Writers note: This particular blog is going to be more geared for the ladies out there. Sorry men, even though I like to wear your running clothes more than women running clothes, I am not a guy to be able to give the appropriate advice. Stay tuned for my next blog later today or this week on running gear/music.
Let's start with running clothes:
Just recently, after looking through other girl runner's Facebook pictures, I have realized that I have no cute running clothes. I dress just like my dad and Andrew do, and never realized how much I look like a man when I run! I buy large men's singlets, pull my hair up in a bun, throw on my men's running shoes, and head out with the boys. So, on my "to-do list when I have enough money", I plan to purchase better looking running clothes that look a little classier for girls. But, let me stand up for myself for a minute and explain to you why I do like the men's running gear more than the girl's running gear. When I run, I want to be comfortable. I want something loose on me so 1. I don't feel suffocated, 2. I don't have to worry about anyone noticing anything jiggling on me, and 3. I want to wear something that can breathe well and let air in as needed.
So I have turned to men's singlets(see picture below):
(I put my favorite singlet I wear up for my own entertainment. "Mambu Baddu" is Zulu for: "The best is yet to come!" I need to buy more of these asap because mine is getting a little worn!)
I love wearing these particular singlets (men's and large) because the arm holes are really big, so I feel like my arms can breathe and not feel suffocated or rub under my arms as they do in women's singlets. They are also much longer than women's singlets, and I have a longer body. I like my mid-drift to be covered, so the men's singlets take care of that preference. They are looser than the women's singlets so you don't have to worry about anything "extra" that you don't want people to see moving around. Lastly, and I still run into this problem sometimes, it has a larger neck scoop (the women's are a lot closer to the neck) so it doesn't rub and give me a scab on my chest as bad, and I don't feel like I am suffocating. So I give these a 10 in my book (10 being the highest) for running.
As for shorts, I LOVE LOVE LOVE those shorts you see on every sorority girl and on a lot of runners. You know what I am talking about. NIKE running shorts. I own them in about 12 colors, and just realized that I have been buying them a size to big (12 pair later). But it goes with my "I like my clothes to be loose and comfortable" when I run. I don't want to be worrying about what others are thinking about my body, and I definitely don't want to be uncomfortable during my run. So, I am going to stick to the Nike Running Shorts that make me look like my butt is a size larger than it is. Here is a picture of the shorts I like below:
Like I said 12 colors people! I run in no other shorts than these. They are light, they are colorful, they have built-in underwear and they are loose around the legs. MY KIND OF RUNNING SHORTS! I will run in these until the day I stop running... and if that day ever approaches, I will be sad. So, maybe un-friend me if I ever stop because I wont be as fun of a person to be around.
(assuming I am a fun person to be around now...)
(Which I hope I am a fun person to be around now. Oh whatever...moving on!)
When it gets colder, I will wear some running capris (NIKE), but I never wear pants. My legs get WAY too hot too quick. You will be surprised how quickly your legs warm up once you get started. Sometimes I will wear some loose running sweats over my shorts that will quickly come off, and I will just tie in a knot around my waste.
If I could give ANY advice to new runners for the colder temperatures, it would be to LAYER! LAYER LAYER LAYER! Did I mention LAYER? LAYER PEOPLE! Start with a usual outfit you would wear during a hot summer run, then throw on a running jacket (with zipper pockets), and if you need it, some pants, and some running gloves that you can shove into your zipper pockets of your jacket when it gets too hot!
As for the socks: I have found a brand that I really like called something like FOOTSIES or TOOTSIES. AGH this will drive me crazy. I will find out and let you know if you are interested, contact me. They are light and cushion the perfect amount in the appropriate spots. I used to run in running socks that had extra cushion on the heels and front of the feet, but they get WAY too hot too quick.
Listen up, cute/fun does NOT mean it is the right shoe for you! That was a hard lesson I have had to learn early and deal with! #1 I have a very large foot, so even if it is cute/fun, they probably don't have my size. #2 We all land different on our feet when we run. You might pronate or supinate, and it is important to get the appropriate shoe for your foot shape and the way you land on your feet.
Here's a short lesson on pronate/supinate to find out which one you do:
Supination and Pronation
It is common to use supination and inversion interchangeably and pronation and eversion interchangeably. But, supination is actually a combination of inversion, plantarflexion and adduction. Pronation is a combination of eversion, dorsiflexion and abduction.
Supination is a triplanar motion involving the foot moving down and towards the center of the body.
Writer's Note: I always remember SUPINATION because it looks like you are making a bowl of SOUP (OR SUP) with your feet.
So with that said, it is very important that you get appropriate shoes for your feet. I would recommend going to a running store and having them watch you run barefoot. They can see the way you land on your feet and recommend the appropriate shoes for you. I am a pronator, and have been running in the same shoes for the past five years. They work for my feet so I see no need to change it up! I run in Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoes and love them (minus the masculine look, but I will take the right shoe for my foot over looks any day!).
So this blog is WAY longer than I expected. As you can tell, I have a passion for this kind of stuff, and love talking about it. So just a few more things and I will let you go, promise.
For actual races:
If it is cold outside I would recommend saving all of those old sweatshirts from high-school/college and wearing them the day of the race. Usually, you can throw them off on the side of the road when it gets too hot and all of the clothes get donated. (Pretty neat huh?) As for gloves, a lot of running stores now sell throw-away gloves for pretty cheap. So you can just throw them on the side of the road (or sometimes they have bins at located spots to throw them in) when you are done and they will be donated. If you don't have any gloves and didn't realize it was going to be cold the next day, something I have done in the past (and actually prefer this over gloves) is get an old pair of long tube socks and cut out holes for your fingers. The tube socks will cover your arms so you don't need a jacket and when it gets hotter you can just scrunch the tube socks down to your wrists and use the socks for a sweat wiper. Then when you are tired of them, just throw them away.
AND LAST! (I know finally right?)
For those of you ladies that want to look cute while you run (hey I am working on it okay?), here is a store that has REALLY CUTE, and pricey, running/work out clothes.
Love this store:
This should be a good spot to close. If you have ANY QUESTIONS, feel free to ask. I am not a clothing professional, but I definitely have had a lot of experience in the clothing department with running.
Up next, Running Groups/Accessories/and MUSIC!
Until next time, remember, "MAMBU BADDU".