fluffly running noob wants to be less noobish
August 5, 2013 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Are you a lady who runs sometimes? Do you have some fluffy lady bits? Have you learned how to combine the two? Please help me me, a fluffily lady running noob be more comfortable.

I started doing a little running, using couch to 5k as a rough guide. Signed up for my first 5k in a couple of months. I just completed week 5 this morning (20 minute run pwned! well, after 2 tries...). I'd like to get some better running gear. I went to a real running store and got my stride videotaped and all that good stuff, to figure out what kinds of shoes I need - so I've got those. Currently I'm running in my sports bras, cheap old tank tops and t-shirts, and whatever yoga pants I find on sale - often rolled up above my knees, and pulling them up again as they unroll during jogging.

- I've been running on the treadmill, but want to start transitioning to running outside now that the weather is getting less humid/hot.

- I sweat a lot when exercising. Mostly from my face, back of head, underboobs (I know you other DD ladies know what I'm talking about), and lower back that makes my butt a little soggy during runs. Even after losing a bit of weight, I sweat just as much. I'm just a sweaty mofo of a woman.

- I need some cooler bottoms - yoga pants are too hot, but shorts ride up and aren't compatible with my thighs.

- I have thick, medium length hair that I scramble into a bun and wear some stretchy headband thing to help tame the inevitable lion's mane that form's around my head. Anything else I can do to deal with my swampy, thick (but often frizzy) hair during runs?

- In transitioning for running outside, I need something to help deal with the sunny sun. I can't run with sunglasses at all - they will fog up and get gross within minutes. Plus I can't really see where I'm going when they're foggy. A good hat maybe? One that will help keep my sweaty head cool?

- Are there things I can do to be proactive about wear on my knees? My right knee is a little kooky once in a while due to a ladder fall a number of years ago. Should I wear some kind of support on my knee? Exercises I can do to overall strengthen them and keep them from getting injured?

- As I'm really just a beginner runner, I'd like to avoid the super expensive high-end running gear. But looking for mid-line, reasonably affordable suggestions to help make things more comfortable.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
posted by raztaj to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (36 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I'm physically like you. I run in loose-ish mid-calf length yoga capris kind of like this. I think I got them at Kohls and they were probably around $30.

Re wear on your knees: running shoes do matter (I learned this late in the game, after damage had been done.) My orthopedist recommended Asics, with additional Superfeet insoles.

For sweat-related reasons, I only run in the early morning when it's still cold out.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:39 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Bunchy bottoms drive me nuts. I wear bike shorts or capris, they are stretchy while you run, and they stay put. Target has some nice ones for cheap. I wear a baseball-type hat, the brim absorbs the sweat and it also helps keep hair out of my eyes.
posted by florencetnoa at 7:41 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

No cotton. Not even socks.

Try different types of shorts, either bike short types or actual running shorts (the ones with the built in underwear are so much more comfortable). No baggy generic athletic shorts for running.

You could also try a running skirt - they are really cute and popular right now. I haven't tried them, but my friend who used to run with me swore they were more comfortable than shorts.
posted by Kriesa at 7:45 AM on August 5, 2013

You can get running sunglasses, if you're willing to spend $45 or so on the cheap ones. Love these because they're incredibly light, don't fog, and don't slip. It seemed like a ridicuous indulgence until my first run with them.

These are similar but a little more expensive than mine.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:46 AM on August 5, 2013

Tech gear, including a good headband is a must. Old Navy and Target have pretty cheap, good quality stuff. If you Google "running headband" you will find a million products.

Find a SUPPORTIVE running bra, be it Moving Comfort or something else. They are out there.

