Before I start with this post, I am a firm believer that you can run a half marathon, or any race for that matter, without the fancy gadgets and gizmos. It's fun to look like you stepped right out of a Nike advertisement, but don't let the higher cost keep you from running. For the 10 mile run I did, which was my longest run during training, I wore a t-shirt and an old pair of $5 Soffe shorts. I ran just as fast as I did in my Nike garb, so please don't think for a second that you have to buy the nice stuff.
That said, I definitely had some favorite gear during my training time. I was never the one in college wearing Nike shorts (Norts, as they were so lovingly referred to) every day to class. The cheapo in me couldn't justify spending $25 on work-out shorts when my old $5 pair worked just fine. That said, I have since seen the light and can see what all the fuss is about. They are just plain comfortable, and they are made for running. My all-time favorite workout outfits are actually the first nice work-out garb I ever received. I wish I had 20 different colors and could just wear this outfit every day, seriously.
See, it's light and breezy and allows for sporatic jumping movement. If the weather is warm, that is my go-to attire. If the weather is cooler (and keep in mind I live in Texas, so "cooler" is relative), I wear capris and a half zip jacket. I love the capris from Old Navy (and I love their price) and Under Armor, and my favorite half-zip is Nike. Below is my attire in December after a 6 mile run.
|Twin sister on the left, me on the right|
The day of the race, I actually wore a pair of shorts I got on clearance at Old Navy and a shirt from Target I was given as a gift from my little sisters. I think my outfit collectively cost $20, and it was absolutely perfect the entire 13.1 miles.
Last but not least, the shoes. This is NOT an area to take the cheap way out when you are training for a half marathon. I recommend a thousand times that you go to a running store and get fitted for shoes. Everyone is different and thus it's not a one shoe fits all scenario. I didn't live near a running store, so I went to Academy and bought a pair of shoes that felt good. They weren't even that much cheaper than what I would have bought at a specialty running store because I bought one of the most expensive pairs. It was my biggest mistake in training. When I got to the longer runs, I got some Texas-sized blisters. I took my shoes off after a run one day, and my toes were bleeding. Long story short(ish), get fitted for proper shoes.
The name brand stuff is awesome and really fun to own, but like I said at the beginning, it isn't a requirement. Old Navy and Target both have awesome selections at very reasonable prices. I find myself perusing the active wear every time I shop now!