Running is great because really, all you need is a pair of shoes and you can be out the door. And, for a quick run of 30 or 60 minutes, it doesn't really matter what you wear. Of course the longer you run for, the more consideration you might want to give to what you are wearing. Here's a few things to think about when choosing the outfits you run in.
1. How long will you be running for. Again, the longer you run, the more important it is to choose your clothes carefully. Technical fabrics that wick away moisture are definitely the way to go for long runs. With cotton, when you start sweating, the lovely sweat stains just remain. This can lead to all sorts of nastiness in the form of chaffing and such, which you will feel for days after the run, so better to just start out with the moisture wicking fabrics. Most races now give out technical shirts so it's definitely a sign of runner preferences.
2. Make sure the clothes are comfortable. If you are constantly pulling up your shorts, or your shirt is rubbing, you may end up with some nasty chaffing. This is not fun in any way. Plus, if you are constantly fretting over your clothes, then probably you aren't putting any thought into your form or technique, because your clothes are becoming front and centre.
3. Wear clothes that fit. If you wear huge clothes in hopes of covering up your "problem areas", you will likely only create more problems for yourself. If clothes are loose, they will rub and this is not good. Personally, I wear tight fitting spandex type shorts. I might not have the perfect body for them, but they are comfortable and they stay in place.
4. Try things out ahead of time. I bought a running skirt, and although I quite like it, if I am running longer than about 40 minutes, the shorts underneath start to creep up and lead to chaffing. As a result, I know this is likely not going to be what I wear for the half marathon in October. It's important to try the outfit you plan to wear for your race on some of your longer training runs. You don't want to find out on race day that the new shirt you bought has a seam in a place that starts rubbing after three kilometres when you still have seven more to go.
5. Consider the temperature. If it's warm out, make sure you wear a hat (preferably a wicking one). If it's cold, you might need gloves or even something to cover your face. It all depends on the temperature and your comfort level. Layering is a good way to go, and always remember that you will warm up, so be sure not to overdress.
6. And all you ladies, make sure you get a bra with good support if you know you require it. Check out sportsbras.ca for a huge selection of bras. I most recently bought the shock absorber, and am so happy with it!! It's done me well on so many runs already.
There's lots to think about, this is just a few things. There are so many neat and stylish running pieces out there these days that finding them is half the fun!! At the end of the day, just make sure you are comfortable in whatever you are wearing and can concentrate on the scenery and the run, rather than your wardrobe!! And if you are washing your wicking fabrics, make sure you don't use any static sheets or fabric softener as this takes away from the wicking feature of the technical clothes.