As for your knees, I'd suggest not wearing anything on them to fix a problem that may or may not be there yet. Make sure you're in the right shoes. Work on your core ab muscles.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:47 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ugh, you have described my sweatiness to a T. As a large-chested lady myself, I came in to recommend the Enell Sport bra. Yes, if it was embroidered it would look like what Cersei Lannister wears to go jogging, but when you put it on (1) your boobs DO. NOT. MOVE. and (2) underboob sweat is greatly lessened as a result of how everything is positioned. Seriously, I can't recommend this sports bra highly enough.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 7:47 AM on August 5, 2013 [9 favorites]

I really like Nike's running shorts/capris/pants made of their Dri-fit material, I find it helps with the sweaty issue.
posted by skycrashesdown at 7:56 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I sweat a lot too, especially face and head, but really by the time I get home from a run, there's not a dry spot on me, especially in summer. I'm seconding the bike shorts and I got some Prana brand headbands at REI, that absorb the worst of the sweat on my face. The thing that made the most difference to me was getting some slip-proof/sweat-proof earphones. As long as I can distract myself listening to my favorite running tunes I don't focus on my discomfort and I enjoy a good run. You will probably never be 100 percent comfortable while running, but you do it anyway cause the good stuff far outweighs the bad.

As for knees, IANAD, but I think the less you go for the fancy shoes that *correct* your stride, the happier and more comfortable you will be. Simple, well broken in running shoes with maybe some extra cushioning added will probably be most comfortable and help you avoid injury.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 7:56 AM on August 5, 2013

Target (C9 brand) and Old Navy have some cheapish wicking running gear that's going to be better than cotton, if that's what you're using now. You can also sometimes find name-brand wicking gear at places like TJ Maxx and Marshall's. You want to look for something like 'dryfit' (Nike) or 'Climacool' (Asics) on the label. Each brand calls their wicking fabric something different, but they're all basically the same.

As far as bottoms-- you may want to give a running skirt a try. There are bike shorts underneath which don't ride up, but I like them better than just wearing bike shorts.

Sweat is just going to happen (especially in warmer/humid weather) but you want to make sure it's not leading to chafing-- if it's not now, it may as your runs begin getting a little longer. You can get something called BodyGlide at a running store or REI/camping goods type store, which helps prevent that. Some people swear by vaseline but the BodyGlide's never done me wrong.

For your eyes--you could try a visor but a hat's going to make you warmer, since it holds in the heat that would otherwise escape from your head.

For sports bras, I used to swear by Moving Comfort-- they have several models that are wicking and that are very good. At some point they started chafing me on every run so I tried out other options but finally landed on one from Lululemon that is great for me. It's pricey though. I had enough painful experiences (even with the bodyglide) that it's worth it for me, though. The sizes are somewhat limited but they have DDs in a couple sizes.

As far as your knee, I would stay away from any kind of a support unless recommended by a doctor. You want to build up the muscles in the quads that are going to keep your knees stable. Build up your mileage slowly and if at some point you start incorporating a long run in your training, don't let it get too much out of proportion with your other runs. I often see newer runners trying to train for a half marathon running 2 3-mile runs during the week and then 8 or 10 miles on the weekend, and I think it just wears down your knee without giving it a chance to adapt. If I end up doing something like that for some reason (ie work is busy, so I'm missing or cutting short my midweek runs, then I try to do my long run like normal) I always end up experiencing knee pain. YMMV but it's something to keep in mind.
posted by matcha action at 7:57 AM on August 5, 2013

I hated getting wedgies while running. Then I started running in some just above knee length compression shorts (underamour, but pretty sure you can find something cheaper, though mine are still with me 2 years later...) with just run of the mill athletic shorts on top. Not wearing shorts on top of the tight compression stuff is also an option.

You didn't mention sweaty feet, but SmartWool socks are pretty awesome. They're super comfy and you don't get sweaty feet. I don't know how they make those things, but they are AWESOME. I'm slowly in the process of converting my entire sock collection over to SmartWool actually.

