Eco-Friendly Guide to Marathon Training

This Sunday, I will be running my fifth marathon–the TCS New York City Marathon! I have a love/hate relationship with running marathons, but there really is no better feeling than running across the finish line after 26.2 miles. Over the years that I have spent training and running marathons, however, I have noticed that when it comes to finding eco-friendly training gear, the choices are fairly limited! So as I set out to train for the NYC Marathon, I decided to hunt down the best eco-friendly running gear that I could find in an attempt to ‘green’ my training. The following round-up is the result of 20 weeks of endless long runs, tired, pulled muscles, and lots and LOTS of sweat! Enjoy!

1. Klean Kanteen

No matter what kind of runner you are or how far you’re running, you’re going to need some way of staying hydrated. I don’t know about you, but the type of water bottle I use is not something that I ever really paid much attention to. Well, it’s time that you did. Klean Kanteens, like the 27oz Kanteen® Classic that I used during my training, are made from high quality, 18/8, food-grade stainless steel that you can literally throw around and forget in the hot sun without thinking twice. Because stainless steel is safe on it’s own, Klean Kanteen refrains from coating the inside of the bottle with plastic or epoxy lining and it’s totally free of BPA and other toxins. The Sport Cap is made of a soft silicone that’s also free of BPA, phthalates, lead, and other toxins. I also love how it doesn’t retain flavors–so you can feel free to use it for more than just water.

2. RunPhones

If you’ve ever had trouble keeping sweaty ear buds in your ears when you’re on a run, you’re going to want to listen closely. I’m serious–I wish I would have invented these! RunPhones are basically like having surround sound…around your head…while running. It’s awesome. I tried out the RunPhones® Classic and loved how efficiently it kept the headphone cords from getting in my way and causing that annoying “thumping” sound when I ran. RunPhones are made with hypoallergenic, machine washable fabric that boasts superior sound with eco-friendly, lead-free electronics. Seriously, what more could you need? When it gets sweaty and gross, you can simply remove the internal stereo headphone system and throw it in the wash! Genius.

3. Armpocket

Even though I have a Garmin watch that I use to track my mileage, I always carry my phone with me to play music and to use in case of an emergency (besides calling someone to come pick me up when I don’t feel like running back!). Before I tried the Armpocket, I would  just carry my phone in my hand while I ran–which was not only annoying to hold, but often my phone would get covered in sweat and rain which is not great for the speakers. I tried both the Armpocket Aero™ i-10  and the Armpocket i-15™ and I loved them both equally! I did take a liking to the Aero i-10, though, but I think that’s only because I used the ‘splash’ color and it’s so fun to look at! The plastic that covers the front of the phone gives you easy touch-through control and the arm band stays nice and tight even on harder runs. I loved using it on long runs when I would take along money and keys just in case I had to stop along the way for any reason.

4. Atayne

While training, I often find that I get really REALLY tired of my running apparel, so I was thrilled to get to test out this long sleeve REC T Elite shirt from Atayne. First of all, how lovely is the design? That’s just the surface of why I love this shirt. This performance top is made from a lightweight 100% recycled micro mesh fabric that wicks moisture and dries quickly. It’s made entirely in the USA, only weighs a whopping 3.5 ounces (which is amazing if you end up having to carry it if you get too hot), and it’s treated with a bluesign approved anti-microbial for great odor control. All in all, this company knows what’s up. Not to mention, every product is made to order so you know you’re getting the best possibly quality!

5. Gaiam

So I have to admit, I saved the best for last! If you have yet to find your go-to company for eco-friendly fitness apparel and accessories, look no further. Gaiam is dedicated to providing solutions for healthy and eco-conscious living. Even the name Gaiam is something to note–it represents planetary awareness, preservation and support of the interconnectivity of all living things. What’s not to love about that? I tried out a series of Gaiam products throughout my training, and I have to say that I loved each one! As far as finding exciting clothing to mix up my usual black leggings and t-shirt, Gaiam made it easy. I tried out the Limited Edition Printed Capri in ‘ripple’ and they were absolutely gorgeous! Besides the design, however, these beauties are made from Gaiam’s own eco recycled poly performance blend that’s super comfortable! I also tested out the Petal Tank, which was easy to layer and hit all the right places.

As you can imagine, running over 50 miles a week during some weeks of training can really take a toll on your body. There were some days when I would get out of bed feeling incredibly stiff and sore. Thankfully, I had a lineup of products from Gaiam’s wellness collection to help me recover. For stretching and light yoga, I used the Root to Rise Yoga Mat, which has the prettiest little design on it and is manufactured free of the top six most harmful phthalates. My favorite recovery duo, however, is the Restore Ultimate Foot Massager and the Restore Multi-Point Massager. I ended up keeping the foot massager under my desk for relief all day at work! Put a friend or your significant other to work on your back with the multi-point massager, and you’ll be good as new for your next week of miles!

Julie Yeagley