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Is Running in Just a Sports Bra OK?

Thank y’all so much for your comments on yesterday’s post on negative thoughts while running. It made me feel so much better that I’m not the only one who struggles with that, but at the same time, sad that so many of us beat ourselves up while working out. Let’s all work on being a little easier on ourselves, k? I’ll keep trying too.

Before I headed out for my run on Saturday, I asked this question on Twitter:Capture

I’m fairly certain it generated the most responses I’ve ever gotten to a Twitter post.

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healthontherun

meg

sprouty

(you click on each person’s tweet to be taken to his/her blog)

My thoughts:

  • Until earlier this year, I’d never run in just a sports bra. But I was running outside and it was just too damn hot and humid and I ripped my tank top off on a trail in sheer desperation. And wow, did it feel better.
  • I’ve come a long way with my body confidence. Never did I think I’d feel OK running in just a sports bra. So, it was pretty significant to me when I realized that I wasn’t even thinking about how I looked as I ran. No, my abs aren’t totally flat and there is probably a little jiggle, but I’m real and I’m a woman, not a Barbie.
  • If you’ve ever lived in the South or anywhere with high humidity, you get the appeal of running in just a sports bra. I didn’t get it when living in Utah. But I get it now. It doesn’t matter how early or how late you go to try to avoid tank-topless runs because the temperatures don’t drop much.
  • I think it’s weird when women wear just a sports bra in the gym. It’s air conditioned. Unless you’re in cycle class…It gets HOT in that enclosed room.
  • I don’t judge other women that don’t wear a top over their bra and I don’t judge those who feel more comfortable wearing a top. I think you gotta do what works for you.
  • Guys go completely topless. Why can’t we go semi-topless? Winking smile

Will I go tank-topless when the temps drop and the humidity backs off? Nah. But when the weather is like this, I’m gonna do whatever it takes to get me out there running. Because running in just a sports bra sure beats running on the treadmill.

Lets hear your thoughts!

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51 Comments

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    at

    I couldn’t agree more! If it is hot out, why make yourself uncomfortable with a tank and sports bra. You wear less at the beach on a hot summer day!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      Good analogy! Never thought of it like that! And at the beach, you’re not working nearly as hard!

  • Reply
    Katherina @ Zephyr Runs
    at

    I’d love to hear some of the responses you got from that tweet! I don’t run in just a sports bra but when I was in high school and had to walk home from school I’d frequently take off my top out of desperation (with a sports bra underneath). 2 miles at 3 o clock in Orlando in August? No thanks!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      great idea! i’m going to update the the post right now to include some responses! 🙂

  • Reply
    Cynthia (It All Changes)
    at

    I’m not comfortable doing so but I don’t mind others doing it if they are outside. In the gym it doesn’t make sense to me…especially since all the girls I see doing so have sweat pants on the bottom.

  • Reply
    kirstin
    at

    of course! I run cross country and doing a 9 mile training run in the middle of the summer is not fun with a sweat soaked t-shirt. For that matter, doing mile repeats, recovery runs, or sprints pretty much all stink when your gray t-shirt becomes a dark grey sweat soaked piece of material clinging to you

  • Reply
    Chicago Cuisine Critique
    at

    When I lived in FL this was a MUST on the super humid, incredibly hot days. There are far too many of them. At first I was a bit self conscious, but eventually I grew out if it and did what made me feel comfortable just as you said. Or in this case, “cooler”. But, i’m with you on the women that wear just a sports bra in a gym..spin class – yes, acceptable. Otherwise, I don’t really get it.

  • Reply
    Jess @atasteofconfidence
    at

    I think it’s completely okay and I don’t judge anyone for doing so, but I am not yet ready myself to do it.

  • Reply
    Maddie (Loaves And Kisses)
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    Wow,I never even thought this was an issue. Sports bras don’t look like other bras,they’re not made to be sexy or look like lingerie so they don’t strike me as any more scandalous then running in a tank top. I even understand wearing a sports bra indoors because some people get so over heated when they’re exercising that wearing anything else would be torture. To each their own! 🙂

    • Reply
      Teri
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      good point! They aren’t made to look sexy! Especially when you have to wear freaking body armor like I do to hold hte things down! 🙂

  • Reply
    Michelle (The Runner's Plate)
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    I often run in just a sports bra when the temperature rises! It helps me feel cooler (temperature-wise!). I often wear a sports bra when I race too–I figure less weight = faster times. (Okay, so I’m sure that little bit of a difference doesn’t matter that much.)

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      haha! I love that calculation! I’m going topless for all races from here on out 🙂

  • Reply
    Hannahviolin
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    I commented on the other post, but one more thought: I find when I run outside I get honks and catcalls no matter what I’m wearing. No more wearing a sports bra only, at least. No one cares, especially when it’s ridiculously hot and humid. I am jealous of the guys though…stupid bra tanlines. Rather have nothing.

