a swap -- sometimes gear malfunctions or you may need to get rid of layers you no longer need.


3) How to select the right running top


Tops made from breathable, lightweight fabrics go hand-in-hand with distance running. Watch for mesh vents that add to your clothing’s cooling capabilities.


Beyond good venting to help keep your body comfortable and a fit that promotes freedom of movement, you’ll want to pay attention to the level of moisture wicking. During a marathon, feeling wet wears you down mentally and may lead to chafing.


If your training sessions have left you feeling soggy, try out different tops until you find what will keep you as dry as possible.


Staying focused on your performance means getting the right level of tech for you.


4) How to get the best fit from your sports bra


For women, there’s always one lingering question: which sports bra will work best? Still trying to work out if you're getting the right amount of support? Are you worried about the fit? Does the style or design impact results?


While trying on different options is still the best way to work out which sports bra is right for your body, we do have a few tips that will help.


Getting the right fit for you means:

  • The band should sit evenly around your chest
  • You should be comfortable (no digging or rubbing)
  • And you should still have room to breathe deeply


Keep in mind that sports bras intended for high-impact activities, such as running, will be made from less stretchy materials than the compression sports bra you’d normally wear for a studio-based workout.


A good running bra is designed to minimise movement. Look for encapsulated cup designs made with supportive materials and reinforced seams.


5) Use layering to your advantage


With the weather changing, we’re back to bright yet brisk mornings. It’s already time to hit the defrost button as you commute to work.


Don’t skip those final training sessions due to a chill. And be sure you’re prepared for whatever mother nature plans to offer up on race day by wearing layers. Layers are a handy way to increase the functionality for your sports clothing. So if your plan is to enjoy the festival environment of the Hawke’s Bay after the marathon, more layers means you can be comfortable no matter what.


The way you layer is your decision as it impacts your personal comfort and performance. A long sleeve tee or a hoodie, or both, might be what you need to keep your body warm enough. Just remember: when you’re feeling cold, your body uses more energy. This could mean feeling early signs of fatigue if your body temperature needs to be a degree warmer to allow you to deliver your optimal performance.


Don’t forget about more extreme weather that could strike without warning. Having a jacket on hand in case of wind and rain is a good idea, even if it stays packed away in the car.



6) How to select pants, shorts or tights


Do they stay in place? Are your pants rubbing against your skin or causing chafing?


Simply selecting a pair of shorts and guessing they’ll be “OK” may be a recipe for distraction. The length of your shorts can impact how they move with your body. Choose the fit and style that suits you best after trying a few options.


Active seams are something to look for in shorts, running pants or tights. Welded or seam-free options reducing chafing.  


Ready; set; go


Right, your pre-marathon planning is done. Have you thought about what you’ll do after the race?


The Air New Zealand Hawke’s Bay Marathon is different from other events as it’s a festival environment.

It’s a great place to stay and enjoy; so be ready for the after party. Wear the gear that lets you feel comfortable enough to reconnect with your friends and have a glass of wine instead of racing to change your clothing.


After all, you’ve just successfully run 42kms, you deserve to unwind with your family and friends!


This post is possible thanks to ASICS New Zealand. ASICS performance sports clothing keeps you looking and feeling great. Explore the 2017 collection now available online: