Clothing considerations for summer running

Innovations in summer running gear

Running in the summer should be a pleasant experience especially if you've been training for a spring marathon through the winter. Wearing the right gear for the weather conditions you are facing should make your runs more enjoyable. Picking the right running top and running shorts need not be so difficult, so here the guide to running more comfortably in the warmer months.

How much you sweat is entirely up to you, because contrary to popular belief, it makes a big difference what you wear. The ‘technology’ that goes into the design of your running gear, can keep you cooler and more comfortable.

Usually in the summer months, one of two things that are likely to happen when you run, especially for men are:

  • Firstly, you will run in your favourite old cotton t-shirt which will absorb the body’s moisture like a sponge, become heavy and cause chaffing ... in some cases bleeding.
  • Secondly, if this is happening, many men tend to opt for the macho look, suck in their stomach and run without any top on at all. While this is all well and good for your tan, we all know by now the dangers associated with UV radiation and the damaging long term effects it has on your skin.

So, make sure you have sun cream and ditch the cheap t-shirt for a running-specific shirt that can aid in protecting yourself from the sun's damaging UV rays!

The big clothing companies produce running apparel made with CoolMax polyester, high-content Lycra, micro fiber or ‘functional fiber effect’ material that has wicking technology built into the fabric. Wicking is the fancy name for the ability to draw perspiration away from the body to the outside atmosphere where evaporation can occur.

Running shorts

With regards to shorts, choose a pair made of supplex nylon or lightweight micro-polyester. These will hang comfortably and by possessing similar properties to the running tops, they can draw moisture away from the skin thus making sure they don’t stick to your legs.

Some runners, especially those that have larger legs, occasionally feel uncomfortable because the shorts are so short they don’t protect the legs from chaffing. In this case, a similar short can be found that resembles the typical ‘cycling short’. Comprising of 80 per cent Polyamide, 20 per cent Elastane. It has fully flatlocked seams, an elasticated waist and internal drawcord therefore provides a perfect fit that is both comfortable and functional as well as giving a bit more protection for the legs of the larger runners.

Running apparel does not need to be expensive or complicated. While we could swamp you with information on what each piece of running equipment does, they all in fact tend to use the same technology. As long as they are an established running company that specializes in running gear, they will all produce similar technology.

Names to look out for are Climacool, Nano-dry, Hydro Wick, Powerlite and Aqua Duct.

If you keep these facts in mind, stay away from anything cotton and run in clothes that have wicking capabilities, you will be able to run comfortably for the whole summer . . . however long that happens to be!

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