Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Relationship With Fitness Clothing

No, I don't workout naked and I'm sure the entire neighborhood is thankful for that. But I have a problem with most fitness apparel.

Figuring out what works for you while doing stuff that involves constant motion (running, cycling...) takes time and some trial and error. There will be chafing. Oh yes, there will be chafing. And by the way, that goes for everybody. Even the elite athletes have to deal with it. The difference is they look good in that stuff. I don't.

The trick is you gotta find the stuff that works best for you. The problem is that the stuff that works for you is not always the stuff you want to wear.

Sometimes, it works

I was lucky with running shirts. When I started running, I bought a shirt that has kind of become my signature item. I don't need to make any adjustments to it, I don't need to use Body Glide. My Jets shirt never fails me and I wear it with pride. I also have three more shirts that also fit pretty well. Not as good as the Jets shirt but they give me the freedom to choose a shirt without any "I don't have a clean shirt" problems. There are others that require Body Glide in the "nipular" area, but these are my go-to shirts for sure so no big problems here.


We've been through a lot, this shirt and I
But sometimes, it just doesn't

Like most people, I began running with what I had on hand. I'm a "comfort first" kind of guy and you will see me wearing basketball shorts very often. You know the kind. Very loose fit, they go all the way down to the knee, sometimes even a bit longer. Well, they don't work for running at all and that became clear within three runs. I sure wasn't gonna buy those "short shorts" that marathoners wear. Please try very hard to not form a mental picture of me in those. You will thank me later. Not only do I look ridiculous in those, they also don't work for me and my glued-together super thighs. Wearing those, I would probably create enough friction to heat the entire northeastern US through the current barrage of snow.

Thankfully, running shorts come in various lenghts and I found a couple of shorts with 7 inch inseams that seemed to do the trick. They are light, breathable and comfy. They also don't feel like you are showing off to the entire world. But I was still chafing in them. Why?! It was the underwear. I tried people. I really tried to avoid going "commando" but it was a battle I lost. For me, the idea was insane. No underwear? You have got to be kidding me. But sure enough, it seemed to do the trick. For a while. Then, my runs got longer.
The classic look
Once I managed to run 5 miles and beyond, I began having trouble again. Now what? I didn't understand why at first. I gave up the heavy pants. I gave up the underwear. What more do you want me to do??!! Why do the fitness gods hate me so? I struggled for a bit figuring it out because I thought it was the shorts, but not really. It was me. As the runs got longer and I sweat for longer periods, the shorts got wet. As they got wet, they would stick to my thighs and viola! Chafferson City! Now, we were about to delve into something I simply refused to even think about. I had to... consider... gulp... tights.

Then it just got ugly

Now I was just plain angry. You want me to go commando and wear skin-tight shorts?! No way! Nope. Not gonna do it. Who would want me to wear something like that?! Have you seen me?! Mercifully, I found a compromise. Or so I thought.

Wear the tights underneath my running shorts. It was genius! It avoided getting the shorts wet and the chafing disappeared completely. But, now with the slippery tights underneath, the shorts were creeping up my thighs. Crap.

Maybe I can start a trend so this "creeping thigh" look becomes the "thing".

It's not uncomfortable but it is annoying. And the little dance I gotta do while running to get them to come back down... Truly a sight to behold. I'm gonna call it the Fat Runner Shimmy. I can't seem to catch a break.

Death, taxes and tights.

And here we are. This, much to my dismay, is the running out fit that works for me. Comfy and problem free, whether I want to admit it or not.

Those are compression shorts from 2XU with the shirt I wore for the Phily Half and my trusty Beasties. With this combination I can run for miles and miles trouble free.

So you're probably thinking, "OK Frank, so it is what it is. Get over it and move on." Right? Why fret over it? Well, I fret over it because this is just a preview of coming attractions people. At some point during the summer, I'm gonna have to figure out a way to get into one of these...
Source
Isn't that gonna be a pretty picture.

18 comments:

  1. Welcome to the world of having thighs. And I think between the two of us and our thigh friction, we could start charging for the generated heat. The only thing I've found to beat the inevitable thigh creepage issue, is a little ol' safety pin. I pin the bottom edge of the loose shorts to the bottom inside edge of the lycra shorts, and we're pretty much good to go. You may get a weird kind of poof if you don't line up the edges right, but it sure beats that lovely, "What are you trying to do Black Dog? Start a new, ridiculous running fashion trend?" Why yes. YES I AM. So there. Nananananana.

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    1. I think I might give that a try. There's just something about tights that feels... wrong.

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  2. That last pic is a great pic of you Frank. You can really see your progress!
    My husband should really read this. I have been trying to tell him that those "shorts" that go past his knees are not "proper" shorts...hehe

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    1. The one of me holding the Ironman finish tape? Yeah that came out great. LOL Seriously though, I don't know how your husband does it. I find them way to heavy to run properly. There is just too much material.

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  3. I legit LOL'd in my office at the very first line of this post "I don't work out naked..." Ha!
    You and I are definitely kindred spirits! I'm a comfort over style any day of the week kinda gal. I gave up the tights battle a long time ago because my thighs are also a chaff problem. Keep on rockin' those tights!!!

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    1. Yup. We "chub rub" folk have to stick together. LOL

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  4. OMG this made me LOL and then my husband wondered what I was laughing at. It is true that finding the right outfit makes all the difference, and just understand that no matter what size you are, everyone struggles with running clothes!

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    1. That's right. Even the elites have to put on the Body Glide once in a while. LOL

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  5. Lol Frank! You always make me laugh so hard! I think the last picture of you is a great one! Your legs look STRONG in those tights! You are making definite progress!

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    1. Well running has to have some benefits you know? lol

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  6. As a fellow fluffy runner, I really enjoyed the laughs here. Do what works for you. Capri length running pants are my favorite. :)

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    1. Glad you liked it and thanks for reading! Loved the term "fluffy runner". lol

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  7. I have gotten myself into those trisuits, and my best advice I can give you is to not look at the pictures afterward. I have cringed at mine several times.
    @heatherlas

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    1. Don't look at the pics? I wouldn't even allow people to photograph me! lol No evidence.

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  11. Yeah I agree finding perfect fitness clothing is sometimes problem for me also. I have to try many times to find out a comfortable pant for me. Well Now I have find out that alo yoga pants are really fitted and comfortable to me. These are beautiful too.

    ReplyDelete