Run fashion: shorts vs. pants

Today’s Tortoise and the Hare topic: What to wear? Shorts vs. pants.

tortoise_and_hare_logoYou would not believe how many times people ask me why I’m wearing pants to run in the middle of summer. I know it looks weird. I know you assume I’m hot.

In contrast, if Quinn wears shorts in the middle of winter, I hear people ask her all the time “Aren’t you cold?”

So, what gives?

Well, I’ll let Quinn speak for herself, but for me, it’s all about those inner thighs. Call it what you will — chub rub, friction, chafing — but whatever you call it, just know that it sucks. Contrary to popular belief, it’s NOT about being fat. Even when I’m at my skinniest, I will never have a thigh gap, and long runs like to remind me of this if I’m not wearing pants.

Even during short runs, I don’t really like shorts. I feel like they ride up and are uncomfortable — again, I blame those inner thighs. Body Glide only goes so far. So, my running attire bottoms consist of two lengths: capri and pants.

My go-to brand is Lululemon. Their pants hold up — the pairs of running capris and pants I am currently rocking have been my running favorites for about 2 years now, with very little signs of wear. There’s the scrape on the knee of the capris that I got when tripping over a sidewalk while on a run with Kim in 2014, but that’s hardly Lulu’s fault! The Think pants I’m wearing in the photo are my newest edition to my running wardrobe. They have two small pockets (you see one of the pockets in the photo), which makes them a good bet for medium runs. When I put them on for the first time, I was amazed at how smooth and soft they felt. Breathable, too – more than my running Lulu’s! These passed the hot yoga test.

And to answer your question: no, I’m actually not hot. I know it sounds crazy, but my legs just never feel overheated. Could be because I’m used to it after years of running in Carolina humidity in pants. But it’s all good – no need to worry about me!

— Bras —

Lululemon sports bra holds everything. It also looks pretty with my muscle shirt from Think Allways!
Lululemon sports bra holds everything. It also looks pretty with my muscle shirt from Think Allways!

While we’re talking about clothes, I’d be remiss not to talk about what goes up top.

Sports bras: I have one very favorite sports bra. I bought it from Lululemon about 3 years ago. It has pockets. You have no idea how much stuff I can fit in there. Call it an IBTC win, I dunno.

The problem is that Lulu no longer makes these sports bras. I have no idea why – because they are amazing. [OMG update: They are making them again! Order them in bulk while they are here!]

One caution: I used to run with my phone in one of the pockets all the time. I’ve seen read a couple of articles about how a phone shouldn’t be that close to your breasts – there have been some hypothesis that it can help contribute to breast cancer. So, I try to make sure I’m running in pants with a pocket big enough to hold my phone, so I can use these pockets for something else.

— Shirts —

As far as shirts for running, I prefer tank tops. I feel like my arms and shoulders have better range of motion in tanks, and unless it’s cold out, it just feels so good to have that fresh air on my arms. However, my dermatologist yells at me all the time that I have too many freckles. She once told me to run in long sleeves year-round. As if! But, I do agree with her in principle. This muscle shirt I’m wearing from Think Allways is a happy compromise, in my mind – it does provide some coverage to the shoulders, but still allows me to pump those arms.

And I lather up sunscreen like crazy: my routine of late is to put SPF lotion on everywhere I can reach (I can pretty much reach everything except those darn shoulder blades), and then I go outside with my can of SPF and just spray the crap out of myself. That way, if I missed a spot, hopefully it’s covered. And I can get the shoulder blades with that. The more I read about sunscreen not working well, though, the more I think I should really use my running hat more often than I do. It protects the head and face really well. My new dermatologist (my insurance had me change doctors recently) told me that he sees more cases of melanoma in runners than any other group. It makes sense – we spend a lot of time outside. Given my family history and fair skin, I better be as careful as I can!

Make sure to check out Quinn’s blog about her running clothing of choice. This is where we will differ – she’s a sun goddess, so she doesn’t have the same concerns I do!

Also, want to run Charlotte Marathon with us? Quinn is running the half, and I’ll probably torture myself with the full again (marathon #4!). If you want to run it, sign up here and use the code quinnrey.

Special thanks to Mariel for the photography and styling for this post. My shirt says “grateful every damn day”. The pants I gushed about above. Both items are from Think Allways, a local brand. Bonus!