Sweaty back's taken care of by any sort of moisture wicking shirt. Like Kreisa's already said, stay away from cotton!!
posted by astapasta24 at 7:58 AM on August 5, 2013

I used to go to the gym exclusively in saggy yoga pants and big baggy t-shirts. I recently went and threw money at the problem by buying a couple of pairs of Asics running tights (brand really doesn't matter, that's just what I happened to buy) and bike shorts. I wish I'd done it sooner, I'm so much more comfortable, and the running tights are super flattering and make me feel like a badass.

I find buns bounce around when I run and get loose, so I prefer a French braid. I find that much more comfortable/sweatproof.

For knees, take fish oil. I use a band to do some of the traction exercises from Mobility Wod. Mobility WOD is kind of impenetrable and obnoxious, but if you persist you can find useful stuff.
posted by nerdfish at 7:58 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Tight running pants/shorts/capris are so much more comfortable than yoga pants for running. I know they are kinda costly but there is more choice these days. I justified my initial purchase by also wearing them for day hikes.
posted by stowaway at 8:00 AM on August 5, 2013

First off, congrats on starting out running!

Secondly, I second everyone's recommendation for Target activewear. I own a pair of years-old running capris (something like these or these) that never ride up, have a little zippered pocket for keys, and are not cotton so they don't get clammy with sweat. I use them for other activities like climbing or soccer. Plus, they are none too pricey which is a bonus.
posted by mlo at 8:01 AM on August 5, 2013

A cheap golf visor is better than a pair of sunglasses because it also acts as a sweatband. Plus the open top of the head cools you better than a hat would.
posted by elizardbits at 8:10 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I wear bike shorts -- no bunching or chafing. These specifically.

I have an Under Armor Sports Bra. I paid $60 for it but well worth it. I used to double my bras -- regular bra with sports bra on top. No more, the Under Armor holds everything down.

I wear a visor hat. The visor traps sweat and protects from sun. I wear sunglasses and visor. I can't go without sunglasses, unless early in morning or at night. There are sunglasses that don't fog up. Try the Oakley sport type sunglasses. There are quality knockoffs that will do the job -- the IronMan brand at Target and the JiMarti brand at Amazon.

A lot of women love the bondiband headband to wick sweat. I want to buy one and try it out.

Happy running.
posted by Fairchild at 8:12 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

My hair isn't very long (chin-length, but curly and thick enough to supply two normal people with hair), but I have been experimenting with exercising with it wet to allow my head to cool more efficiently. I just wet it and put a little conditioner in. I can make a baby ponytail with it wet, but it doesn't hold very well so I just pull it back from my face with little claw clips.

+1 on a visor, or several visors, so each one can dry for a couple of days. A bonus is that you can put your hair up a lot higher and keep it off your neck.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:14 AM on August 5, 2013

Everyone else has covered the other gear, so I'll just add that Buff headwear is great for keeping your hair under control during runs, and some of them offer decent UV protection as well. But I deal with the sun mainly by never running before sunset unless it is pouring down rain.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 8:27 AM on August 5, 2013

My personal ranking of running clothes, from most important/worth the money to least: shoes, bra, shorts/pants, shirt. Take the time and money to find a good bra; cheap out on the shirt.

If you're wearing pull-on sports bras, consider upgrading. Moving Comfort and Enell are good brands; I wear Moving Comfort's Fiona but would recommend Maia for you for encapsulation, which can help with boob sweat. If you keep an eye out, you can usually find discontinued colors at a discount.

I nth the recommendation for bike shorts; less fabric to get bunched up between your legs. The longer the inseam, the better (I find that 5" is a good safe length for me; YMMV.) My go-to shorts are these from Under Armour; they don't look terribly great on me, but they're comfortable and stay put. I don't wear any shorts over them, but I do usually pair them with a larger, looser shirt to cover my bespandexed gut.

If you're trying on stretchy shorts/capris and you're between two sizes, I recommend getting the larger size. Not only will they be more comfortable and less likely to ride up, I've found it reduces wear and tear. "Compression" is overrated, especially if you don't run long distances.

