Your “Girls” Best Friend
Running can relatively be one of the least expensive sports out there. Essentially all you need is a good pair of shoes and socks then the rest is icing on top. But for women runners the story is a little different. In addition to taking care of your feet, you also need to take care of “the girls.” Sports bras, or jog bras, are just as an essential piece of equipment as a good pair of shoes, and they also need to be replaced just as often—about every 6 to 12 months—because they lose their elasticity and support. Ladies, your breasts are an important part of your anatomy, and just like your feet, teeth and eyes you should take care of them routinely as well. Most of us know that the bounce factor is not only unappealing for us, but it is also painful. Unsupported breasts could result in significant vertical bounce, increased sagging with time and poor posture. These issues magnify the larger up in cup size you go.
So what do you look for in a sports bra? How should it fit? In general, the more supportive bras have adjustable straps and adjustable clasps. They isolate and support each breast individually and avoid using compression to support. No one likes “uniboob!” You will get best results and feel most comfortable if you get a bra that is the right amount of support for you. Try to avoid using compression bras and doubling up as this will result in more bounce than a single good one. Here are some answers that will guide you along in your selection of the best support. The three most important areas when fitting a sports bra: bottom band, cups and straps. The first place to measure is the rib cage. The bottom band is the foundation and is the most important feature to keep the girls supported. The band should be snug (more so than a normal lingerie bra), and it should be parallel to the ground. If it rises, then it’s too loose. When trying them on make sure the clasps are on the furthest out, or the loosest hook and eye closure, because bras will stretch over time, and the facets can then be tightened. Cups are the second place to measure. Do this across the largest part of the bust. Cups should be smooth and have no wrinkle in the fabric. Also, make sure breasts are centered and fully contained. You should not overflow at the neckline nor bulge at the underarm. This indicates the cup size is too small or the style is too low for your shape. Straps need to be rigid and secure. Adjustable straps allow you to get a better fit. The straps provide the second area of support
Now, on to some simple care instructions for your new piece of high tech gear. Sports bras, like all great running equipment, should be properly taken care of to get the best wicking and support for longer periods of time. Keep it fresh! Wash every 1-3 wears to remove build up of sweat dirt and bacteria. It’s best to use a sports detergent because these are made with special cleaners that do not clog the wicking yarns like regular laundry detergent does over time. Keep it safe and fasten the hooks when washing in the machine and use a lingerie bag for best results. Keep it cool. Hang or lie flat to dry to keep it lasting longer. If using a dryer, then tumble dry on low and NEVER use dryer sheets or fabric softeners—they too “coat and clog” the fabric and keep it from performing at its best.
So go throw away your bra you’ve had for years and step into a better fitting and better performing sports bra. Your girls will thank you for it!
Author: Mallory Senn, employee at Garry Gribble’s Running Sports
Your “Girls” Best Friend