You have got the inspiration. You have got the determination and are raring to go. You even got the right shoes. But before you intend to sprint off like Florence Griffith-Joyner, ask yourself if you are wearing the right attire.
Sure, any plain old tee and a pair of gym shorts would do just fine right? Wrong.
The choice of your workout attire is as important as your footwear. They complement each other to provide you with the best comfort while optimising your performance. So what are the most important things to consider when choosing what to wear?
Here are five things to consider:
1. Your sports bra
Consider your cup size first and the design second. If it is not going to give you a full support, then it defeats its purpose no matter how good you look. The lesser endowed can consider ones with thinner straps while the more blessed can opt for wide shoulder straps or racer backs. Try a few sizes as they will be different from your normal everyday bra and make sure you choose the ones with seamless edges to prevent chaffing and unnecessary pain.
2. To Tee or To Tank
Whether you prefer a tank to wearing a tee is entirely up to you. What you should wear is a top that is NOT made of 100% cotton because once you start to perspire, the fabric will absorb your sweat and it will stay wet. This can lead to an uncomfortable feeling. Look for fabrics with moisture-wicking fabrics such as Coolmax and Drifit as they help you stay cool while you torch those calories!
3. Which length to wear?
If you are running short distances, any length is fine but for longer distances and marathons, chaffing is the most important factor. If you find that shorts bunch up on you while you run, choose fitted cycling-style shorts and once again, get those that have seamless edges for comfort. Bear in mind though, that wearing a size too small or big will result in you tugging or pulling at it continuously on the go. Never a good sight!
Chances are you will feel self conscious about it and cut your run short. Look out for materials that allow your perspiration to evaporate quickly. Another thing to consider is the colour of your shorts, some colours show up large sweat stains more obviously than others. Darker colours are definitely the safest option.
Please do not use socks that are thin in fabric. They cannot withstand friction and you are bound to get blisters on your feet faster than you can say ouch. Prevention is better than cure and socks with added padding will provide more cushioning for long runs. Moisture wicking socks are great for those with sweaty feet as wet feet are more prone to blisters.
5. Add ons
Consider the items you are bringing out on your run. Bunch of keys? Money? iPod? Phone?
If you cannot run with minimal items, get a pair of running shorts with roomier pockets and a zip to avoid your items falling out while you run. Or you could get an arm band to hold your iPhone and other essentials.
Once you have got the right attire, you can be sure that the only thing you will be concentrating on is your run without any wardrobe malfunctions to worry about.