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Old 08-12-2019, 10:08 AM
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Runners and exercise clothing


Perhaps this isn't BBQ Pit stuff stuff, this is probably the most bland, pitiful rant ever.

I am a regular runner. I get out there on the streets, paths and trails, exercising, trying to stay healthy and fit. I live in a community with three Olympic athletes, I have no delusions about my level of training or abilities, I am way out-classed. I've talked with one of them; he was humble and showed no disdain towards my feeble fitness, he was encouraging and friendly. He looks great in any exercise clothes. I look lumpy in exercise clothes.

Here's what is getting to me: Running generates lots of heat. After training for a marathon many years ago I finally understand that running clothes are designed to get that heat off my body and let me perform to the best of my ability. I also understand that this applies to female athletes as well, they are not displaying their bodies for all to see, they are trying to dispel heat and stay comfortable.

Why, oh why, do I see so many female runners out in the summer heat wearing full tights? That's just trapping heat. Put on half length tights or shorts, you will be much more comfortable. I know that there are all sorts of galoots out there that wolf-whistle for pretty female runners, sorry ladies I'd knock each of them upside the head if I could. Those same butt-heads yell stuff about "fatty" to me as well.

Get out there, do your best. Dress for the conditions.

Done. Now blister away on my poor writing and pathetic life.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:26 AM
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I do all my running in an air-conditioned vehicle.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:39 AM
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A lot of the tights I see at the gym have large mesh panels which would dissipate heat better than solid tights. Tights also keep direct sun off the skin.

I wear hi-viz moisture wicking t-shirts on the handcycle. Over the years, I tried a number of variations of material and construction find ng a wide variation in how hot they feel in direct sun. It's likely at least some of the tights don't retain as much heat as they might appear to.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Labor View Post
Why, oh why, do I see so many female runners out in the summer heat wearing full tights?
Because they like the way it looks or feels more than shorts and a tank top? And, maybe they're not going to be running in the sun for hours or even long enough to be working up a sweat. Maybe they're self-conscious and trying to stay more covered up.

Also, to some extent there's a lot of "Athleisure" going on. That is, people dressing in yoga pants, under armour shirts, sports headbands etc, but just for the looks, they're not going to be working out. However, since they have those clothes on hand, maybe they'll wear them when they are working out.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:06 AM
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I'm kind of with you OP. Living in Minnesota, i run in shorts until the temp is below about 35F. When i see people wearing below-the-knee tights in temps in 70s it blows my mind. But hey, everyone is different and should wear whatever makes them comfortable.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:17 AM
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The body is pretty well adapted to cool itself off. I don't imagine that the tights are really trapping enough heat to cause problems. The body may end up sweating more or something.

I suppose one reason for wearing tights is similar to why you wear a shirt. You'd likely feel more self-conscious without a shirt even though you might be cooler.

Also, some people enjoy the feeling of having a hot and sweaty workout. When I take exercise classes, some of the people prefer the room to be warmer and have the fans off. It might be the same reason people like to sit in a sauna. The extra exertion the body does to cool itself off can feel good.

It could also be that people generate different amounts of heat. I get very sweaty when I workout. In exercise classes, I see all different amounts of sweat on people even though we're all doing the same workout. If someone doesn't generate a lot of heat, the tights may not really be making all that much difference anyway.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:23 AM
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Never underestimate the influence of fashion. That said, the times when I have worn skin tight leggings, my legs felt much cooler. I don't know how much material type plays into that. My knees frequently brush against each other when I run, so I can imagine there could be a use to prevent chafing.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Labor View Post
Why, oh why, do I see so many female runners out in the summer heat wearing full tights? That's just trapping heat. Put on half length tights or shorts, you will be much more comfortable.
Not with MY thighs, I won't. Shorts, forget about it; half-length tights do tend to run up, at which point I need to adjust them and fuck that shit. I like being in the Pit because I can say "fuck that shit" about sports clothing that tries to go where it shouldn't, I'm juvenile that way.
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Last edited by Nava; 08-12-2019 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:28 AM
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They could be compression pants, some of which have a cooling effect once you sweat in them.