Shirts: Avoid running in cotton if possible; Beefy Tees are the worst. However, in a pinch, I've found that lightweight cotton T-shirts and tanks are okay for short distances. You don't really need anything out of a shirt other than comfort and coverage, so feel free to rifle through the clearance racks of the Target activewear section or any athletic store, and size up as much as you like. If you prefer loose shirts, look in the men's section, since they're cut looser and often have a larger size range.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:35 AM on August 5, 2013

Hat: I love this running hat. It travels well (folds into a tiny ball) and has a hole out the back for pony tail. It's really thin and made out some tech fabric, so it doesn't get hot. Don't spend $18 on it, though. Sierra Trading Post has awesome coupon codes, sometimes even 45% off.
Bottoms: capris. I prefer ones that stay tight at the end (so, like shorter leggings), some people like the flaring. I don't do running shorts bc of the wedgie. I do like quality running skirts (skirt sports, columbia, mountain hardwear, lululemon all make good ones).
Bras: moving comfort (fiona, maya, juno are all great options). Once again, sierra trading post is WAY cheaper than the movingcomfort website linked.
My favorite running bra right now, though, is the shock absorber run bra. I bought it on amazon.
Finally, while you didn't ask about it, I can't recommend a spibelt enough. No bounce. Tiny. Stretches to hold whatever you need.
posted by atomicstone at 8:46 AM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

I have often been more comfortable running with wet hair. It keeps me cooler, keeps the "lion's mane" effect down, and lets me pretend that the reason I'm dripping is from nice clean water, not sweat.
posted by aimedwander at 9:14 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Are there things I can do to be proactive about wear on my knees?

Shoes can only do so much, as well as proper running form/non-wonky gait. The main issue is your running surface. If your outdoor surface is concrete you might as well just stay indoors. Your best running surfaces for avoiding long term joint injury is usually sand, clay tracks, or non-rocky grass fields. Running on the sidewalk or the street is fucking hellish for your joints and you will pay for it in the long term.
posted by elizardbits at 9:58 AM on August 5, 2013

Also the shock absorber running bra mentioned above is indeed awesome. However, mine is about 3 years old and the adjustable strap length hook-and-eye closure (not the horizontal band adjuster, the hook things on the straps) no longer stay securely in any of the little holes, and the straps pop open unexpectedly quite a lot. So be prepared for it to not be a long-lasting investment.
posted by elizardbits at 10:00 AM on August 5, 2013

I have very long dreadlocks and putting them up into a high bun is my favorite way to wear them while running to keep them from feeling like they're strangling me. That said, I've also found I need some kind of visor for the sun and love this one from Halo: https://store.haloheadband.com/halo-sport-sweat-visor-p/sv.htm it has a little plastic band on the forehead to help route sweat away from the eyes and might help with your sunglasses issue.

I've also found the Under Armor bra that zips up the front to be AMAZING at keeping the girls in place. But, before that I had a few moving comfort ones that worked well and have also been fond of the CW-X brand.

As you run longer distances, you will chafe. Sorry, but its a fact. I bought a big tub of Aquafer (yes, the baby diaper stuff) and slather it everywhere that's chafed in the past and it works well and lasts for very long runs.

Try finding some capri's that are tight to the knee and then loose - the loose is a bit cooler with the comfort of a bit longer length (semi-fit). I have a pair similar to these that I love http://www.roadrunnersports.com/rrs/products/NKL1569/

Good luck!
posted by CorporateHippy at 10:06 AM on August 5, 2013

I went from novice to marathon finisher in one year. I did it through the Aids Marathon folks (I raised funds for their non-profit and they provided a professional marathon coach to a group of funders). It was really fun to run with a group that was matched to me by speed.