  • Reply
    Alaina
    at

    I don’t do it frequently but I definitely don’t see a problem with it. Last summer, when I was training for my marathon, I got up at 4AM to go for a run and it was SO humid at that hour! And I’m from MA. Not even a mile into the run I had to shed my shirt and it really felt so much better. It also helped that it was still pitch black outside. 😉

  • Reply
    Lauren
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    I can ONLY wear a sports bra when I do RPM. I seem to sweat more in that hour workout than I have in my entire life. It doesn’t seem to bother me. Many other women just wear their sports bras in the class and I don’t see anything wrong with it. Whats the difference than wearing a bikini at the beach? It’s proper exercise attire in my mind.

  • Reply
    Balancing Sylvia
    at

    I would never do it at the gym just because I don’t need the dudes looking. Talk about uncomfortable for a shy gal like me. Outside though? Not a big deal especially since guys go running topless all of the time. I agree with Lindsey that it’s more than you’d wear at the beach.

  • Reply
    Lee
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    I’m not comfortable doing it myself but I think it’s fine that other people do.

  • Reply
    Carlee
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    If I could get away wearing a sports bra every time I ran or played sprts I would. I hate wearing anything with sleeves at all…its a tank top or a sweatshirt…nothing inbetween for me. For whatever reason t-shirt sleeves drive me nuts!

    • Reply
      Teri
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      oh my gosh, i’m the same way! the sleeves drive me crazy too!

  • Reply
    Abby
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    What a great topic! I have only shed my running shirt about 3 times…IT’s funny because Dave and I went to the track last night for a workout and I wanted to lose the shirt….but MAN! you should have heard me stress about it.

    I’m completely heat intolerant, so I knew physically I’d be more comfortable without the shirt, but would I look ridiculous? I had a list of all the things that people would think and that I realized “who cares?” And my husband said go ahead the only thing he was concerned about was other guys looking at me. But it’s usually only the girl’s lacrosse team at the track, so that was not a problem.

    So I did it. Still sort of uncomfortable but at least I was cooler than I would have been in a t-shirt!

  • Reply
    Alysha @ She's on the Run
    at

    Great Post! Would you ever consider doing a post about good sports bras to wear outside sans a shirt? If I were going to wear one, the Victoria Secret line has some great ones that look cute and provide great coverage.

    Alysha

    • Reply
      Krissy @ Shiawase Life
      at

      I second this post. I have run with just the sports bra, but only if it’s one I am not embarrassed about because its so blah and ugly.

  • Reply
    Katie
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    Oooh I love running in sports bra! I’ve never done it at a gym, but when I’m outside…I go for it. Make me feel hardcore. 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie
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    *makes me feel hardcore*

  • Reply
    Eric
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    You say you don’t judge in one bullet point and then in the next point you judge????

    • Reply
      Teri
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      Guess it is kind of judging to say I think it’s weird if they wear it in AC. oops! Oh well, just my opinion!

  • Reply
    Meg
    at

    I like the comment that you wear less at the beach – so true! And it’s not as if anyone would ever accuse me of trying to be sexy when I run in just a sports bra… if they took a look at my face (beet red/probably last night’s mascara smudged under my eyes cos I’m lazy like that) and my hair (sopping wet with sweat). Ow ow!

  • Reply
    Lainey_Elizabeth
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    I saw so long as it is not white and see through the sports bra only is ok…just don’t provide a peep show to all who pass by

  • Reply
    Liz
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    I agree – if it’s hot and humid outside – do it! So much cooler sometimes. Definitely a bit weirder inside at the gym, but even then, I don’t mind so much – after you’ve been to a bikram yoga class where people are barely dressed and dripping with sweat, everything else pales in comparison.

  • Reply
    Liz @ IHeartVegetables
    at

    Haha I definitely don’t have the stomach to run in just a sports bra, but I don’t see any problem with people that do it!

  • Reply
    April
    at

    I think outdoors is fine but I would prefer not to see someone in an air conditioned building shirtless. That said, you have a very valid point about enclosed spaces (like the cylce room where it does get REALLY hot) and I have been tempted to remove my shirt in cycle class. I’ve never done it and would likely only do it if I was in the far back corner on the back row where it is very dark!

    PS – Miss you! I have 6 weeks and 2 days left, then I’ll lose about 9 pounds in one day. 😉 Fastest weight loss plan ever.

  • Reply
    Chase
    at

    It does make a big difference when it’s hot out! I’ve defintely tucked my shirt up into my sports bra but never gone out completely with just a sports bra on. I see no harm.