Or people can be dim or put fashion above function. I've seen men wearing all black while running or cycling in mid-day summer. That's doing it the hard way.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 08-12-2019 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:28 PM
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- Some people prefer the “slip” of tights
- Some people don’t like to bare their legs
- Some people didn’t feel like shaving that day
- Some people like the compression of tights
- Some people like to elevate their temp when they exercise (see: hot yoga, boxing in sweats etc)
- Some people hate the way shorts ride up

And many more!
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:52 PM
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- Some people like to elevate their temp when they exercise (see: hot yoga, boxing in sweats etc)
What do they get out of that one? I can't say I've ever wished I was warmer when exercising except when running in cold weather.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:01 PM
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What do they get out of that one? I can't say I've ever wished I was warmer when exercising except when running in cold weather.
Have you ever sat in a sauna? It's kind of like how that can feel good. Someone who is exercising for performance reasons will likely want to be cool for efficiency, but someone who is exercising to "feel good" might approach it differently.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:27 PM
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Have you ever sat in a sauna? It's kind of like how that can feel good. Someone who is exercising for performance reasons will likely want to be cool for efficiency, but someone who is exercising to "feel good" might approach it differently.
Alright, thanks.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:36 PM
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I've seen women in yoga pants that went nearly transparent in direct sunlight. As a disapproving father I pointed out to Wife a woman in them and a thong. She said, "She had to pay more for those, but it's the style." And sports bras are UNDERWEAR, for fuck's sake!

Putting on my Dad Pants, which are full-length jersey sweatpants because my legs are appalling, I disapprove.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by garygnu View Post
Never underestimate the influence of fashion. That said, the times when I have worn skin tight leggings, my legs felt much cooler. I don't know how much material type plays into that. My knees frequently brush against each other when I run, so I can imagine there could be a use to prevent chafing.
Also never underestimate the influence of “Damn, every pair of running shorts I own is dirty and sweaty! Guess I’ll have to drag out the tights.” As I type this, I’m wearing a pair of slightly too-large shorts under my jeans, because I’m going to get in some miles after work and they were the only pair available.

That said, I live in the a Deep Southern city with the second-largest track club in the country, so I see plenty of women running in the August heat. Shorts and a singlet are far and away the most common outfit I see for women and men both.

Last edited by Slow Moving Vehicle; 08-12-2019 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:27 PM
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To augment the OP, where I run (city park) I frequently see people who not only are fully covered in something that looks non-wicking, but it's head-to-toe black. In metro-Phoenix. In the hot months. During daylight hours.


Boggles my mind, it does.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:28 PM
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- Sunlight. People are more conscious of the harmful effects of sunlight (UV). Sunscreen is an option, but it's easier to put on a pair of tights than to apply sunscreen to all the skin on your legs. More pleasant too.

- Wicking away sweat actually helps keep you cool. If your skin is drenched in sweat, the sweat doesn't evaporate efficiently because the surface of the liquid cools down. A thin layer of clothing wicks away the liquid sweat, keeping your skin dry and able to evaporate sweat directly.

For what it's worth, my wife and I are avid cyclists, and we always wear long sleeve & long tights when riding in the sun. We are by no means fashion-conscious. It's mainly for UV protection.

Last edited by scr4; 08-12-2019 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:31 PM
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I can almost guarantee that for a large majority of women who prefer to run in capris or full length leggings (the actual, substantial kind - I don't mean the fashionable kind that go all transparent), it's an anti-chafing measure. Even slender legs might have spots that rub, and runners tend to have muscular legs. The knee-kength shorts just don't stay put, even sitting in a chair. It's seriously the most annoying thing ever to get a wedgie just SITTING there - imagine how bad it gets when you're running!

So for me, absolutely. I'll take being a little warmer in a moisture wicking fabric over dealing with chafed, painful inner thighs any day. Well, back when I could still run I did. =D
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:32 PM
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Yeah, I agree, your life is pathetic. Runners, both men and women, should feel free to wear whatever they feel comfortable in.

