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Dressing for the occasion: running clothes

Most people put a fair bit of thought into what they wear each day. Style works best when your clothing reflects your mood and what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, if you have a big meeting or presentation, you should dress sharply to remind yourself to bring your A game. On Fridays, however, when you’re a bit more relaxed, you might wear jeans, easing you into the weekend.

As a runner, running clothes represent my wardrobe for a large part of each day (sometimes I linger in my running outfit a little too long before or after a run), so that is exactly how I choose which running outfit I’m going to wear each day; I mix it up depending on my mood and what type of run I’m heading out for.

When I’m doing a workout that involves speed outside in negative temperature, I will always, always wear tights instead of something heavier, baggier and perhaps warmer (for example, windpants), even if that means I start out a little chilly. Wearing tights means I’m running fast. The tone for my workout is set from the beginning.

Hanging out pre-workout
Hanging out pre-workout.

The same goes for when I’m doing a hard tempo on the treadmill. No baggy shirt and soccer shorts – it’s my racing outfit all the way baby.

If I’m wearing this, I’m trying to run fast
If I’m wearing this, I’m trying to run fast.

I even have fast-day socks:

Obviously a speedwork day
Obviously a speedwork day.
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Most of my runs, however, do not involve speed or hills or tempos. Often times I’m just putting in mileage. For those runs, I like to feel cozy and relaxed. I’ll even go as far as to wear sweatpants and a hoody for a run to remind myself that it’s an easy effort.

Not me, but the type of outfit I wear to remind myself to relax Not me, but the type of outfit I wear to remind myself to relax
Not me, but the type of outfit I wear to remind myself to relax.

Sometimes I need to mix it up a bit, and I’ll pull out some retro running clothes like I did for some runs to show my patriotism during the Olympics.

Heading out for a run during Olympic Fever
Heading out for a run during Olympic Fever.

There are days when I feel like blending in and not have anyone look at me.

Feeling generic
Feeling generic.

Other times, I feel like dressing up a bit. I’ll run in a tennis outfit instead of running gear (because, sometimes I like to pretend I look more like a tour tennis player than a runner – no offense meant to anyone!)

Channeling my inner tennis diva
Channeling my inner tennis diva

I think you should be able to match any mood you’re in with your running outfit. It makes the most of your mood and your run. You’re a runner and have many different sides, so let them show!