Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Skin is in – or is it?


First, don’t forget to register for the 3rd annual Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K! Free shoes? Free Gu?  Free Clean Bottle? How could you go wrong? That’s right. You can’t. GO!

The other day a friend that I coach sent me a picture on Facebook that a guy had posted.  Of course, being the social media super stalker that I am I immediately went to his profile and checked him out (doesn’t everyone do that?).  No sooner did I click on his profile that his two massive pecks slammed me upside the face and my head bonked all the way down his abs.  You see, his profile pic was a shirtless, shiny, and had more muscles than an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.  I kid you not, looked something like this:

Screw you Magic Mike! And put on some deodorant!


I responded to my friend that having a profile pic like that is a lot like a chick having a bikini profile pic or a cleavage twitter icon.  It seemed like he was showing off.  Turns out the guy is just a meat head well built runner who runs without a shirt on all the time.  The picture was of him running in a race, sweat dripping off of his well chiseled abs.

When it was explained that he was just a runner and that is the way he runs during races, it got me thinking to how I am a bit of a race prude.  I honestly don’t think that it is kosher to run without a shirt on during an official race.  For that matter, against my 100% corn-fed man brain, I don’t think it is appropriate for girls to run in sports bras during races.  I suppose that part of my argument is that it is probably much cooler for me to run completely naked during a run too, but I somehow seem to manage wearing shorts.  (Thanks a LOT Eve... before you at the apple running naked would have been just fine...)

To be clear, I train without a shirt on for 9 months out of the year. For that matter, I've had race pics as my profile pic on Facebook just like that muscle guy did.  Part of it is comfort, but the other part is because not wearing shirts means that I have half as much laundry to do.  In fact, here I am this morning!

It was 4:55am. Leave me alone


But, even though I rarely wear a shirt when I train, no matter how miserable or sticky, I put a shirt on during group runs and races. I guess I just feel strange with my nipples out for everyone to see while waiting at the starting line 6 inches away from someone else.  Posting my nipples on my blog? Totally OK  I honestly use elite runners as my measuring stick for this - which provides mixed results.  Men always have tank tops on but (long distance) women have sports bras about half the time.

So, what do you think? Do you think that it is normal for people to go shirtless/sports bra at races?  What about during group training runs?  Running alone by yourself?  What if I were to tell you that the well muscled guy was actually 50 years old?  Does that make a difference?  

I actually posed the question to twitter earlier today and found out that I was well within the minority.  A few (guys) admitted to believing in a double standard that it was OK for women but not for men, but probably 75% thought that shirtless was totally fine – even if they wouldn’t do it themselves (which makes me rather skeptical).  Either way, let me know what you think with my swanky survey thing.







31 comments:

Steve Stenzel said...

We could be nipple buddies. But in a totally hetero way. Totally.

JFord said...

I train without a shirt but I do not race shirtless. I have never really thought about it either.

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Wait where's the option of only go shirtless if you should go shirtless?

The Banter said...

I'd probably use the internet a lot more if you could find pics of people topless.

Jeff Irvin said...

First off, that is a pretty sweet little survey gadget.

"I don’t think it is appropriate for girls to run in sports bras during races."

Prude. You sound like a preacher from a small Texas town that doesn't want the kids to dance. So the kids go dance in neighboring towns or even in abandoned factories. Is that what you want? Women running in sports bras in abandoned factories? Really dude? In these situations you really need to ask yourself what would Kevin Bacon do. And we all know he would just run shirtless.

Missy said...

In WTC sanctioned events (Ironman) it is illegal to race without a shirt.
I don't want to line up next to some hairy sweaty beast at a race. I just don't. So let's all wear our shirts, k?

Jen said...

What she said. ^^^

Redhead Running said...

I've worn my shirt less this summer on runs than I EVER have before and that's including when I lived in Florida. BUT... you will never, ever find me racing without one. First off, your sweat flies more freely shirtless which means that anyone I'm racing next to is getting my sweat all over them. Gross! Second, have you seen shirtless people in photographs? Even the elite's look weird with their abs all twisted and leg muscles going every which way... there's NO way I want photo documentation of any of that of me. It's bad enough I wear shorts so that my pasty white legs glare in all my race pics. I much prefer winter running pics, fully clothed and nothing looks crazy. :)

So all that said, my vote was: training run ok, racing not.

Redhead Running said...

Also, Steve's comment wins. LMFAO.

Kat Rainville said...

I think it's a little awkward to *start* the race shirtless, but totally understandable if you shed layers as the race goes on. Personally, I use my reflectively pasty skin as a means to distract my opponents mid-race.

Come to think of it, I'm probably the reason some races don't allow racing shirtless...oops.

Gracie said...

I don't really care one way or the other and haven't exactly thought about it, either. But I've only raced in a jog bra once - when the projected temps at Publix marathon were in the 80's. And I should have stripped for Boston but foolishly wore a singlet. The reason is simply that it's normally not jog bra weather for marathons, that's all. Otherwise I just dress for the weather. And I don't care if the guys race shirtless (which I see all the time down here) either. Just not something on my radar to care about. But if you race shoeless I'll likely make mild fun of you.