Last edited by cochrane; 08-12-2019 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:33 PM
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I wear long sleeves and pants when I go hiking. But not black shirts in 100+ degree (F) weather!

(I know, hiking when it's 100+... But the alternative is shorter hikes or sitting on my butt and I already do too much of that.)
  #21  
Old 08-12-2019, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
I've seen women in yoga pants that went nearly transparent in direct sunlight. As a disapproving father I pointed out to Wife a woman in them and a thong. She said, "She had to pay more for those, but it's the style." And sports bras are UNDERWEAR, for fuck's sake!

Putting on my Dad Pants, which are full-length jersey sweatpants because my legs are appalling, I disapprove.
I know I’m old because I have similar thoughts and opinions when I see that. And yes I have daughters which I’m sure is a big reason why I feel that way.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
I've seen women in yoga pants that went nearly transparent in direct sunlight. As a disapproving father I pointed out to Wife a woman in them and a thong. She said, "She had to pay more for those, but it's the style." And sports bras are UNDERWEAR, for fuck's sake!

Putting on my Dad Pants, which are full-length jersey sweatpants because my legs are appalling, I disapprove.
Sports bras are much less revealing than most two-piece swimsuit tops. They're thicker, the cut is more modest, and it's fucking hot out!

I'm with you on running in a thong. How can that be comfortable? I tried one just for daywear, and no frigging way.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:56 PM
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I've seen women in yoga pants that went nearly transparent in direct sunlight. As a disapproving father I pointed out to Wife a woman in them and a thong. She said, "She had to pay more for those, but it's the style." And sports bras are UNDERWEAR, for fuck's sake!

Putting on my Dad Pants, which are full-length jersey sweatpants because my legs are appalling, I disapprove.
You must freak out when you see elite women distance runners, who compete in bunhuggers.

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Sports bras are much less revealing than most two-piece swimsuit tops. They're thicker, the cut is more modest, and it's fucking hot out!

I'm with you on running in a thong. How can that be comfortable? I tried one just for daywear, and no frigging way.
Indeed. Sports bras are perfectly modest, and, at least to my male eye, look very comfortable. Frankly, if I could run in my underwear, I would. Although in truth, most of my running shorts are shorter than boxers, so I pretty much already do.

Of course, tiny shorts and figure-hugging tights can be sexualized. But I've been part of running communities for over a decade, and in my experience, skimpy clothing is simply the norm. The women I've run with are more interested in efficiency and comfort. And the men seem seem to see such clothing as normal attire, rather than erotic invitations. I've never noticed a male runner comment on a female athlete's body in a sexualized manner.

Of course, I'm a man, so I miss seeing such things. I'm not so stupid as to think that every male runner is a chaste Galahad, and I know that we have our abusers and misogynists. Female runners aren't immune to sexual harrassment, any more than any other woman. But it seems to me that in terms of attire, athletes, like actors and models, have a different attitude to their bodies, that manifests as a higher threshold for "immodesty" than, say, a dad with teenaged daughters.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:59 PM
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Living in NJ, I see people running in the relative extremes of weather, out on blustery winter days with < 20F temps and running in sweltering > 95F heat with humidity. I really can't go colder than 45F (no wind please!) or hotter than 85F (no humidity please!), so I always notice those brave souls doing their thing in the most unpleasant temps.

That's not for me, and that's why I have a membership at the YMCA, where they have an air-conditioned indoor running track.

As far as running attire, I go to A.C. Moore and purchase a stack of 10 T-shirts in a garish orange color, and accompany them with proper running shorts. Day in and day out.
I imagine there are people who wonder if I ever wash my shirt as they are all identical.

As for those other runners, whatever floats their boat. I can't imagine running in the gear they use or in the temps where they run, but then again I only have to worry about me.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:23 PM
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You must freak out when you see elite women distance runners, who compete in bunhuggers
I don't see them because watching distance running is almost as dull as fishing, but those are at least opaque. The only near-Olympian woman I know would never dress like that for her event, but that was bobsled.

