This is a guest post by Dublin’s most fashionable runner Rosemary MacCabe.
If there’s one thing worse than running for the bus on a Monday morning, lunchbox in one hand, handbag on the crook of your elbow and iPhone not-very-securely in your hand, it’s running for sport, at least as a beginner. There is a time – believe me, although it feels very long ago from this side of my shin-slints-addled vista – when running will feel pleasurable. You will feel a freedom absolutely unparalleled in life as you bound (slash jog) through fields and down paths quicker and with more ease than you’d ever felt possible. This freedom, however, will never come if you do not have the right support. Unless you are in the minority of smaller-than-B-cups or, you know, a boy, that is an inalienable fact.
But there is help at hand – in the form of, and don’t even act like you saw this coming, the trusted sports bra. It was invented for scenarios like this when, for some reason or another, you have decided to subject your breasts to the gravity-defying torture of running. It will hold your boobs up and in; it will support them when you have decided to abandon them altogether; it will do for them what gravity, Mother Nature and you can not, even with all three of your powers combined. In short, it will prevent your breasts from looking 70 before you do (if Madonna had a sports bra for her hands, for example, LOOK magazine would have entirely run out of headlines by now).
My recommendations? Shock Absorber’s Run bra. It is, tits down, the best bra I have ever tried for sports – and with DDs that need, let’s face it, a little extra TLC, this is saying something. With my Shock Absorber Run bra on, my boobs do not move, no matter how much the rest of me does.
I have also tried:
Shock Absorber’s classic sports bra – I’d give it 80% to the Run bra’s 100%, but if you’re just starting out and not running very fast, it should do fine. Don’t do too much bouncing, would be my advice.
Penneys medium support sports bras – for the house only, you know, when you get in from work, want to put on a comfy bra and an oversized tee-shirt and watch TV. I would recommend moving as little as possible, and for the love of God do not jump around.
Nike’s sports crop tops – very popular in the 1990s, especially when on Melanie Chisholm of Spice Girls fame, these will not do a whole lot for your breasts when it comes to sports support, but you’d get away with wearing them for medium-impact activities. Cycling and the likes. Maybe some gentle yoga, or a walk in the park.
I have not tried:
Under Armour’s sports bras – but they do come highly recommended by friends and family alike. Stocked in Lifestyle Sports.
- Try it on! And this is coming from the queen of not trying things on. A sports bra is one thing you really need to try on (and don’t give me that whole “but what about jeans” lark; seriously, sports bras? Try ’em on. Jeans? Take your chances; sometimes it works out)
- Try it on again! Even if you think you’re good, try on another size. Go up, go down. When it comes to sports bras, I find snug is the best fit. That’s not comfortable, that’s not perfect, that’s snug. A little tight, almost to the point of feeling too tight. If it’s even slightly too big, it’ll be about as useful as a rubber pencil.
- Wash it in a wool wash. Your sports bra is going to have a good bit of elastane in it, and while it should do you a while (unless you’re washing it every day), treat it kindly – it won’t last forever. But it will last longer if you wash it in a wool cycle and use a soft detergent. I like Woolite for looking after my delicates.
- Don’t store your iPod in it. This is never going to be comfortable; invest in an armband, or an iPod shuffle you can slip on to your waistband. Just let your bra look after your boobs; them’s precious cargo, and it doesn’t need the added stress of holding on to your iPod or, worse, your house keys.