To Change or Not to Change: A Runner’s Debate

Guest Blogger Emily Favret

I think we can all remember a moment when we’ve stuck out like a sore thumb as “the one” in running gear in a public setting. Maybe it was the grocery store, bus stop or at the office – but we’ve all been there.

Lately I’ve been debating whether or not it’s OK to sport your running gear in public when you’re not running. Most runners are busy, working Monday-Friday, juggling meetings and dates and running groups all at once.

That said, based on personal experience as well as input from many-a @TheSFMarathon Twitter follower, I’ve compiled a list of basic guidelines for this very, very important runner question.

It’s OK…

·         If you’re doing something else active, such as biking, hiking, walking or cross-training at the gym.

·         If you work at a running store or gym or are an elite runner. Kara Goucher, you can sport your Nike garb all day, every day. Especially because it’s always color coordinated.

·         If you’re making a quick trip to the grocery store, gas station or a quick errand.

·         If you’re going for drinks, brunch or coffee with a running group or running buddy (there’s strength in numbers).

It’s not OK when…

·         You’re shopping for a mattress, clothes shopping of any kind or going on a blind date

·         You head straight to the airport or train without showering. Make a quick pit-stop and at least shower.

·         You’re meeting any of the following for the first time: in-laws, boss, client, new boyfriend/girlfriend

·         You’re getting a manicure or pedicure, massage or haircut after a run/workout

Now, I will caveat this entire post by disclosing that I am a New York City runner, constantly dodging fashionistas in stilettos who carry expensive handbags as I leave the office in my running shoes, consider my Lululemon leggings the cornerstone of my wardrobe and subway to and from weekend races in my sweats. So needless to say, I am used to being “the one” who’s underdressed in my running gear and albeit, sometimes self conscious. And while I realize that this is not typical everywhere, I do think that we can all recall a time when were in a bind and need to stay in our running clothes in less ideal settings. So with that in mind, I think there are some universal guidelines for sporting your running gear off the trail or treadmill (your colleagues, loved ones and acquaintances will appreciate it):

·         …bring a change of clothes or plan to shower if you have to head to an event, dinner, date or meeting after the workout. No one wants to stand next to the “sweaty runner” at the bar.

·         …invest in anti-stick gear. Most major running brands carry options for both men and women.

·         …don’t go anywhere but the shower if you are dripping sweat and creating puddles, are running in the same gear for the third un-washed day in a row

·         …invest in a couple nicer pieces of running attire that you COULD wear in a bind.

·         …consider keeping an emergency set of clothes and dry shampoo, deodorant and dryer sheets in the trunk of your car or cubical that you could change into on a busy day if need-be

·         …tip your car driver, boyfriend or spouse if they take your sweaty self home in their car after a 20-mile training run.

What are your thoughts? Any memorable stories to share? Have you been “the one” or can remember a noteable “one”? (Comments from those who go for a run in makeup and finish looking just as polished and smelling just as nice need not apply. You are a god among running men, and for that, I for one am jealous.)

Emily Favret is a San Francisco Marathon Ambassador living in NYC.  She loves running, brunching and tweeting and is best known for her love of yellow things. Find her on Twitter at @iliveinyellow!

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