ETA: She tried out for American Gladiators, where she'd wear less, but they already had a beautiful blonde.

Last edited by dropzone; 08-12-2019 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:53 AM
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I don't see them because watching distance running is almost as dull as fishing, but those are at least opaque. The only near-Olympian woman I know would never dress like that for her event, but that was bobsled.

ETA: She tried out for American Gladiators, where she'd wear less, but they already had a beautiful blonde.
Well, there was the British bobsledder Gillian Moore, whose skinsuit split at the seat when she was starting a run in 2010. The world discovered that she was, in fact, rocking a thong. Which I suppose is a logical choice when you’re wearing a skin-tight coverall designed for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. I’d link to the video, but I’m at work.

And I object to your assertion that running is “almost as dull as fishing”. Nothing is as boring as fishing. Save maybe soccer.

<ducks and runs>
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by don't mind me View Post
Sports bras are much less revealing than most two-piece swimsuit tops. They're thicker, the cut is more modest, and it's fucking hot out!

I'm with you on running in a thong. How can that be comfortable? I tried one just for daywear, and no frigging way.
I tried running in a thong once and it was sooo uncomfortable. Then I realized that I had it on backwards.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:38 AM
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Well, there was the British bobsledder Gillian Moore, whose skinsuit split at the seat when she was starting a run in 2010. The world discovered that she was, in fact, rocking a thong. Which I suppose is a logical choice when you’re wearing a skin-tight coverall designed for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. I’d link to the video, but I’m at work.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hg2-B25JF98

You’re welcome.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:36 PM
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I, for one, applaud the contemporary trend of women’s athletic tights with transparent mesh panels.

In view of our modern moral code, I assume they will be completely transparent within the next year or two.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:27 AM
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I can almost guarantee that for a large majority of women who prefer to run in capris or full length leggings (the actual, substantial kind - I don't mean the fashionable kind that go all transparent), it's an anti-chafing measure. Even slender legs might have spots that rub, and runners tend to have muscular legs.
Glide.


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As far as running attire, I go to A.C. Moore and purchase a stack of 10 T-shirts in a garish orange color, and accompany them with proper running shorts...
Synthetic wicking material shirts are much better than cotton for pulling moisture away from your body, but now they're no good for the environment as evrery time you wash them microscopic threads come off & get washed down the drain where they get ingested by small fish & make their way into the food chain.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:32 AM
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Well, there was the British bobsledder Gillian Moore
Gillian Cooke.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:07 AM
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I would tend to think that men typically generate significantly more heat when working out than women. They are generally heavier, which means more calories burned during exercise. And they have more muscle, which produces heat as it is activated. So it could be that whether a woman exercises in tights or shorts doesn't really make a whole lot of difference to how warm she feels.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:30 AM
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I wear full sleeves while cycling and cover as much as I can when exercising outdoors.

I am white. Super-duper-glow-in-the-dark-beacons-are-lit-Gondor-calls-for-aid-WHITE, so I cover up as much as I can to prevent sunburn. I wear 3/4 leggings over shorts because it really doesn't make me much "cooler" to wear shorts while working out, and I hate it when they ride up.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:48 PM
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Gillian Cooke.
Whoops. Thank you.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:45 PM
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As for those other runners, whatever floats their boat. I can't imagine running in the gear they use or in the temps where they run, but then again I only have to worry about me.
This is where I stand on it as well.

When I see other runners I often wonder how some can wear so much, but I've never considered critiquing them for it. Mostly what I think when I see other runners is, "Good on ya! Way to get out there."
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:40 PM
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And I object to your assertion that running is “almost as dull as fishing”. Nothing is as boring as fishing. Save maybe soccer.
How about watching fishing?
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:01 PM
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Oh yes, nifty stuff! Alas, it also does nothing to protect my pasty Irish legs from the sun, and is a whole 'nother step to take when pulling on a pair of pants takes 5 seconds. Quite useful when wearing skirts in summer though, and for the ahem...better endowed lady!
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