Sue's Ramblings said...

Can I have that FB of that runner that you stalked? ;p

Jamoosh said...

Fat guys with man boobs should wear sports bras. Just for the comedy.

Rena said...

I would run with just a sports bra if I had chiseled abs, but since that's not going to happen real soon, I don't race or run in just a sports bra. But I don't care if others do it.

James said...

I'm indifferent what others wear during a race. What ever makes them most comfortable and falls within normal decency. Shirtless for me is fine, as is sports bras for women, but if would not be appropriate for a woman to be totally topless. As for me, I'm shirts all the way. If I looked like that FB guy, then maybe I'd go shirtless, but that's not the case.

TriMOEngr said...

I'm totally a chest/abs girl and love it when the good looking, well built and minimally hair sorts go shirtless. Distracts me from the otherwise awful run I'm having. But too often it is the folks that just look nasty that do it so I guess I'll vote "wear a shirt". Guess the same goes for the ladies though I'd never wear only a sports bra in public myself (I certainly don't have the body for it).

Oh, and I totally saw the crusty nipple shot on Steve's blog the other day and agree you two are a match made in heaven.

Rain said...

I understand it's cooler (as in not as hot) to not wear a shirt. But I guess I am somewhat of a prude too...I always have a shirt and woouldn't ever consider running in a bra.

As for other people...well it doesn't bother me either way, whatever that person is comfortable with.

Runners Fuel said...

I've just started training shirtless. I don't want to see that when I'm in a race, though.

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

If you looked like Matthew McConfkghdfgkdhf, you'd probably want to run races with your shirt off, too.

Gigi said...

If I was super fit I would totally runin just a sports bra but as an over weight very pale covered in tattoos almost 40 year old...i keep my shirt on. For guys....I really don't care either way running sucks and if that makes it just a tiny bit easier for you or them go for it just don't touch me with your sweaty skin ewwwe.

Evolving Through Running said...

I always run with a shirt on .... ever since I turned 40. Not really sure why, just seems like the right thing to do. Plus, if I ran without a shirt I wouldn't have a need to put band-aids on my nipples, which is the highlight of any long run ... and of any good weekend night.

Mary @ A Walk in the Woods said...

I gotta say, if I see a dude running without a shirt on - regardless of temperature - I'm thinking he loves himself a leeetttle bit too much!

Beth (i run like a girl) said...

I'm going to answer this by asking a question: Do you expect people to wear shirts at the beach, too?

I - quite frankly - don't care what anyone else does. I'm going to stick with racing in what's comfortable. ;)

Jason said...

Just use bodyglide on the nips. No more need for the band aids. Had to share that nugget.

Jason said...

I say whateva floats your boat. Dudes go shirtless, girls rock the sports bra. It's all good, as long as you have a race bib on somewhere, you're official.

Erin said...

The survey won't load on my iPhone so here's my two cents: I will race in a sports bra. I'd never done it until last year when my coach encouraged me to do it. As for shirtless guys? I'm down with that when it's hot, but why does it always seem like the gross, hairy men are the ones stripping off their shirts? :)

Kelly said...

I think everyone should be comfortable racing, but should also take into consideration that others could be struck blind by some more "unseemly" sights. Since I am a mother of four who has lost over a hundred pounds, wearing my shirt during races is my personal gift to humankind. There are just some things that can't be unseen, you know? Be kind, my fellow runners.

Carilyn said...

I'm not a big fan of anyone running topless :), but for some completely unexplainable reason, I'm less okay with men running without a shirt - it just seems so...naked :)

All that said, I sweat like a pig (and I'm a girl), so if I could get away with it, I would probably run without anything on. Unfortunately, I'm afraid of going to jail, and if I'm honest, won't even wear a bikini in public!

daisyb522 said...

I think it is okay for either sex. Some people should double check the mirror before going shirtless, but others have a nice enough body to share it with others. I only hate them because I am jealous.

Mark said...

Adam. You are archaic. Running/racing shirtless is a matter of comfort and aesthetics. I run/race(I don't distinguish between the two) in Texas, where it's HOT 10 months out of the year! I know guys that race shirtless when it's 30 degrees outside. Their choice. I like to be comfortable when I run/race. These self proclaimed running rules of social etiquette make no sense. I dress for me! Ladies that wear sports bras and guys that race shirtless, it shows me that they're comfortable with their bodies and NOT worried about what the fashion police may think. When you mention the guy is 50, which is my age what does that mean exactly? I sense a little age discrimination here. So, we should stop going shirtless at what age? 17? 27? I have many female running friends way into their 40's who race in sports bras and they look good! Are you saying their TOO OLD to do so. I believe you're channeling your self doubt into your blog. So, build up your pecs and join me and my brethren in our shirtless/sports bra racing endeavors!

Meredith said...

I guess I'm indifferent, although I wouldn't personally do it myself in a race. I run in only a sports bra only when it's crazy hot outside or on the treadmill in my house.

Pros in races have very strict rules regarding what they can/cannot wear. My friend ran in the Olympic trials marathon and everything she could have possibly worn had to be approved and taken pictures of before the race.