What To Wear For A Marathon

A marathon is not only about endurance and stamina. What you wear can be a decisive factor. 

When running a marathon, you should always wear comfortable clothes. You need shoes that fit well, but you shouldn’t wear high heels or other uncomfortable footwear.

What to Wear For a Marathon

You should wear shorts instead of long pants, because your legs get hot quickly. Your shirt should be loose enough to allow air circulation, but tight enough to prevent sweat from dripping down your back.

You should wear a hat to protect yourself from sunburns too in hot climates. And finally, you should carry a water bottle with you.

Read on to find out more!

Running in Cold Weather 

Cold weather clothing includes a base layer, a long sleeved shirt, tights, socks, and beanies. You should always be fully prepared when running in freezing temperatures.

Of course, the longer you run, the hotter you will become, so you may want to remove your long sleeve shirts or tights during the race.

But, try not to do this. You should wear long sleeves when running in the cold, even when you start to sweat. 

You’ll probably want to wear a hat and gloves while you’re out, but if you do run into a bit of wind, make sure you cover up your legs to stay comfortable too.

Running Socks should be worn over your ankles, but not too high up. They should also be long enough to cover your calves. Compression sleeves are great if you want to wear them under your pants or shorts too.

Mild Temperatures

Runners should wear shorts or capris depending on the temperature. Shorts are more comfortable than running pants.

Capris are also more comfortable than pants. You shouldn’t wear anything else if it’s too cold. 

A short sleeved shirt is a great choice for running in mild temperatures. It will keep you warm and allow you to breathe better while walking or running.

Arm sleeves are also useful for keeping your arms warm when out and about too. Sunglasses and caps are helpful in protecting your eyes from bright sunlight on runs. 

As for what not to wear – You should wear a tank top or lightweight shirt if it’s hot and humid. Your shorts should be loose and non-clingy.

You can choose to wear a hat or not. If it’s very chilly, it’s best to keep your head warm. When it’s mild, it’s up to you. And make sure you drink plenty of water. 

Short-shorts are great for summertime as they give your legs a break from long pants. You should wear them when you run because they won’t stick to your legs and cause you discomfort.

A hat or cap is helpful to protect yourself from the sun, especially if you have fair skin.


When it rains, you want to stay as dry as possible!

A waterproof jacket is important when the weather is wet and cold. When it’s raining and hot, you should wear light clothes to keep you cool. If you’re going out in the winter, wear a coat that packs into itself. Wear waterproof gloves if it’s cold and raining.

Hats are useful when it rains because they keep the rain out of our eyes. 

Options For All Weather Conditions

What to Wear For a Marathon

Running belts are useful tools that help runners stay healthy during long races. You should take them along if you’re going to run a marathon.

Hydration belts are also important because they allow runners to carry water bottles without having to stop and get them out of their bags.

Petroleum jelly helps prevent chafing, and cell phones make it easy to contact friends and family during a race.

What To Wear Before The Start

You shouldn’t wear any extra clothing before running a marathon. If the weather is bad, you should carry an inexpensive poncho or garbage bag to protect yourself from the rain during the race.

If you’re going to run in cold temperatures, you should wear something warm like a jacket and long pants, but you might consider shorts and vests if it’s warm. 

Hydration and Nutrition Tips

A hydration belt is a great investment for runners who prefer to carry their own bottles of water. It keeps your hands free while you run. Hydration belts come in different sizes and colors.

Some have pockets for holding things like keys, cell phones, money, etc. Others are designed to hold water bottles. You can also buy a small handheld water bottle.

These are much easier to carry than a full sized water bottle.

What Materials to Wear

Running in nylon is better than other materials because it’s easy to wash and dry quickly. Jogging in spandex or Lycra is also nice because it’s breathable and comfortable.

You don’t get sweaty when you jog in these materials. Wool material is great for cold weather runners, however.

But, if you run in hotter climates regularly, microfiber or polyester will help quickly evaporate sweat, especially when running in the heat and limit chafing.

Fancy Dress

Many races encourage you to dress-up and have fun. If on a charity team, you may be pressured to do things you don’t want to do.

Be sure to train properly with the costumes and gear you’ll wear on race day. You may find that wearing a tutu is scratchy, or that a tiara gives you a headache.

You should know these things before you start the race, so you don’t struggle during it.

Final Thoughts

If you are currently preparing for a marathon, then make sure to follow these tips on what to wear on the day. After all of your training and hard work, you do not want to be let down just by the clothes that you are wearing. 

Megan Rinzel
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