By Liz McGehee
If you’re thinking of getting into endurance sports like cycling, long-distance running or the forever popular triathlon, it’s time to think about updating your wardrobe. Butt padding may seem strange at first, but you’ll notice a huge difference in your comfort level while riding your bike and a reduction in groin tenderness.
While these items can add up, the improvement in performance and physical comfort make high-performance athletic wear more than worth the initial costs. You can also collect items gradually and set up email alerts for blowout sales.
Whether you’re a competitive cyclist or just plan to be on your bike a lot, there are some essentials you need to consider. Bike and bib shorts have thick padding in the groin which keep you from getting sore in places you never imagined you could. Helmets and gloves prevent injury. Yes, gloves! Cyclist’s palsy, although common, can lead to more serious issues like ulnar claw (aka claw hand). Also, make sure your bike is fitted to you, otherwise you can develop tendonitis in the knees among other issues. Clipless pedals and shoes will keep you from slipping and injuring yourself when you’re going 35 mph downhill. Cycling jerseys have lots of handy pockets, are lightweight and usually come in bright colors that prevent accidents.
Tri clothing, although similar to cycling, is slightly different. Since you’ll be running, swimming and cycling, the clothing wicks more and the padding is thinner, allowing you to run more comfortably. You can purchase a two-piece or a one-piece racing suit, but you should consider how long the race is, how often you need to use the restroom, how hot it will be on race day and test the comfortability during training before choosing. You’ll also need a swim cap and goggles for the swimming stage. One or two-piece swimsuits as well as wetsuits are optional.
Proper footwear is probably the most important thing to protect your body if you’re a marathoner or long-distance runner. Even as a beginner, ill-fitting shoes can be the difference between giving up and going the distance. Consider the mileage you’ll be putting in, durability, pronation and foot strike. If you’re unsure, go to your local sports store to get fitted. Your surrounding climate, common weather conditions, time of day you run and projected race conditions should be used to assess your shirt, shorts or tights or whether you might need throwaway sleeves, arm warmers or gloves.
No matter what sport you plan on doing, be sure to practice in your race day attire at least once to make sure you’re comfortable for the big day.
Built on the concept that women can be both strong + beautiful, Betty Designs provides fun and unique, high-quality skinsuits, swimwear, tri, cycling and other endurance sports apparel. bettydesigns.com