It's really important that you do your research before undertaking any marathon, and this includes making sure you know what clothing and accessories are out there to help ensure your race day is as comfortable as it can be. We know that there are swathes of information out there, so we've summarised the main options for you to consider! You don't need to use anything we've listed here, and you should always go for what makes you feel the most comfortable - if you don't want to run with anything, you don't have to!
It's important to note that whatever running accessories you choose to use, you should make sure you practice using them on training runs to ensure they don't chafe or rub come race day!
Waist Bags and Bum Bags
These bags are perfect if you're only planning on running with a few smaller items, and can be great for keeping your keys in whilst you're out on longer training runs. They are really easy to access, and you won't need to stop running whilst you take something out of it. Some people prefer them to backpacks as they're smaller and more discreet, but it's important to note that some of them do move around on your hips as you run, which might irritate you!
Two time marathon runner and Choose a Challenge staff member Lucy prefers running with her bum bag to running with a backpack as it's smaller and lighter.
Bottle belts are perfect for those of you who like to run and carry your own fluids throughout the race. This might be because you prefer to have your own energy or sports drinks that you've used during training, or because you want to have a bit of water with you at all times. These will often have two side pockets for small bottles as well as some other smaller zip pockets for other little items, though you can get some which offer more bottle holders (though you shouldn't need them!)
Running backpacks are great for marathons if you're wanting to take a bigger items like a camelback or waterproof jacket out with you. They distribute the weight evenly across your back as they have a chest and waist strap, which makes carrying bulkier items easy.
Running arm bands are great if you're wanting to keep your phone easily accessible whilst you run. They're perfect if you like to run listening to music, as you can quickly change it, or if you're using a tracking app and want to keep an eye on your time. Try and get one that's a soft material rather than really hard plastic to help you avoid chafing, and don't forget to make sure it's waterproof - it is pretty rainy in England!