I’m talking about working out.
Even better, what to wear while you’re working out. Obviously, some activities may impose specific dress codes, but here are some of my personal suggestions and recommendations for the basics.
Cross Trainers/Running Shoes
For shorter runs and trips to the gym, I usually don my Vibram Five Fingers.
Worshipped by barefoot runners the world over, these “shoes” are essentially a rubber sole strapped to your feet with velcro. I mentioned these briefly here and will admit that after reading Born To Run I immediately ran right out and bought them, anxious to see what all the fuss was about. I was especially interested in seeing how they could change my running style and posture.
“A lot of foot and knee injuries that are currently plaguing us are actually caused by people running with shoes that actually make our feet weak, cause us to over-pronate, give us knee problems. Until 1972, when the modern athletic shoe was invented by Nike, people ran in very thin-soled shoes, had strong feet, and had much lower incidence of knee injuries.” Dr. Daniel Lieberman, Harvard University
It makes sense to me that without a thick sole to confuse your feet, they’ll naturally realign themselves with your hips and shoulders and your gait will become natural and gazelle-like. Ok, maybe not gazelle-like, but I am impressed by how much cleaner my running feels when I wear these. You’re more aware of the ground and your stride and your feet, so there’s less bumbling around like a bear just out of hibernation (picture Yogi and you’re not far off from how I look running).
However, for longer runs I like to have a bit more cushion than the oh-so-thin Vibrams can offer.
Enter Brooks Green Silence.
I had read about these eco-gems from an environmental standpoint (entirely sustainable & recycled materials) and was impressed, but the real selling point was when I read that Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek wears these babies (No Meat Athlete Jurek interview). These are thin enough that you’re not hindered by over cushioning, but thick enough that lots of pounding wont leave your poor feet bruised and tender after hitting the road.
Tops & Bottoms
While I have Gap and Zara t-shirts and Old Navy yoga pants galore, my all time favorite gear is from Raw Threads. Their products use bamboo and organic cotton, so they’re made of natural, environmentally friendly materials. My favorite bottoms are the Running Crop Pant in black, they’re comfortable, cute and dry out really quickly after a run.
I usually stick to black or white shirts when I plan to get sweaty (sweat stains – Coco would not approve). Below are two of my current favorites, the first from Raw Threads, the second ordered from Cafe Press after a vegan Christmas dinner and too much wine.
People always laugh when I run by in this second shirt and trust me, nothing helps motivate a run more than laughter!
I’m not big on gadgets and was cautioned by my running guru not to put stress on myself by anchoring my “success” to a number on a little screen. His advice for me as a new runner was to just go out and run, no goals, no timing myself, no feelings of failure for not living up to my expectations. He was adamant that running is an entirely a mental game and that by putting unnecessary pressures on myself, I had already lost. So rather than use GPS or a pedometer, I use Map My Run after a new run to gauge my distance.
Now go out and get sweaty!
“You don’t stop running because you get old. You get old because you stop running.” Born to Run