Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Running Gear & Apparel and other Running topics.
Shorts or shirts with zip or mesh pockets are perfect for carrying gels on a long run or during a marathon. Some runners like belts or backpacks with slots for water bottles, energy bars and gels, and other odds and ends like tissues or Advil. But I recommend pockets because a belt is one more thing that will be rubbing against you for 26 miles, and there's the possibility of chafing and blistering, even if you wear it regularly, because the belt doesn't conform to the shape of your body over time. Plus, marathons will have water stops, so unless you are carrying your favorite energy drink, there's no need to tote your own water.
But beware of key pockets. I won't trust my keys to a pocket unless there is a zipper or Velcro. If you have to carry keys on a long run or marathon, take only the key or keys you need and use a safety pin to pin them inside the waistband of your shorts, or pin it inside the mesh pocket.