For many runners, fall is typically a time when you’re either racing a marathon, or starting to build up your training base for a spring one. However, with so much going on in the world right now, we could all use a little extra motivation and support to keep the momentum going, maintain our fitness and get all those miles in. This is a good place to start.

First thing’s first: If you haven’t already, find a race—or create your own—and put it on the calendar. Make it official and hold yourself accountable. Sure, you won’t be able to replicate the experience of being surrounded by thousands of other runners, but you can explore a new route, create new goals for yourself and feel just as proud to cross the finish line when you’re done. You’ll earn lots of virtual high-fives in the process, too.

Next, set yourself up with the gear necessary for success. (And no, the yoga pants you’ve been living in all year will not suffice.)

The Best Gear for Training This Time of Year

The perfect temperature for running marathons is around 48 to 52 degrees. Remember that on cold mornings when you don’t want to get out of bed and work out. At this somewhat surprising sweet spot, your body doesn’t waste energy staying warm in the cold or cooling off in the heat. So you’ll want to dress in light layers to maintain warmth in the morning and avoid overheating as your miles progress.

The typical rule is to dress for 15 to 20 degrees warmer than the current temperature. Dressing lightly allows your body temperature to rise as you run without causing you to overheat. You want to feel chilled at the starting line, but comfortable and warm as you wait. If you’re feeling toasty as you set off, you’re definitely overdressed, and that can greatly affect your performance.

woman running up a hill in the wilderness
Plume CreativeGetty Images

When we’re running races in person, we often like to take a garbage bag or a long sleeve shirt that we’re okay with taking off and tossing somewhere along the course (they’re usually donated to charity anyway!) once we start to warm up. You could do the same thing if you’re running solo, but with no one sweeping the streets—just don’t forget to go back and pick your extra shirt up after you finish.

Bring Your Own Support Crew

In addition to the usual suspects, like comfy running shoes and extra layers to address varying weather conditions (wind, rain, heat, cold) all season long, you’ll also need to think about items that can provide extra support that you’d normally get on course—like a reliable virtual training partner (i.e., a pacer), wireless headphones (i.e., music and motivation from the crowd, or in this case a more intimate possé) and/or a smart hydration system (i.e., aid stations). And perhaps even a mask.

Stay Comfortable

The most important advice we have when it comes to marathon training gear, regardless of when or where or how you’re racing, is to make sure you’re comfortable. Everything should feel good from head to toe. Like real good. You’re going to be out on the road (or trails) for a long time, and if something is irritating you from mile one, on, it will seem even longer. But if your gear is doing its job correctly—wicking moisture away, eliminating chafing, providing warmth without overheating, etc.—then your mind and body will be free to focus on the task at hand. Oh, and please don’t introduce anything new on race day.

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How We Chose

Our goal is to help you feel prepared (and motivated), no matter what the weather brings. So we searched for gear that would do just that, including shirts and shorts made with super technical, yet super soft (you won’t want to take off) materials; lightweight, packable rain jackets for windy or drizzly days; items with strategically placed pockets for stashing your essentials; and accessories that keep you safe and comfortable from start to finish. If we can introduce even one new item to your running routine that makes this training season more successful—and less stressful—we’ll consider it a win.


Lululemon Men’s Fast and Free Short Sleeve Shirt

Fast and Free Short Sleeve

Lightweight, buttery soft, sweat-wicking, and extremely resistant to stink, the Fast and Free Shirt is designed for runners who are routinely going the distance. It has a streamlined fit, so there’s no extra fabric weighing you down or adding resistance out on the road.


Under Armour Women’s UA Meridian Bike Shorts

UA Meridian Bike Shorts
Under Armour
$45.00 (25% off)

Even when it’s too warm outside for tights, these bike shorts make it possible for you to still run without the rub. With a long, 8-inch inseam and form-fitting style, they protect your thighs from chafing. They are also light, breathable, fast-drying, and have two handy drop-in side pockets.


Nathan QuickSqueeze Lite 12oz Insulated Handheld

QuickSqueeze Lite 12oz Insulated Handheld

Stay hydrated on all your long runs with this helpful handheld. The lightweight, 12-ounce bottle has a double-wall construction that keeps fluids cooler longer than other insulated bottles. Its sweat-wicking, ergonomically designed, adjustable hand strap allows you to comfortably hold onto your drink without gripping and gives you an extra place to stash your keys or cards, too.


