What to Wear in a Marathon


Running a marathon is a serious task that requires a lot of planning and attention to detail. Some of the planning of course is choosing the perfect outfit to wear during the marathon. The marathon outfit isn’t about looking great- it’s all about making yourself more comfortable and able to go the distance.

The Weather

An important component of marathon clothing is how to dress for the local weather. You should dress warmly enough that you will not be uncomfortable while running. However, you also have to remember how heated your body will get after running mile after mile. Think about the different times of day that you will be running. Even if you begin during daylight, it may be dark by the time you finish. Depending on your running time, it could be several hours before you reach the finish line, and the weather could be quite different by that time.

For cold weather, consider spandex pants that go all the way to the ankle. This will insulate you from the cold wind while not providing too much bulk during your run. If you’ll be running in hot weather, choose short spandex pants that won’t leave you overheated. There are also running skirts and skorts available that can take the place of running shorts. Wearing a short running skirt can keep air circulation to your legs in hot weather without constricting your movements.

Some women prefer to wear a short running skirt over a pair of spandex pants. This can be a way to stay warm as well as to not be uncomfortable with the amount that is revealed. In warmer weather, there are also short running skirts that come with capri-length spandex pants. This keeps you cool and provides a little extra coverage.


If your marathon will take place in cold or very windy weather, wearing a hat is extremely important. Much of the body’s heat is lost through the head, and keeping the head covered will ensure that you keep enough body heat to stay comfortable. Even if you take no other cold-weather precautions, you will need a hat. A small hat that doesn’t add bulk to your head will not adversely affect your aerodynamics. It may also help to absorb some sweat and keep it from running into your eyes.

Another option is a thick headband that goes over the ears to protect them from the cold. This will also absorb sweat same way that a hat would.


You may want to bring a jacket for your warm-up period and then get rid of it before you start the actual marathon. In cold climates, people often wear a jacket and then remove it before they run. The easiest way to handle this is to wear a thick jacket to the race that you do not plan to keep. This can be a thrift store jacket or an old jacket that you no longer want. Some races actually collect these leftover jackets and give them to charity.

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