It's been said before...running is SO very personal.
We all have differing preferences when it comes to a favorite distance, a desired speed, or time of day for logging the miles. Some of us run daily; some less frequent. Many of us participate in races, and some chose to run just for the joy of it.
It's all good. We're lucky such a sport exists that allows for such individuality.
I'd bet a new pair of shoes that most of us LOVE our running gear, though. How we go about piecing together running/workout outfits, though, is where it gets interesting. What works like a charm for one runner, may not be comfortable for others. That's all good, too.
Here's my take on crafting the perfect running outfit...
First of all, comfort is paramount for me. I have gone through phases where I loved skirts, but in the past few years I've been preferring shorts. I used to wear a lot of the shirts from races (because most of them were made of tech material), but I got frustrated with the unflattering crew necklines that most of those shirts featured. Also, I like a more fitted silhouette these days, so the boxy shape of most of those shirts gets the thumbs-down now. Give me a tank and shorts and I'll be quite content.
Give me some color! It's no secret I love bright colors. I also like juxtaposing non-traditional (clashing) colors together. Because, why not? Who says the tops and bottoms have to be all matchy-matchy? You might notice I don't own very many pairs of black bottoms, either. A favorite hashtag of mine is #GoBrightOrGoHome, and I'm not afraid to use it.
I'm a strong believer in creative hacks. I also like saving a few (or several) dollars when I can. For example, I have a lot more "summer" headbands than I do "winter" ones...so I've been known to layer a lightweight headband over a fleece one during the winter months. Probably my favorite hack, is to use cut-off knee socks for arm warmers. They're much more affordable (and usually warmer) than ones you'd find in a running store, so there's not much money lost if you choose to discard them in a race. Also, a cut-off sock makes a great layering option during the colder months, under a jacket.
Combating the cold is key for me. I detest being cold, even if it's just for the first couple miles of a long race or training run. My favorite, fool-proof cold weather piece is a puffer vest. I use the term "puffer" rather loosely here...these are not the bulky, marshmallow-man type of vests, but they do have some filler. For myself, a vest gives just enough warmth without being too stuffy. Like I said, being even slightly cold is a no-go for me, so a vest is a great option (but I know this would be too warm for many others).
...and let's not forget the fine art of compromise. I have found that as long as my top half is sufficiently warm, the bottom half can hold its own. That's why you'll sometimes see me in shorts, with a long-sleeved top, during the transitional seasons. Or, if the temps are especially tricky (damp, windy, or cold, with questionable potential to warm up), I'll opt for shorts with compression socks/sleeves for just a little more coverage.
Now, let me remind you I have been doing this running gig for upwards of 16 years. There have been all sorts of trials and errors in that time. These days, I finally have a good idea of what works for me. Of course, there are days when I'll leave the house in what seems like a perfect outfit only to regret my wardrobe choice(s) long before the run ends. If nothing else, running keeps me humble. But it keeps me coming back for more.
So, that's a quick peek into my personal (running) fashion know-how. Hey, it's what works for me.
How about you? Do you have any tried and true strategies for running gear? Any favorite wardrobe combos? Do you prefer to mix & match your pieces or go matchy-matchy?