Dear Mountain Mama,
Do I really need running clothes to jog? I’ve resolved to run during lunch for thirty minutes five times a week. I bought a pair of running shoes from a specialty store and noticed running-specific clothes. After plunking down $150 for shoes, I’m hesitant to spend more money on running tights, shirts, and socks. Do I need to?

Yours,
Resolving to Run

 

Dear Resolving to Run,
One of my favorite aspects about running is the simplicity of the sport. Running doesn’t require the expensive gear that can pose a barrier to getting started. If hefty-holiday bills have left you strapped for cash, there’s no need to add to them just yet. Most active individuals can pull an outfit together to get started. That’s not to say clothes don’t matter. They do. It’s when the miles start adding up that you might want to spend a little more.

When it comes to running clothes, I’ve found that I get what I pay for. I’ve bought shirts at discount stores that unravel their first time in the washing machine. I’ve bought steeply marked down gear that end up not quite fitting right or breathing well. Winds have whipped through my layers, leaving my legs cold and sluggish.

It used to be that women often had to choose between functional technical gear and looking good. Those days are over. Many companies make running clothes that seamlessly transition from workout to everyday living. One of my running inspirations told me that he wears clothes that he can run in so that he’s always ready to run. When he has a fifteen minute break in his day, he can get in at least a couple miles. Having clothes that go from running to work cuts down on the time we need to set aside for our workouts and reduces the excuses for not sticking to our training schedules. Running clothes that help us fit running into our already busy lives are worth the investment.

There’s another advantage to wearing clothes that we like – certain clothes make us stand taller and straighter. There’s something about the way a flattering cut makes us feel good. Naturally when we feel good in something, we want to wear it. Putting on our favorite running ensembles make me feel like a real runner, tipping the scale on those days when I need an extra push to head out the door. Having quality running clothes makes it more likely that I’ll stick to my training program.

Resolving to Run, don’t let your lack of running clothes stop you from lacing up your shoes, but if you find that you need a little extra motivation in the coming months, consider buying clothes made for runners. Sometimes wearing running clothes makes me feel like a runner. That’s made all the difference between heading outside instead of toward the couch.

Happy Trails!
Mountain Mama