I've been running for quite a few years now, but until recently, I resisted wearing anything that resembled a pair of real running pants. You know the ones I mean – super-tight spandex that hug every curve (and bulge) down your leg, tapering into a tight finish around your calf and ankle. The ones that look like tights or leggings instead of pants.
Not for me, I'd tell myself. They're too tight. That tapered style looks awful on me. In fact, they don't look good on most people, runners included. And as if that tight-fitting leg really helps you run any better. No thanks – I'd rather just wear my yoga pants or a pair of loose shorts and not look like a fool.
But when I was training for my marathon, a smooth-talking salesperson seduced me into getting a pair of cropped running tights for the race. "Come on," I whined to her. "Wearing tights won't make me run any faster!"
"They will!" the sales clerk insisted. "You don't realize it now, but the wide bottoms on yoga pants brush up against each other and slow you down. You'll love these tights, I promise."
I tried them on. Yep, still ugly. And, being "blessed" with rather large thighs (and let's just say running and building up those quads didn't make them any smaller!), they looked awful. When I brought home my new purchase, even my ultra-supportive, incredibly tactful husband said, "Weeeelllll… they're not quite as NICE as your yoga pants." (Translation: Yeah, you do kind of look fat in those pants but I'm afraid to say it to your face.)
I was on the verge of taking them back when my runner friends convinced me to give them a try. So I did – and ran like the wind. (In fact, wearing them, I managed to shave almost six minutes of my best half-marathon time!) I couldn't believe it. They were comfortable, they didn't ride up at all, and, dang, that sales clerk was right! My yoga pants HAD been rubbing together at the bottoms. I didn't even realize it until I ran with the tights on. Who cares how I looked? I was comfortable and I was running faster. A win in my books!
I wear those darn cropped tights almost every day. In fact, I'm even going to purchase a second pair and a longer pair for winter. It's all part of having the right gear in place for the summer ahead. Whether that's the right sunscreen, a great pair of sunglasses, a water bottle belt that won't ride up, or just the perfect running tights, you can't help but feel ready for summer when you've got the right stuff.
That's why all this month on Primacy Life, we're talking about getting yourself ready for the best that summer has to offer. Whether it's knowing how to protect your skin in the sun, how to stay hydrated when you're out in the heat, great summer sports or fresh summer recipes, we'll be making the most of summer here at Primacy Life.
So get on out there and experience the best of what summer has to offer! If you're comfortable, healthy and happy, who cares if you look fat in those pants?
A journalist with more than 10 years experience, Alison’s work has appeared in a number of top Canadian publications, including glow, Oxygen, Canadian Running and more. She is the former editor of a number of well-respected Canadian and American trade journals and recipient of a Kenneth R. Wilson Gold Award of Excellence in feature article writing. She is a part-time faculty member at Sheridan College’s journalism department, as well as an avid runner and fitness enthusiast.