A great training partner is someone who is reliable and helps make your running experience easier, more fun, and enjoyable. It is someone you can count on to be there by your side and help you improve.
Your clothing should serve a pretty similar function. Having an outfit that ensures you are comfortable and happy can offer a lot of performance advantages and even help motivate you to do your best. The right clothes will offer an ideal fit and ought to last a long time– good reasons to make you run more or farther. And, if you are not distracted by nuisances like your shirt itching, your socks slipping, or your shorts riding and bunching up, you can focus more on maximizing your training workout.
Maybe you have had a bad fit with a training partner who always showed up late or consistently babbled on about stuff you didn’t care about. Just the same, the wrong fit with your clothing can rub you raw.
When it comes to running, not all clothing is created equal. The heavier the material, the more moisture it holds—so a heavy shirt will carry more sweat as you exercise. If the fit is boxy or un-athletic, extra material and ill-placed seams can cause chafing. And, if the material does not breathe very well, it is sure to heat you up and cause discomfort. Also, some materials latch onto a smell and hang on no matter how much you wash it.
There are plenty of people out there who are making do with ill-suited clothing– perhaps out of apathy, no desire to shop, or price concerns. For whatever reason, unlike other sports for which people will drop a lot of dough for the latest gear, with running it seems people are just content to use whatever they have used since high school or whatever is at the bottom of their drawer. If you are used to wearing the same old stuff like cotton t-shirts or basketball shorts, there is a lot to be gained from investing into newer, running specific apparel and it is absolutely worth considering.
The biggest changes recently are fit and fabrics. New designs are very fitted and better able to move with you. Fabrics are seamless, lighter weight, and stretchier. They used to not breathe very well even if they were synthetic. But, now they have strategic ventilation that really makes it feel as if you are not wearing anything and they are better able to wick away moisture. Often, they include other features like reflectivity to help you be seen in all directions, cooling and heating properties that will help you adapt to the weather, and anti microbial characteristics to fight off smells.
You should never let your clothes be the reason that you are not going for runs. A lot of the new, technical stuff is going down in price and it couldn’t be a better time to experiment with apparel to see the difference it can make—especially if it could make you want to run more.
Of course, runners often give plenty of consideration to the features and benefits of different shoes. And, for good reason. But, you ought to also give similar thought to which apparel pieces will let you get the most out of your experience.
We encourage you to come in to any one of our retail locations, talk to our staff, and try new stuff. Identify one article of clothing you already have that has never felt great and pick something to replace it. Buy one complete outfit and see what it can do for you. At least try things on and become more informed about the latest gear out there so you can save up and treat yourself down the road. If you pay yourself a few bucks every time you run, you will earn your new clothes in short time.
It is no exaggeration to say that the right new garment could start a revolution for you—making you happier and allowing you to enjoy running even more. When clothing is good it shouldn’t get in your way, it should work with you–enhancing your run. If you find a new outfit that does that, it could be like finding a new friend to run with, one that will motivate you and help you perform your best.
By Jordan Mittelman, Director of Marketing