Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dryer Sheets Are A No No!

A pair of shorts and a singlet have been a runner's uniform for decades, but no more do you have to worry about ending your run with the 5lbs of sweat your cotton T-shirt and tube socks have collected. The technical fabrics of today's running garments are designed to pull water away from the body to the surface of the garment where it evaporates. Because of this ability, you stay dryer and your clothes dry faster. Another advantage is that technical fabrics are light-weight and less bulky.

Be sure to try on your running clothes before buying them. Every runner is different. What works for one runner might not work as well for another runner. When picking out a garment, try to find one with few seams or seams sewn using a flatlock stitch to keep rubbing and irritation at a minimum. Also, think about which length of shorts will feel the most comfortable and meet your needs. Racing shorts usually have a much shorter inseam (2" to 3") than shorts for everyday running (4" to 10"). Racing shorts are often designed with a full-, half-, or quarter-split along the sides of the legs to provide better freedom of movement. Pay the same careful attention when selecting tops. Make sure the garment doesn't rub or irritate you in the armpit or neck area. Sometimes extra seams added purely for design purposes can be irritating.

One downfall of technical fabrics is that they tend to retain body odors which can be very hard to get out. Regular laundry detergent usually doesn't remove these odors. Don't fret; there are special detergents especially made to remove sports odors. WIN is one brand that I've used and it works well. Check to see if your local sporting goods store carries it or order it driectly from Don't forget to check the garment tags. Some garments (especially socks) have been treated with an anti-microbial substance to help keep the BO at bay.

One more tip to keep in mind regarding your high tech running clothes—never use fabric softener sheets. The fabric softener chemicals in the sheets will clog the technical fabric making it less effective in wicking away the water. So, either dry your running clothes in the dryer without the dryer sheet or just hang them to dry. Because the fabric is designed to resist water absorption, they're practically dry right out of the wash, so hanging them to dry usually takes just minutes.

Don't worry; buying good quality, high-tech-fabric running clothes doesn't have to cost you a fortune. Target carries a line of running clothes for men and women from Champion that wear well, look great, and are very affordable. You can also purchase the clothes directly from the Champion Website.


Anonymous said...

Hi Thad,

Where do you buy WIN around here?

RunnerDude said...

Hey Dena! I get it at Dicks in the Target Shopping Center off Wendover. Seems like it's around $5 or $6.