They do not however work for you.
If I see another runner plodding around town in sweatpants I might just scream and/or chase down said runner and explain what I am going to, to you.
1. Sweatpants are cotton. Cotton loves water, it loves sweat. Cotton + Water = heavy, bulky and chafe-y.
2. Wet sweatpants + cold = hypothermia. To paraphrase the Outdoor survival man on OLN, you sweat, you die. You laugh. Last night I ran past a man my age in head to toe sweats, no toque and dripping sweat. It was minus 5 plus the windchill. DO NOT DO
3.Beyond cotton's love for absorption and its poor temperature maintenance abilities - new technical fabrics help your fluidity, stride and overall they will make you FEEL like a runner. I know you think that isn't important, but it actually is.
4.Technical fabrics can also offer skin protection, moisture wicking and silver thread to cut down on any body odor.
So you're still saying but I got those sweats on sale for 5 a piece and I don't want to pay __ on new running gear, you're already making me get new shoes...
Here is the deal - like any sport there is start up, but thankfully unlike some sports you don't have to buy everything at once.
In order things you should purchase:
1. Shoes and socks - those tube socks are not okay - those blisters you might be having are because of those socks. I prefer my socks as thin as possible and foot specific, but that is my taste. Find what works for you - if you flirt a little you might be able to get a free pair thrown in with your shoes...
2. Tights. This goes for both men and women. Buy a pair you feel comfortable in - they do not need to be compression tights - we'll deal with those later. Just a good solid pair, Nike makes good ones with nice zippered pockets - that is a big deal. Want them? Nike has outlets - consider them a gold mine if you are willing to try on a bazillon pairs to find the pair that fits you. Done it, it is worth it - even better in Portland where there is no tax.
Why? Tights are important here for the weather Oct-May, as you will find they are mandatory, shorts may cut it on really short runs but you will need the tights for anything longer than a quick dash.
3. Shorts/Running skirt. Which ever you prefer in this category. I did a personal "Gear Review" on running skirts. While the weather may not always be short weather you will use your pair all year round.
Why? This piece of clothing will be worn year round. They can and should go over those tights in the winter so you keep that part of you warm and you share less with the world. So pick well - remember pockets are a good thing
4. Technical shirt - Ideally short and long, though I will confess this is the area of your wardrobe that is going to need the least amount of direct financial support - buy one of each and leave it at that - you'll have "race swag" to fill in any gaps.
5. Tank tops (W)/Sports bra - Yes it could and should have been higher on the list but it is something that I have found I needed but I had. Your Lulu tops can work, there are much more options and there is a lot of figuring what works best for you. I would recommend regardless of cup size to do a shelf tank with a sport bra. You do not want they moving, because moving = pain and chafe
6. Reflective vest - most running gear has some reflection but given the vast majority of your base layers are black, you're still nearly invisible - so invest in a vest tailored for a runner. They're like $20 and they are small and light - not at all like a crossing guard vest.
7. The rest - Coat, Fleece layer, Toque, Hat, Waterbelt etc.
Coat: For me I have found the ONLY solution to the wetcoast weather is a CRAFT rain jacket. I have tried just about everything and it is the only thing that has kept me bone dry in our weather - and it breathes, novel.
Fleece Layer: Every company comes out with a fleece lined top in the fall - they are good and not so good. I like them as my final layer though they are often not great at blocking the wind. So if it's a windy fall/winter day consider avoiding it or layering with something over top.
Toque - make sure it's a runner's toque. I know that sounds silly but it needs to be large enough to cover your ears and thin enough to keep your head warm but not super sweaty. I have a New Balance one which I love.
Hat - mine was a cheap Nike runner's hat. If you like hats more than toques, consider getting one with the anti-sweat drip band and some more bells and whistles like lights.
Waterbelts are great but if just starting out not hugely important.