Why don fancy running clothing when a ratty cotton shirt will do just fine? Well, if you keep the sweat off your back, you’ll last longer – and probably run faster too – if you’re comfortable. While any kind of clothing will do for a round-the-block run, it’s good to invest in a better set of clothing, especially if you have aspirations to head for a longer run, like the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on December 6.
We know, they expose a lot of your legs – not exactly macho, but for good reason: Running shorts provide excellent comfort and a full range of motion, says Patrick Wong, sales and marketing manager of New Balance Singapore, a sponsor of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. Woven with soft, lightweight and breathable fabrics, running shorts also help wick sweat away from your body. Go for seamless cuts to minimise chafing, and if you’re looking to run regularly (or want to look like a pro), go for shorts with split seams that will offer more ventilation and freedom of movement, says Wong.
Running Tank Tops
What makes them stand out from regular shirts is that they can wick sweat away from your body rapidly, are lightweight, flexible and reduce the incidence of chafing, says Wong. Even though Wong admits that running bare-bodied would allow for a maximum rate of sweat evaporation, it’s worth noting that running tops can actually help regulate body temperature more efficiently. For instance, certain high-end running tops have strategically placed vents that allow air to circulate, but also allow you to have a certain level of “warmth” during your cool-down phase. In addition, UV protection is a big plus.
These are tight, sleek tops and pants similar to what you’d see triathletes wear. They’re designed with not only moisture wicking fabrics, but also possess compression panels that help support the muscles of the body, says Wong. They’re also good at reducing chaffing (since there’s no loose fabric to rub against) and as such runners more commonly use tights instead of tops for the upper body. In short, you’ll run better, faster and last longer with compression technology – but here’s the catch: They’re probably only useful if you’re an elite athlete. Newbie runners will be panting too hard to notice any difference in running performance.