The best thing I learned about keeping knees happy is that rounding out your running practice with strength training (weight machines) to build leg muscles is very important! I was never a weight person before that but faithfully used the machines that were suggested to me and it really helped.
posted by dottiechang at 10:19 AM on August 5, 2013

Since you say that you're a DD and imply that your breasts are on the larger size, I'm going to throw in a recommendation for Reddit's A Bra That Fits community and measuring guide. Many bra calculators (and professional fitters) add inches to your underbust resulting in a too large band and a too small cup. A properly fitted DD is actually on the smaller end of the breast spectrum, representing a 5" difference between bust and underbust (also, a 36DD is significantly more breast volume than a 26DD). Many women who were previously wearing a 34DD, for example, end up in a size more like 30GG.

Once you get your new size (or confirm your current size) I recommend the Freya Active sports bra.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:30 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Capris like these from Nike are my favorite running bottoms. They breathe and they don't ride up.

For eye shading and hair containing, I wear a Headsweats hat. It's breathable and keeps the sun off.
posted by TrarNoir at 10:51 AM on August 5, 2013

I feel ya. I also prefer wearing loose-fitting capri-length pants over anything tight, but if you are going to go the compression route, try the ones from Old Navy. I hate how every other brand is low-rise. I don't want to feel any jiggling while I'm running! I wish I could tell you exactly which ones I have. It's worth going to an ON to try some on.
posted by pyjammy at 11:15 AM on August 5, 2013

I have these amazing shorts from REI (same shorts, black). They are basically stretchy, tight, mid-thigh-length bike shorts with "traditional" running shorts over top -- but they are one piece, so nothing rides up funny. In fact, they stay in place better than any other pants or shorts I own. My running store recommended bike shorts to help keep the chafing in between my legs under control when I run, but I don't like how they emphasize certain round parts that I'd rather be flat. These shorts help with the chafing, and are wicking, so they wick away the sweat and keep me cool, and the "traditional" shorts over top are more flattering. They also have a couple hidden-ish pockets so I can keep my cell phone and keys secured and not in my hands. If you have an REI near you, and sign up for the membership, you get something like 10% back (in check form) at the end of the year.

I used to do the yoga pants, but I'd get overheated. By wearing wicking everything, I keep cool and am able to run longer and faster, without changing anything else.

For sports bras, I get the "high impact" style. They hold things tighter, which reduces/eliminates bouncing. I had success with some Reebok bras I found on clearance at a Sports Authority/Dicks. I usually just wear a thin cotton tank over that, but I definitely sweat through it. I have a couple wicking tanks that are much more comfortable (I'm just self-conscious in the neon yellow...)

Hair is definitely an issue. I have the most success pulling mine back with a single, smaller ponytail holder that's ~1/8th inch thick. Any thinner and my hair constantly falls out. If I pull my hair tight, it stays flat longer. You could also try a bandana, rolled into a 1" band. You might still get frizz, but it would look a lot cuter.
posted by DoubleLune at 12:32 PM on August 5, 2013

I'm a 16/18 and can't stand running shorts (they ride up) so I run in skirtsport running skirts. They are the ONLY running skirts that i have found where the underlying bike shorts don't roll up on you. I love them. LOVE them. Paired with some wicking tank tops from old navy and a supportive sports bra and i am good to go. Also find that Asics gel sneakers work best for heavier runners.
posted by TestamentToGrace at 1:13 PM on August 5, 2013

i swear by these two brands of headband:


i'm a crossfitter, and i sweat. only from my head. it's ridiculous. these two types of bands (bondi is cheaper, junk are adjustable) keep the sweat out of my eyes.
posted by thatgirld at 2:13 PM on August 5, 2013


I resisted sunscreen for years until I discovered Ultra Sheer lotion by Neutrogena. I have super sensitive skin and I haven't even had any problems slathering it on my face.

I don't think it makes me sweat more, but it does make me feel a little icky by the time I'm finished. I think sunscreens are a personal thing, though, and you might have a brand you like. One thing I've found that helps is first using a mineral powder, which also has SPF.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:01 PM on August 5, 2013

I love finding new runners :3.

