What’s In Peloton Instructor Ben Alldis’s Kitbag For The London Marathon?

Flat lay of what Ben Alldis will wear and use for the London Marathon 2024
(Image credit: Ben Alldis)

To run a marathon successfully you need a plan, a few good months of training behind you, and a whole lot of kit for the day itself. You need good shoes, comfortable clothes, and nutrition and hydration products, all of which you’ve hopefully tested out during your marathon training.

Peloton instructor Ben Alldis is running the London Marathon for the second time this year, and when we spoke to him about his kit for the race it was clear a lot of careful thought and testing had gone into picking it out. That means there’s a lot to be learned from his selections if you’re not sure about your own marathon kit just yet.

Are you excited for the London Marathon?

“I’m so excited because I’ve done it before and I know what I’m letting myself in for,” says Alldis. “I was overwhelmed with the support last time, the fact that at London there are people cheering at every single spot. When you’re in it, it’s so amazing.

“Things have also come on a long way since I ran it in 2018. All the hydration and nutrition, the trainers and the kit has all evolved so much. It’s been fun trying different things out and testing things along the way.”

What running shoes are you using for the marathon?

“I was going to go for a racing shoe, but I’m actually going to stick with the Hoka Arahi 7,” says Alldis. “I’ve been training in them and they feel great. I’ve got slightly wide feet and a lot of the race shoes are quite thin. I have tried the race shoes and they do feel good, but I just don’t want to get injured because of the job I do. I’ve got to teach a class on Wednesday!” 

What nutrition products are you using for the marathon?

“I’ve tried quite a few things,” says Alldis. “I don’t eat a lot of sugar, so when I started with some of the gels, they were so hard on my stomach. They do work, but I get a bit of a stomach ache.

“The ones that I’ve actually loved using are from Veloforte. I’m using a mixture of the gels, the energy chews and also the energy bars, just because too much of one thing is a bit much for my stomach. Mixing up also keeps it interesting across however long it’s going to take.”

I rate Veloforte’s products too and they feature on my selection of the best running gels. Just remember, you should never try a new gel for a marathon—stick with what you’ve been using during training. 

“I also like to suck on the SaltStick electrolyte fast chews,” says Alldis. “I take a lot of electrolytes for my general life and my job, but obviously you can’t really get the tablets out and put them into bottles [during the race]. These are little tablets that you can just suck on. You have maybe two every half hour or something and it just keeps salt levels up. This has helped me massively, because the last marathon I did, I started to cramp up. I think that was because I tried to just survive on one jelly baby a mile! When I look back, that’s probably why I was cramping up because the salt levels in my body were probably low.”

If this is the first you’ve heard about electrolytes, find out what you need to know with our guide to electrolyte drinks.

How are you carrying all this?

“I’ve been using a Peloton running belt in training,” says Alldis, “but I’m actually going to use a CamelBak one because you can put water in it. Obviously, there are water stations along the way, but it’s helpful just to have a little bit on you.”

What other running gear will you be wearing?

“I’m going to be wearing the Lululemon X Peloton collaboration gear—it’s super soft and super light,” says Alldis. “It doesn’t get too much sweat in it. I also like to wear under shorts just to keep the compression on the quads and the hammies. Lululemon also do amazing socks with compression.”

Are those knee-high or ankle-high compression socks?

“I’ve tried both,” says Alldis. “I think it depends how hot it is on the day, because it can get a bit claustrophobic sometimes when you’ve got too much compression. If it’s a bit warmer, I’ll just go for ankle-high, but if it’s a bit cooler, I might wear knee-high, or I might wear compression sleeves.

“I used to be a sprinter and so my typical running style when I get lazy is on my toes, so my calves get a battering. To have a bit of pressure on them helps a little bit.”

I’ve looked ahead to the London Marathon weather forecast and Alldis might be better off going for ankle-high socks.

What running watch and headphones do you use?

“I’m going to be wearing an Apple Watch,” says Alldis. “I’ve been training with it, and I use the Apple Watch Ultra 2. I’ve always liked the Apple Watch. I wouldn’t say it’s the best of the best watches out there, but it’s the watch that I wear and it’s really helpful for me. It just helps you pace yourself, which is good.” It’s a good choice in my book, I’ve reviewed the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and rate it as the best smartwatch for running.

“I’ve been training with Apple Airpods,” says Alldis, “but I’ve just been recommended this brand of headphones called Shokz which sit on the back of your head and it means you can still hear the crowd.” Shokz makes bone conduction headphones that transmit sound through your cheekbones to your inner ear, keeping your ear free to hear other sounds.

“It’s about getting a balance between trying to take in the crowd versus having a bit of motivation,” says Alldis. “I like to listen to a mixture of podcasts and music. Four hours of dance music can get a bit repetitive! So a good podcast and some music for the end.”

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.