As a passionate Marathon runner I was really happy when I got a spot for Chicago Marathon, as it is one of the 6 World Marathon Majors. But then I found out that I was pregnant, and that Chicago Marathon was only 4 months after the due date. I was not sure if I should or could return to running postpartum and run a race so soon after giving birth. But giving up before even trying is not an option for me. So I secretly made a plan on how I could make returning to running postpartum work. And luckily everything worked out, and I finished the Chicago Marathon 4 months postpartum.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is one of the biggest Marathons in the world and also on of the 6 Abbott World Marathon Majors. It was number 4 on my list after London Marathon, Berlin Marathon and NYC Marathon. Chicago Marathon always takes place in October on the Sunday before Columbus Day (which is a public holiday in the USA).
I ran the Chicago Marathon just 4 months after the birth of my first son. Which was a pretty big challenge. The training with the weakened pelvic floor was not easy. And it was not easy to get all baby logistics right. Luckily, my fiancé came to Chicago with me, and watched our son during the race. He even met me halfway, and I was able to breastfeed the baby in a first aid tent along the way.
My finishing time was not great because of the breastfeeding break and the persistent abdominal cramps, but I still managed to finish what I’m incredibly proud of. And even more I was pleased that Paula Radcliffe handed me my medal at the finish. She was always a great source of inspiration for me during pregnancy and training.
If you have ever run a Marathon you know that racing is not only about training and nutrition, but also about your gear. Wearing the wrong outfit, getting blisters from the wrong shoes or chafing can not only ruin your Marathon goals but also take all the fun away. So I have compiled this list of the most important Marathon gear essentials. Proven in more than 20 Marathons that I ran, including the 12 Marathons that I did in 2018.
You probably have never heard of the Ras al Khaimah aka RAK Half Marathon. Which is a shame, because the RAK Half Marathon is one of the fastest Half Marathons in the world. It currently (2019) is the course of the European Record, set by Swiss runner Julien Wanders in February 2019..
The RAK Half Marathon is very fast and flat, but unfortunately also a bit boring, because it is located in a quite remote area. But you will definitely not miss your friends and family on the sidelines, and the weather will also very like be fantastic. One more cool thing: the official RAK Half Marathon race pictures are free for everyone afterwards.
Very often you will hear runners talk about gear: their favorite running shoes, compression pants or other fancy race outfits. One of the most important items that is usually overlooked is running underwear. We just don’t like to talk bout what we wear under our race gear, even though running underwear can make or break your personal PR. When you experience severe chafing around your sensitive parts you know what I mean. Disclaimer: For this post I was testing Runderwear running underwear products for free. Runderwear is a British start-up that produces (as you might guess) running underwear. They first started out with running underpants, and have since then expanded their product range to sports bras and running socks. I have been a fan of Runderwear for a while, and I recommend it because I really love the product, and I am not getting paid for it. And I love to support young entrepeneurs, as I know how challenging it can be to run your own business.
How I discovered Runderwear
I first came across Runderwear when I was looking for running underpanties to wear during my 24 hour World’s Mudder Race. At that race you have to wear a wetsuit for several hours, and avoiding chafing under the wetsuit was the top goal. A friend of mine who was also an ultrarunner suggested I should try Runderwear, and he was definitely the right. I survived the 24hour race without chafing, and have been a fan of Runderwear ever since. I have worn the underpanties in every race since then (for OCRs and for my 12 Marathons in 12 Months Fundraising Project). So I was very happy when I was offered the opportunity to test a complete set of Runderwear running underwear. I have tested it thouroughly at Romatikmarathon Füssen, Reykjavik Marathon , Berlin Marathon and Europe’s Toughest Mudder Berlin, and it is now a staple item on my packing list for World’s Toughest Mudder this year.
What to look for in running underwear
Please call me old fashioned: but what you want to look for in running underwear is functionality, not style. Don’t get me wrong, I love stylish underwear. And I wear lots of sexy and playful outfits during my pole dancing classes. But I would never consider wearing that for running.
So what am I looking for in running underwear?
- It should be comfortable. I do not want to get blisters or chafing.
- It should absorb sweat and keep me as dry and warm as possible.
- It should also support my body, especially when it comes to sports bras. Yes, all girls need a bit more support for running, and a good sports bra is crucial.
Runderwear Running panties
Runderwear offers a wide range of running underpanties. The come as briefs, hipsters hot pants and G-strings. They come in various colors but I prefer the simple black. The are nearly seamless, and the edges are super soft. The fabric is also super soft and moisture wicking. As I’ve mentioned before I have been using the briefs for a while now, and I never experienced any chafing problems. And what I really love is the little slogan ” Don’t run commando” on the inside of the panties.
Runderwear Sports Bra
Runderwear offers a standard sports crop top made out of the same fabric as the underpanties, but also a proper supporting sports bra. (This is the one I tested.) The sports bra is made of soft moisture wicking fabric. It has removable padding at the cups, wide adjustable straps and a hook eye closure at the back. At first I was a bit sceptical about the adjustable straps and the hooks in the back. I generally tried to avoid them in sports bras in the past because they would always lead to chafing. But not with this bra, so I was really positively surprised. On the contrary the adjustable straps are really helpful to get a good fit.
The bra comes only in black, but with a little bit of optional color on the trim. However, I still prefer simple black.
Runderwear Running Socks
The standard for running socks nowadays is that they come in a right foot and left foot version, with different ergonomic knitting stlyes to support the natural form around the toes, heels and arch of your foot. Runderwear running socks also fall into this category, however they are using a complete different approach to avoid blisters: the double layer sock!
Yes, this sounds strange, but is actually highly effective. With a double layer sock, the two layers are rubbing agains each other rather than the sock rubbing agains your foot and causing a blister. And for me this worked perfectly so far. Zero blisters and a lot of comfort.
And the socks are super soft and comfortable, as they are made out of breathable moisture wicking fabric. I could wear them all day.
Keen on trying Runderwear? Shop here and use discount code AERIALSPARTAN15 to get 15% off. They also offer free worldwide shipping for all orders over 30 GBP.
Iceland has always been on my travel bucket list. When I heard there was a Marathon in Reykjavik happening in August, I absolutely had to go for my 12 Marathons in 12 months charity project. And I have to say that Reykjavik Marathon did not disappoint. The people were incredibly friendly, the scenery was fantastic and it was organized perfectly. There is not only the Reykjavik Marathon, but also a Half Marathon, a 10km and several fun runs. So even if you are not into running the full 42.2 km distance, it is a good reason to travel to Iceland. And the best thing: later that day the famous Cultural Night is happening, with concerts and art installations taking place all over town, finishing with giant fireworks.