Someone mentioned it, but I can't recommend Freya Active sports bras enough. I love them. They are encapsulation bras, which helps with boob sweat because the whole bra covers your boob, if that makes sense. I actually just ordered my second, because the first once stretched out. It's pretty stretched out, and I'm a little thinner now, but it still does 90% of what it is supposed to do, which is pretty incredible considering the bra now has like a 34'' band (it was a 32) and my ribcage is now a 29.

Freya bras aren't adorable, but they work. The underwire ones do make your boobs a little point though, and they don't have anything preventing your nipples from popping through. I couldn't care less, but I can see that bothering people. Also, the band is tight as all hell.

Running is an expensive sport, but outside of bras, socks, and shoes (and hey, if you include bras in this category I won't judge), there isn't any harm in buying clothes second-hand. All of my running clothes except a few pairs of underwear and a t-shirt from Walmart are from thrift stores. I have a pretty high-quality selection of running clothes and I spent, at most, $50 (not including my bra, shoes, and socks).

I don't have the issue with sunglasses, but when I played water polo we wore contacts that were tinted to block out the sun. It's a little bit of an extreme option, but if the glare is really hurting you and you don't mind red vampire eyes, it works.
posted by obviousresistance at 9:11 PM on August 5, 2013

I have a similar sweaty body type, sweaty parts, and hair to you. I am a former runner returning to running after 10 years.

I have Old Navy running/workout capris similar to those linked above that are great (no chub rub, and they don't have to be expensive, just long enough to cover thighs). But I've also found that building calluses and muscle has reduced the rub (you'll gain more muscle and more calluses in between your legs as you run more).

Next, my favorite sports bra source is Title Nine. They understand different women need different bras. They're also priced less than $70 as some commenters quoted.

I would suggest a visor made of breathable fabric instead of a ball cap. That way less sweat is trapped close to your hair. Visors go with ponytails, and I suggest a bit of mousse or even water to keep flyaways down. Afterward, condition your hair well to avoid breakage from sun damage.

As for knees - listen to your body (stop when it hurts!) and stretch. I second the advice to check your gait and posture (running on a treadmill in front of a mirror can help you study this).
posted by Red Desk at 10:58 PM on August 5, 2013

- I sweat a lot when exercising. Mostly from my face, back of head, underboobs (I know you other DD ladies know what I'm talking about), and lower back that makes my butt a little soggy during runs. Even after losing a bit of weight, I sweat just as much. I'm just a sweaty mofo of a woman.

Totes normal. Think of it as a good thing. I sweat enough to sit on a towel driving home and I'm a long time runner. It's your body being efficient at cooling off! Or something.

- I have thick, medium length hair that I scramble into a bun and wear some stretchy headband thing to help tame the inevitable lion's mane that form's around my head. Anything else I can do to deal with my swampy, thick (but often frizzy) hair during runs?

Bandanas! Or thick headbands that cover half your head. I have super thick frizzy hair and it scoffs at those thin "anti-sweat" headbands. I think of the thick headbands/ bandanas as part of my cooling system.

- Are there things I can do to be proactive about wear on my knees? My right knee is a little kooky once in a while due to a ladder fall a number of years ago. Should I wear some kind of support on my knee? Exercises I can do to overall strengthen them and keep them from getting injured?

Lunges and squats. Squats and lunges. Lunges, side-squats. One legged-squats and walking lunges. Also hiking up steep hills or steps. Chair sits against a wall. Basically anything that makes sure you are developing your quads and hamstrings/glutes reasonably evenly will protect your knees. But seriously: lunges and squats. Just take it easy at first, you can completely cripple yourself doing them even if you run a lot. Ankle mobility is important too so look that up and incorporate it.
posted by fshgrl at 2:00 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

oh hai, I am an on-again, off-again runner and am just transitioning from a summer of bike racing into a fall/winter of combo running / riding and Nordic skiing.

