According to Runnersworld.com, a mortal runner can log 420 to 700 miles in preparation for a marathon. But don’t spend that many dollars when training for a race. Whether you are gearing up for a full marathon or a 5k, discern the unnecessary from the essentials while looking fit and fabulous come race day.
- Start with the perfect shoe
Even novice runners know that improper shoes can lead to injury or worse: feet that even the best pedicure can’t remedy. Nearly every running publication suggests getting professionally fitted for a pair of shoes at a specialty store prior to training. However, I attempted to conduct my own analysis through trial and error. After countless hours exploring Instagram for #marathonshoes and reading reviews on Amazon, I acquired five pairs of new trainers (yet ended up running in my old standbys). Moral of the story: if you like your current shoes stick with them, if you are a newbie, get professionally fitted. Lastly, go up a half-size if you ever plan on wearing open toe shoes again.
- Add minimal accessories
Accessories are a way to express your personal STYLE, even while running. Just make sure that whatever you add on is practical too. Visiting an expo can make you wonder if you are missing out on secret performance boosers. Contrary to what vendors may tell you, there is no need to strap 5 full water bottles to your abdomen just because you can. Trust me; there will be plenty of free water on the course. As for compression items, many runners swear by them but there is no scientific evidence proving their effectiveness. When it comes to add-ons, have fun, express yourself, and remember that less is more.
- Perfect your ‘do
Your hair is not something you should have to worry about or adjust mid-race. As someone with bangs, I find headbands essential. If you are into girly embellishments, check out Headbands of Hope which will donate a headband to a girl with cancer and donate $1 to St. Baldricks for every purchase. If you prefer to express your personality, Bondi Bands come in a variety of colors and sayings such as “Run Now, Wine Later” and can even be customized. For chilly mornings, Lululemon’s Bangbuster stays put no matter what and can double as an ear warmer. Lastly, if you prefer a bohemian look, make a French braid headband like this one http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-French-Braid-Headband. And, above all, make sure you have extra hair ties in case of an emergency.
- Add a little makeup
You will get sweaty and you will be photographed. Start out by smoothing on oil-free sunscreen to prevent premature aging and forgo foundation because it will literally drip off of your face. Although you will acquire a natural flush, you may want to add a long lasting gel blush like Tarte’s cheek stain. Finally, Keep eye makeup to a minimum and invest in a good waterproof mascara to avoid raccoon eyes. When you run past the cameras, remember to smile pretty.
- Exude confidence
Above all, have fun on race day and celebrate your accomplishment. Confidence is the best accessory and it doesn’t cost a thing.