Marathon training is a beast. It’s hard to balance weight training with short runs and long runs – and getting the proper amount of sleep and fuel your body needs on top of that is near impossible. The last thing you want to think about is your gear. You need something that is going to perform well again and again. This past fall, the NYC Marathon taught me just how crucial it is to have quality gear. On days where my training schedule dictated long runs, I often got about three miles in and realized something (my shorts, shirt or socks) was going to prevent me from finishing my run. I was surprised by the damage a poorly constructed inseam could do over the course of 15 miles. The one item that never let me down: Tracksmith’s Session Shorts. They’re the pair I reach for over and over again.

On average, you spend about four to six months training for a marathon. During that time, you run a minimum of three times a week, and a pair of shorts goes through anywhere from 80 miles to well over 160 miles of abuse in that span. I wore the Session Short for practically every long run I did – roughly 132.75 miles – and they’re still in great shape.

The shorts are made from a Veloce blend – which is an Italian knit fabric. They’re silky smooth to the touch, can handle sweat and then transition to the coffee shop without an inch of discomfort. The stretch is just right too — they don’t sag and the elastic stays put through countless washes. The single pocket is just the right size for my keys, chapstick and perhaps a MetroCard if I get desperate and don’t want to run home.

These shorts are the closest I’m going to get to running like an elite runner. They aren’t quite the split shorts or the spandex shorts of the pros, but something comes over me when I put them on and hit the road. Running is a decidedly mental game, so the stronger I feel about my gear, the faster my next race will be — at least that’s the hope.

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