I have the world's godawfulest thunder thighs. I'm short and muscular and stumpy and believe you me, Chub Rub Is A Thing. Also I sweat like a horse (pigs don't actually sweat). I don't have the boobs angst, but it doesn't really matter because Oh God The Sweat, It Is Disgusting.

I got a bunch of relatively-cheap stretchy knee-length capris from a combo of Target and Dick's to combat the chub rub. Bodyglide does help for longer runs, but the best thing is just to keep the skin from contacting altogether with lycra capris or somesuch. I don't wear my good cycling bibs to run in, because running in chamois is like trying to run in a diaper.

I wear short cheap skirts over the capris if I'm going to be running anywhere I don't feel like showing booty. Most of my "running skirts" are just flippy nylon / poly minis I randomly find at Savers / the thrift store. Lululemon et. al. can bite my shiny sweaty metal ass.

I have the world's thickest, most out of control hair, and it is down to the small of my back now. For running, I put it in a high ponytail, then braid it from there. Put a cheap visor on and it's all nicely contained and doesn't bounce / fling around and bug me.

For knees, I agree with the squats & lunges, but go slowly and transition carefully. Get your form down first, and don't be afraid to build your flexibility up to properly squat "ass to grass". The people who say "don't squat past 90 degrees" are not advocating correct form. If you build up properly and adapt slowly, you will get there and your knees will become bulletproof.

Something I've discovered with all my biking and office living is that it is actually SITTING that is terrible for your knees. Who knew? Anytime I sit for lengths of time (work, natch, but cycling is a definite contributor as well) I get tight quads / glutes / piriformis / hip flexors, etc... This just tugs on the whole muscle chain that aggravates my knees. To combat this I do a lot of self-massage with a foam roller and trigger point massage devices. Key players in the "knots that pull on my patella and make it GRAR" drama are, in no particular order: iliotibial band (ITB), outer quad, inner quad, adductor, piriformis, glute medialis, various calf muscles, random ankle things including Achilles, and the small-of-back muscles right along the spinal column (rector spinae?) idk, think "not ass, and not back, but generally the epicentre of ow".

Sorry I can't help with the bra recommendation as I basically have no boobs, but good luck with the rest of it!
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:47 AM on August 6, 2013

I am also a novice C25K runner with some extra weight, and here is my go-to running outfit:

1. Panache Sport sports bra.
When I tried this on, I wasn't sure it'd contain the bounce, but it totally does. I ran a 5K in it, no problem, and I am several letters past your DD in the bra department. Plus, I like that there are COLOR OPTIONS for larger-sized sports bras. Finally!

2. Underpants
Non-cotton ones that claim to not show under clothes. Nothing fancy.

3. Old Navy Compression Capris
My thighs are also not compatible with shorts for running, and these capris stay put and don't rub in weird spots. I like that they're tight, because it feels like they hold my chub in, I guess? They definitely make me feel like more of A Runner than regular old yoga pants, probably because the legs don't flap around at the bottom. I wasn't expecting to like these as much as I do - they're definitely my favorite running pants now.

4. Nike Dri-fit V-Neck top (also in plus size)
These feel cottony which I like - ultra-synthetic shirts are uncomfortable to me - but they don't keep me overly warm. I found my first one at Ross and I bought a second at JC Penney because I liked it so much.


It's a shame you can't run with sunglasses; I don't have any good suggestions for alternatives there. I have this knee brace which worked fine when I needed it, for what that's worth. I can't recommend the bra enough, and I really like the capris and top as well. I don't like Old Navy for running shirts, as they tend to look like pajamas on me, but they've been great for bottoms.

Best of luck with your running! C25K is great - it's the first time in my life I've been able to run a mile (or three!) without stopping.
posted by meggan at 6:27 PM on August 6, 2013

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