Oiselle Flow Long Sleeve

Flow Long Sleeve

Making the transition from pajamas to run-ready on chilly fall mornings is much easier when you have a super-cozy shirt, like the Flow Long Sleeve, standing by. It is incredibly soft next to your skin, wicks away moisture quickly, and seamlessly moves with you, no matter how far or fast you’re going. And in addition to our forever-favorite feature, thumbholes, it also has watch “windows” on both arms, so you can always see your stats without ever having to roll up your sleeves.


Swiftwick Maxus Zero Tab Socks

Maxus Zero Tab Socks

Cushioning comes in many forms, but we love it when we find a pair of socks, like these, that are padded just enough to put a little spring in our step. The Maxus is made with a breathable polyester/nylon/spandex blend that wicks moisture away quickly and has a compressive fit that gently hugs your foot in all the right places. It also has a seamless toe box and a micro tab at the heel to protect you from both chafing and blisters.


Nike Windrunner Men’s Running Jacket

Windrunner Running Jacket

There’s no need to let a little rain get in your way of a good workout. The Windrunner is the perfect jacket for drizzly days when you need an extra layer of protection. It’s breathable with a vent at the back so you won’t overheat while you run, water-repellent so you won’t get wet, and lightweight so you won’t get weighed down en route. It’s also made with at least 50-percent recycled polyester fibers and packs into itself, making it easy to carry if/when the sun comes out.


Janji Multipass Sling Bag

Multipass Sling Bag

We’re happy to hop on the fanny pack bandwagon if it means we get to bring all our essentials—phone, ID, snacks, cash, extra layers, etc.—along for the ride. This smart, technical running bag is water-resistant; breathable; has two roomy, zippered pockets; and can be worn comfortably across your back, chest, or waist while you stride.


Tracksmith Twilight Tank

Twilight Tank

If you want to train like a pro, you need a good tank top, especially when fall race day temps tend to fluctuate between really hot and really cold. The Twilight Tank is a solid go-to. It’s made with a knit fabric that feels both light and luxe at the same time, and it dries quickly.

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Allbirds Natural Run Short

Natural Run Short

Made with a mix of sustainable materials, like ethically sourced merino wool and recycled nylon, these cool new shorts are the perfect pair for everyday running wear. They have a relaxed (but not too loose!) fit, wick moisture away quickly and are antimicrobial, so you can maintain your mileage without holding on to the stink that often comes with it. Front and back pockets are good for stashing your keys and other small items, too.

Buy Men’s Buy Women’s


Brooks Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra

Lakota Gambill
Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra

Get the support and the storage you need all in one surprising place—your bra. The Drive 3 has been runner-tested to smoothly fit women in a wide range of sizes (from A to E) and provide the stability and comfort you need for all your high-impact activities. It has three pockets for stashing your stuff (with one specifically for your phone), removable cups, and seams that are always soft against your skin.


Smith Leadout PivLock Sunglasses

Leadout PivLock
$159.20 (20% off)

Keep your eyes on the prize no matter how sunny it is outside. The Leadout Pivlock sunglasses are lightweight with an impact-resistant frame and interchangeable ChromaPop performance lenses that optimize your vision in varying light conditions. They’re also designed to improve air circulation and reduce fogging, and come with two interchangeable nose pads to ensure every runner a no-slip fit.


Gore Drive Vest

Drive Vest

Nothing says fall running quite like a good running vest. The water-resistant Drive keeps your core warm and dry when you need it most, but it’s so light that you almost forget it’s there. It has reflective touches to help increase your visibility on the road, is totally windproof, and has a roomy back pocket for storing snacks and other stuff.

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Adidas by Stella McCartney TruePace Long Tights

Adidas by Stella McCartney TruePace Long Tights
$75.00 (50% off)

When the temperatures start to drop, you can continue to stride in style with these TruePace Long Tights. They’re made with a breathable, recycled polyester fabric that offers a comfy yet compressive fit and wicks moisture away quickly. A wide, hip-hugging waistline and back zip pocket offer extra support for you and your stuff while you’re on the go.