Ladies, allow me to share with you something that really upsets me… seeing the boobies unsupported and ‘swinging for dear life’ when pounding the pavements!
Personally, when I decided to take up running, I had no idea how important finding the right sports bra really was. I bounced down the road and river in overly baggy clothes to compensate for the fact I hadn’t invested in a decent running bra. Over the last 12 months, I have tried and tested a number of running bras in a bid to find the best ones. Whether you are running a mile or a marathon, it’s crucial to find the right level of support. Different types of exercise require different bras and a high impact bra is definitely needed for us lady runners. I’ve aways hated my boobs and one of the reasons I was frightened to run at the beginning was because I felt so severely self-conscious. At a C cup, I felt that they were too big and this put me off beginning to run for some time. I bought cheap Asda sports bras to start with and ended up wearing 2 at a time under my big hoodies!
When I knew I was going to enter my first 10k, I decided I’d rather not bounce all the way around and bought a Puma high support bra. I loved it until it chaffed me to death after long runs and then we no longer ran together!
Don’t damage your assets!
There are no muscles in the breast. The only supporting structures are the skin and the Cooper’s ligaments – thin, paper-like tissues that weave throughout the breast and attach to the chest wall. It’s thought sagging, which is irreversible, occurs when these ligaments are overstretched and if you run a lot or do high impact sport, the more likely this is to happen. The force of gravity does enough damage and then of course the inevitable loss of elasticity as we age.
The best way to choose the right bra is to know your body – including your cup size and band size. It’s also advisable to choose a bra that has been specially designed for your level of exercise. There are different sports bras for running, cycling, circuit training, yoga and more, with each possessing special features that help give you the most support for that activity. The right sports bra will help minimise breast movement and impact on the ligament to make for a comfortable, bounce-free run.
Other important features to look out for when it comes to tailored sports bras for running include breathable, moisture-wicking fabric, straps that don’t dig in, and good encapsulation/compression of the breast. Colour and style matter too, particularly when going for a more expensive one.
Which sports bra is right for me?
There are three types of sports bra: compression (pushing the breast against the chest), encapsulation (lifting and separating each breast) or a combination of both.
Not every bra suits every person, and wearing the wrong size or style can reduce support. Ensure you try on a sports bra before you buy it. Jump around in the fitting room to make sure it is giving you the support you need for your chosen activity.
One of my favourites:
Until last November, Brooks wasn’t a running brand that I was very familiar with, but after trying a couple of pairs of their trainers, I was pretty impressed. I was delighted to discover that they did sports bras too and have spent the past couple of months completing many runs in the ‘Rebound racer’ until this weekend when I put the ‘Juno’ to the test. I was a little apprehensive when I first tried it on as it had more padding than I would normally go for, but this actually made it all the more supportive. It really does provide that exceptional, high-impact support. Although this bra is slightly on the pricy side, it is well worth the investment. This weekend, I ran over 20 miles and I can honestly say that there was no bounce in sight. The bra has front adjustable straps (which I love-makes the adjustment process a whole lot easier) and a padded back closure for extra comfort. The dri-layer burst fabric meant that no matter how much I sweated during these runs, there was no dampness and no chaffing! Happy happy! Looking forward to wearing this for my 3rd half marathon on Sunday! If you are looking for the right bra, check it out over at http://www.prodirectrunning.com/lists/womens-sports-bras.aspx and http://www.brooksrunning.com/en_us/womens-running-shoes-and-clothing/.
How long should a sports bra last?
The best way to judge this is to change your bra when you change your running shoes. If you are like me, that’s about every 6 months!
Choosing the right running bra can be a minefield and over the next few weeks, I’ll be following this post up with a couple of other bras that work really well.
Happy shopping and as always, any questions, just shout!