What to Wear – Lower Body

What to wear - lower body | of 26 Marathon Series

Last week we discussed what to wear for a marathon on your upper body; this week we’ll continue by looking at what you should wear on your lower body.

The key thing here is ensuring that your legs are both comfortable and free to move efficiently during running. This comes back to the point we made in last week’s article, standard sports gear isn’t necessarily right for running; having running specific apparel can make a big difference. Here are the key pieces of running clothing that are worth considering if you are to train for and run a marathon:

  • Technical Running Shorts – The all rounder. Most people rarely get cold legs when running, so shorts are an excellent choice in most weathers. They offer great freedom of movement and are very lightweight.
Ronhill Advance Short

“Although the split short has always been a staple at races, more and more runners are now preferring a slightly longer cut, such as the 5 inch Advance short from Ronhill.”

  • Running Short Tights – If you don’t like the flappiness of a normal running short, but still want complete freedom of movement, then short tights are ideal. They are great in cool to warm conditions and help to improve muscle control.
  • Capri/Three Quarter Tights – Just like running tights, except they cut off just below the knee. More popular than tights for women, as they are more fashionable and slightly cooler on the lower leg.

“The Bjorn Borg range has been exceptionally well received in-store, offering highly exclusive, very fashionable, yet technical products such as the Posy Capri tight”

  • Technical Running Tights – Warm, but not too hot and compressive for better muscle control and blood circulation. Lightweight tights are becoming very popular, even aside from runners, as they allow great freedom of movement.
  • Thermal Running Tights – If you like your legs toasty warm, then these are perfect for you! They normally have a fleecy lining to trap warm air; however only wear them when it’s close to or below freezing, otherwise you’ll be very warm!
  • Compression Socks/Calf Sleeves – These are a relatively new addition to most runner’s kit, but now most wonder how they ever did without them! Compression socks/sleeves work to actively help pump the blood back to the heart for greater oxygenation. They also protect your lower legs from all sorts of annoyances when trail running.

“At first only the serious athletes wore compression socks, but once runners realised the benefits, they quickly become a popular item in most runner’s kit list”

So while this doesn’t tell you what exactly you should wear for your marathon. It does detail all of the possible items that you should consider wearing on your lower body. Take into account when your marathon is and test the most likely clothing set up during training, but then also test your preferred clothing set-up for “normal weather” as well as your other set-ups for any possible weather (hot, windy, cold, wet); this way no matter what mother nature throws at you, you’ll already know exactly what to wear and will have tried and tested it in training.

Here is the next blog article in our marathon series:


20. Race Day: How to Pace Your Marathon

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