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3645 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Dec 30, 2011 1:39 AM by smear1
vanessaruns1 Expert 40 posts since
Mar 19, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 3, 2011 1:13 PM

Why do we hate our bodies? - Women and Running

Hello ladies (and men)


Now that the weather is warmer I'm starting to run in a sports bra and I've been intrigued by the psychology behind our body images, particularly female runners.


I was told once that I’d never be a runner because I’d never have a  runner’s body. It was the opinion of someone I respected, so I believed them. Today, I still don’t have a runner’s body. Yet I know I’m a runner.


I wanted to share my story because I think others struggle with similar setbacks. Here it is -


Does anyone else out there run in a sports bra (or shirtless for men)? Has running done anything to improve your body image?


Enjoy the lovely weather!

Vanessa Rodriguez

  • Joseph Tree Legend 378 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010

    OK, I'll bite.


    I like my body -a lot, in fact.  It works really well and even though I'm not fast, I went through 25 or so years without running when I thought I couldn't.  My knees screamed when I ran and it just wasn't worth the agony.  Then I read Born to Run and decided to give barefoot running a try.  It suits me well.  So now we're into my second summer of running and I prefer to run in soft lyca shorts that come down to just above my knees and nothing much else unless the sun is out and I don't have a shady trail to stick to.  Then I put on a white long sleeve tech shirt I got at a race.   It comes off once I get to the shade again, though, usually.


    My thought on women and body image:  You are absolutely right!  If you're a runner, that might well go a long way to resetting that oppressive, ubiquitous useless 'standard" image that seems to work its way into so many otherwise sensible women's minds.  Once you have an operational definition of what a good and useful body is, it's easier to disregard the old model.  You go!

    Barefoot / Minimalist Runner

    ...not maintaining this these days..

    07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race

    07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)

    04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )

    03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)

    02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20

    11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40

    10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)

    Started running (again) May 5, 2010

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jun 5, 2011 10:03 AM (in response to vanessaruns1)
    Re: Why do we hate our bodies? - Women and Running

    I don't hate my body, but I don't/won't run in a sports bra unless it was pretty substantial.  It mostly has to do with modesty.  My body is fine and functional, but I still don't want to "let it all hang out" for the world to see.   My body works for me, but doesn't need to be out there for the scrutiny of the general public. (And yes, I attire myself modestly at the beach as well.  I am 48 years old and past the bikini stage.)


    As for men running shirtless - well its a free country and you can do whatever you like.  But all I think when I see that (and I don't care how hot you think you are) is EWWWWW, please put some clothes on!   Don't even try to tell me you NEED to run shirtless.  I"ve been running for years and I wear a bra AND a shirt every time.  I never died of heat exhaustion yet!

  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007

    Runners - and racers - really do come in all shapes and sizes. I see the range in the starting packs of every 5K and 10K that I run - and in the age group award winners as well. And at longer distances too - when I ran the Long Beach half marathon and marathon, I noticed that most of the runners were bigger and heavier - some significantly heavier - than me. (Including a lot of those who were faster than me, ha ha).


    I live in an inland suburb of Los Angeles, and it gets pretty hot in the summer. I do see a fair number of women running in halter tops or sports bras. Some of them probably shouldn't (like the ones who are significantly overweight), each her own. Personally, I prefer wearing a T-shirt, even if it's a drippy cotton one, since it soaks up sweat. I've tried running in a bathing suit top, and I much prefer having the T-shirt. I also look better in sleeves. As for guys running shirtless - if you've got the body to show off, that's fine. But for guys who are significantly overweight, same caveat applies as to women in sports bras - do take a look in the mirror before you head out.

    2015 highlights...

    @ 5K: New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:24

    Pride of the Valley, Baldwin Park, CA, 24:28

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:40

    Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 49:57

  • Raserei Amateur 13 posts since
    May 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jun 6, 2011 11:01 AM (in response to crl8686)
    Re: Why do we hate our bodies? - Women and Running

    I'm often amazed at the different body types at a 5K and I've told my husband after races "don't under estimate the 'heavier' girls!" You don't take them seriously and they'll pass you before you know what happened. I'm still in the "athena" category myself, and muse at how many of the very thin "running type" forms I pass in a race. It's all about conditioning at this length I guess.


    About clothing, running has helped my self esteme. My body is growing stronger and changing shape, even if the pounds are only coming off at a crawl now. It'll be a while before I ever run in just a bra, but with how humid it gets around here, I can't blame em!


    Raserei - 5K Runner, Agility Dog Handler

    05/15/11 - Bob Potts 5K (first race ever) - 39.46

    06/04/11 - Hope for Cope 5K - 36.11

    07/09/11 - Habitat for Humanity 5K -

    07/30/11 - Sunset Stretch 5K -

    08/20/11 - Run for the Park CC Challenge 5K -

  • smear1 Rookie 1 posts since
    Dec 30, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Dec 30, 2011 1:39 AM (in response to vanessaruns1)
    Re: Why do we hate our bodies? - Women and Running

    Usually the female have different type of body structure and they always take some more time to get strong and tough, So at the start they may feel hard to build the structure of the body. So the running may be the best exercise to get a strong body and in that situation women must wear <a href=''>Sports Bra</a> to be comfortable in the running.

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