Gear Guy


What Gear Do I Need to Train for My First Half Marathon?

If you’ve committed to your first half, you’ll need the right gear. We’ve got you covered.

What Gear Do I Need to Train for My First Half Marathon?

You've decided you want to run a half marathon; now it's time to load up on this gear. Photo: Halfpoint/iStock


The half isn’t a sufferfest like a full marathon, but it’s long enough that you need to train to do it well. Here are six pieces of gear that will get you ready to toe the starting line with confidence.

Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix with Matcha Green Tea + Lemons

  Photo: Skratch Labs

Most half marathons have plenty of hydration stations; you don’t necessarily have to carry your own water. A handheld will weigh you down on race day, so I suggest training without one. Instead, I like to pound a liter of water mixed with Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix 30 minutes before a workout. The electrolytes help fend off dehydration, and the natural caffeine from the matcha green tea gives me a nice kick with no hard letdown.

Farm to Feet Roanoke Low Run Ultralight

  Photo: Farm to Feet

A good pair of moisture-wicking socks is essential to fighting blisters as you up your mileage. It’s also remarkable how quickly you can burn through cheap cotton socks when you start logging double-digit training runs. We’ve been running in the 100 percent merino Roanoke Low since April and love their durability. Plus, the vented instep noticeably cooled our feet on blazing-hot midday runs.

The North Face Better Than Naked Long Haul Running Shorts

  Photo: The North Face

Greater mileage necessitates greater support for your undercarriage. These Long Haul shorts were built with input from TNF’s pro ultrarunners. We were thankful for the super-supportive liner even on runs less ambitious than a 50K. The liner goes far enough down your leg that it will prevent thigh chafing—something that plagues many runners as they bump up their milage.

Body Glide Anti-Chafe Balm

  Photo: Bodyglide

Trust me: One $15 anti-chafe balm goes a long way. A single stick can last months event for a hardcore ultrarunner, and it’s a good precaution on shorter runs. Throw some Body Glide on your nipples before each run lasting 30 minutes or more.

Patagonia Men’s Capilene 1 Silkweight Graphic Tee

  Photo: Patagonia

A cotton shirt won’t cut it as you ramp up your training. Ease into high-performance synthetic running shirts with something that has a cool logo, like this Patagonia Capilene 1 Silkweight Graphic Tee. The shirt looks cool but still has the lightning-fast moisture-wicking capabilities of its techier cousins, and it will help reduce chafing and sweat buildup.

GoMacro Sweet Revival Bar

  Photo: GoMacro

You’ll run better if you start with some calories in your stomach. Load up on good energy from 100-calorie bars like GoMacro’s Sweet Revival. Its simple ingredients—sesame seeds, sesame butter, and dates—didn’t upset my stomach during runs.

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