  • Reply
    natalie (the sweets life)
    at

    great topic! i run all summer long without a shirt on and can’t imagine doing otherwise…it’s too dang hot! granted, most of the time i’m running early in the morning and not dealing with extra attention. on the weekends we usually run in a nearby park where tons of people run in all sorts of things…i think the most important thing is wearing what’s comfortable for the individual runner!

    now…in a crowded gym…not sure that just a sports bra is appropriate (though i wish sometimes that it were! :))

  • Reply
    Samantha
    at

    Of course it is ok and sometimes it is so dang hot that an extra shirt on top is just too much. The only time I shed my shirt is when I was visiting my friend in Texas–it was sooo hot & humid, but she lives in the country where very few people travel on those roads.
    I think you just have to be willing to deal with what comes with it. I would probably do it on a track or when running with a group, but probably not running by myself through town. I don’t know what it is, but sometimes people in cars just love to harass & yell things at runners–I got mooned by some teenage boys on Friday-LOL. It’s just annoying and it breaks my groove and concentration.

  • Reply
    Julie S.
    at

    I just resorted to doing the same thing last week when it was SO HOT! & it made a world of difference! & I will do it again. It is purely for comfort. I did get some looks (appreciative from men!), but they really don’t bother me at all when the alternative is heatstroke! It has been UNBEARABLY hot this summer! No, I wouldn’t don 1 at the gym.

  • Reply
    Caree @ Fit-Mama
    at

    So funny to read this because I was just asking my hubby if he thought it would be okay that I ran in just my sports bra since it might make it a little more bearable in this heat. He didn’t know the answer. But why not?? It isn’t as revealing as a bikini is and its outdoors, so who cares? But I definitely don’t think I could do that in the gym, I am kind of modest…

  • Reply
    Shae
    at

    I cannot run in just a sports bra. I’m WAY too jiggly in the belly region and WAY too prude. I’m jealous of girls who can though!

    I’m also quite top heavy so I have to wear a sports bra with under wire and actual snaps. Those single piece stretch contraptions just do nothing for me.

    I hope some day I can run in a tank top at least. My T-shirts are HOT!

  • Reply
    Song
    at

    Would you ever run an 8K if the air quality is orange? Just curious.

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      I’ve never really thought about it! I’m no expert on air quality and if you have lung issues, the answer could be different. Probably something to check with your doc on!

  • Reply
    Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    at

    I would never even think twice about seeing a woman running in just a sports bra. You go for it!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather
    at

    When it’s hot I say go for it! Although it seems that in Washington we aren’t getting too many sports bra running days 🙁

  • Reply
    Becky @ fit chick on the fly
    at

    I wish I could run in a sports bra. Having DD’s (al natural) means wearing multiple sports bra’s and ugly ones! Why don’t they make cute supportive sports bras for big boobied ladies?

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      I’ve heard the Lululemon Ta-Ta Tamer is a really great, supportive bra!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ studiofood
    at

    I’ve gotta be honest, in summer I run in shorts and either a sports bra or occasionally even a swimsuit top – firstly because I have the chest of a 12 year old boy so there’s no uncomfortable jiggle, and secondly because I run around the beach area and I like to hop straight in the ocean after a sweaty run.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    at

    I would definitely rather see someone running in just a sports bra than in a shirt with a bra that is obviously NOT a sports bra.

  • Reply
    sarah middleton
    at

    I struggled with this for a long time, at 56 I am well endowed but in pretty good shape. I finally found a sports bra top that covered well and was tight enough to prevent excessive “jiggle” so I went for it. Not too many runners in my town, so I get a lot of unwanted attention, but it sure is a lot more comfortable when I run in the heat.

  • Reply
    Jay
    at

    In warm weather I always run in a sports bra and cropped running tights, indoors or out. It never occurred to me that this might offend anyone until I read negative comments online about this.

    Most of the women in the Olympic races, as well as marathon, triathlon, and other races, also wear sports bras as they run–I always thought this was well-accepted attire. I wonder if the fact that the word “bra” is used to describe this piece of clothing, rather than something like “running top,” puts the idea into peoples’ heads that it is underwear and not to be worn without cover.

    As others have commented, it covers more than many swimsuits, and I don’t see a problem with it.

  • Reply
    natalie
    at

    Not sure how old this is but I just searched this question because I was wondering exactly this! – I am going to be running some races in the middle of summer and was wondering if wearing a sports bra is ok. I did attempt once to run in a sports bra last year but a lorry driver was literally hanging out the window looking back at me while driving and nearly crashed the thing as he swerved in the road … I guess people aren’t used to seeing people wearing not very much in the street, (I’m in the UK). I do feel self conscious doing it and my worry is attracting unwanted attention! If it wasn’t for the unwanted attenton part, I’d be all for it.

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