Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Runners should love underpants

The necessity has been debated far and wide in the running world, since woman first put one foot in front of the other - or Nike made Tempo shorts with a liner.

To wear underpants or not wear underpants on a run, that is the question.

While many eschew the necessity of the undergarment on a fartlek or tempo outing, with even the esteemed Dimity and Sarah (aka my running idols) saying "no" - always, I find that wearing a pair of panties is not just a comfort thing. Oh, no. It's a necessity.

1. A cotton pair of underpants absorbs moisture and traps any unpleasant odors. Your shorts will already smell rank from sweat so there's no need to add to it.

2. It's been my experience that a pair of underpants (still cotton) will minimize the sound of butt-cheek clapping, which can be distracting if not disturbing to passers-by.

3. A visible panty line, otherwise known as VPL, offers those who find it cute to hoot and holler a distraction from a bare midriff, which becomes a more likely scenario as the weather warms.

4. If you are running as part of a weight-loss plan, it will become inevitable that your shorts will sag. It's always a nice incentive to buy new workout wear to celebrate but sometimes it doesn't happen ... and you nearly lose your shorts. Without undies, you're taking the risk to go bare-ass on the trail - not a smart idea when this is a bad season for ticks and mosquitoes.

5. Undies, especially an old pair, can be used as a makeshift wiping device should it be necessary to drop trou in the woods. If you went rogue and panty-less, I guess there would be alternatives - going crunchy butt for the remainder of the run or, say, using/ditching a shirt you got on clearance at Marshall's for $3 and sporting that midriff (and thus causing a No. 3 situation). However, outside of remembering TP on every run, I think it's the best option.

And that is all I have to say about that.


  1. Nope. Not convinced. No undies for me.

    #1 underwear becomes another soaked layer of bacteria. I will skip.

    #2 butt check clapping does happen, as my bottom layer are usually skin tight.

    #3 no

    #4 my shorts have drawstrings. I make sure my clothes fit before I leave the house.

    #5 I carry tissue for this purpose.

    Come on. You can do better than this list!!!! :P


    (I just hate underwear. I don't wear them as often as possible. TMI?!)

    1. And here I thought you'd be proud that I alluded to pooping in the woods on the blog, which I totally did today, and was forced to use my shirt. Bye, bye orange tank.

    2. Oh my gosh! Cracking up!

  2. Undies are necessary - I will not be convinced otherwise! I have no idea what I would have done without undies on my 18 miler when I *almost* made it to the bathroom in time. Almost.

  3. WHAT?! Why did you say?! I AM proud of you.

    I love you.

    And you can get that stain out! What a good story that will make. Loan that orange shirt to someone you really like ;)

    P.S. There is an undie run out here on 7/25. Peeps run in their underoos. Cray cray.

  4. Yikes undies are definitely necessary. I wouldnt ever consider going undieless.... Re: #2. Also, after having had two children and a prolapsed bladder, I'm one of those unfortunate souls who pees a little while running... Making a pad ultra necessary... Making unders even more necessary. I'm pretty sure watching the gimping girl with pee dripping down her leg at the finish line is the last thing the photographer wants to see.

  5. To each her own. Undies in winter- YES. Undies in summer- probably not. Unless it's a mud run- for reasons you can probably imagine.
    This is probably just as polarizing of an issue as wearing skirts vs shorts, hat or headband, and what's more fun, a new PR or buying new shoes.
    (Thanks for the giggles!)

  6. Boy did I laugh when I read this post. I love your take on wearing undies when you run. I agree with you...undies are a necessity. I can only imagine the irritation one would get from seams rubbing in all the wrong places. I do hate the panty line but I will take that over the chaffing. And let us not forget that when running pants are to tight, they become very thin and you can see butt cracks. I know I don't really like when I can see cracks on the run during a race. So it's undies all the way for me!

  7. Haha -- great post. I sometimes wear undies, sometimes not. Guess it depends on my mood and which shorts I'm wearing. :)

  8. I have debated this with my runner friends for years, and I go back and forth myself. For me it all comes down to chafage. It is tricky to find undies and running bottoms that don't chafe!

  9. I don't have a lot of running clothes and therefore re-wear them. No more than four runs, though. If I were undieless, I couldn't keep up my nasty habit.

  10. I once wore no undies once in the winter with tights, I regretted it. Chafed in all the wrong areas. Never again

  11. I didn't even know that people didn't wear undies! To each their own, I suppose, but it's a must for me!