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Chicago Marathon Training Essentials

Jul 31, 2015 | Uncategorized | 8 comments

about to go for a run- marathon training run

Garmin Forerunner 220

I trained for and ran 4 marathons with my Garmin Forerunner 305 and I LOVED it. Sadly, it didn’t love running anymore and would take ages to find satellites, became slightly erratic and had a terrible battery life. I actually threw it in the bin in Berlin after the Berlin Marathon.

When Watch Shop got in touch asking if I’d like to choose a watch from their vast collection, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to replace my Grandpa Garmin with a snazzy new purple one- the Garmin Forerunner 220. It seems to have signal all the time which is an absolute revelation (I can actually start running as soon as I leave the house).

Garmin Forerunner 220

This lightweight beauty is easy to use (even for this technophobe) with proper buttons (touch screen watches and I do not get on!), with options to see pace, time, distance (both miles & kilometres) lap time (you set the lap distance- great for speedwork) it does everything I need it to. Plus you can hook up a heart rate monitor or foot pod if you’re using stride or heart rate training. There’s also the option to set workouts using your Garmin Connect or a manual training plan with prompts for pre-determined targets such as pace, heart rate or distance! Pretty cool.

There’s a 10 hour GPS battery according to the manufacturers, however the watch goes into sleep mode if you stop for a certain amount of time to save battery- perfect for people who get back from a run, throw their watch off and forget about it until their next run!
For the most in-depth review of the Garmin Forerunner 220 you will EVER read- check out DC rainmaker’s blog. Seriously, any watch you’re thinking about, he has a review.

They’re currently on sale for £143 on – highly recommended.

Adidas Ultra Boost
Adidas Ultra Boosts
Another tried and tested old favourite, my Adidas Boost have got an upgrade in the form of purple Ultra Boost (I can see a colour theme emerging for the Chicago Marathon!). To avoid over wearing the colourful pair I’ll be wearing on race day, I’ve also got a pair in black to wear for a number of training runs, especially muddy ones.

I love the springiness and comfort of Adidas Ultra boost but know they aren’t supportive enough for everyone to run long distances in. The knitted upper provides a sock like fit, moving as your foot moves, with the support sitting outside of the shoe on the mid-foot and back.
The waffle tread, and signature ‘boost’ bounce creates a comfortable, stable shoe that I can wear for miles and miles.

Adidas Ultra Boost running
If you do need a more supportive shoe for long runs, I really recommend an Ultra Boost for your shorter distance training runs.

Halo Headbands

Halo Headbands
I hate my hair sometimes- and keeping it out of my way while I run is a constant battle. Pony, plait, bun, down… I was recently sent some new hairbands to try out, and much to my surprise, really liked them. They come in a variety of widths, and have a non-slip band underneath them to prevent them falling backwards. I have a weird issue with ears and always wear hairbands over my ears to prevent them sticking out, which can be quite painful- these were comfortable laying on top of my ears even for a 13 mile run. They run quite big for my small head which was actually a bonus as I didn’t get a post-run headache of any sort.

mesh leggings fabletics
Mesh leggings
I’m obsessed with mesh right now. I bought some amazing crop leggings from Fabletics that have mesh cut out bits over the upper thighs.

I also got some pretty awesome long leggings from Lululemon where the whole back panel from thigh down is mesh. Perfect for this weather providing breathability but coverage- I actually wore these during my very wet 13 miler on Sunday. (I can’t find these online yet, but similar here!)

Strategic Water Breaks
For some reason I am not loving running with my hydration pack at the moment, I feel so slow and clunky with it on. During my runs I am taking a water bottle with me for my warm up mile, hiding it somewhere sneaky, then lapping back past it after a few miles. On Sunday’s run I made a pit stop at Sainsbury’s for water and Haribo around mile 8! I haven’t yet decided what I’ll do for Chicago but with water stops every mile, I may just rely on the aid stations or give Tom a bottle filled with water incase I change my mind!

What are your running essentials? Do you have a favourite watch type or trainer that you rely on? 


  1. Nicole

    Love this post. I looked into your new garmin and also the new tomtom. I just don’t know which to get.

    Love the leggings.

    • charlotte

      Personally I find Garmin easier to use than TomTom but I am a complete technophobe!

  2. tldasha

    That Garmin sounds ace! And I’m not convinced on mesh leggings ’cause I feel they’d be horrific to sweat in!?? Or is it OK?

    • charlotte

      I find they’re more breathable, so great for getting air to sweaty legs!

  3. fionajarrett

    New Garmin looks great and a gps watch that works perfectly makes such a difference to leaving you hassle-free on your run. Nice! If I have time, the day before my long run, I leave little water bottles on the route so that I don’t have to carry extra weight along the way. Such a nice treat when you pick em up the next day!

    • charlotte

      great idea, although I’d be concerned that they might not be there the next day!

      • fionajarrett

        Yep, you definitely have to be crafty with where you hide your stash. Behind trees or in bushes works well!

  4. katieferg89

    I’ve just replaced by 6 year old 305 with a 920XT….and the difference in battery life is UNBELIEVABLE! I love the sleep mode function because I lost track of the amount of times that it didn’t have battery mainly because I did the ‘throw it in a corner’ thing. Oh and the finding GPS is incredible. Still have the 305 though because I feel a certain bond with it…


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