Anyone who knows me knows how I like to race: in a sports bra and briefs. Briefs are those things that some women runners wear that look like bikini bottoms. I like to call them spankies! But you might also know them as “buns” or “bun huggers.” Whatever you call them, they’re what I like to race in.
Of course, this choice of apparel is not without controversy both in and out of the running universe. Today I want to tell you why I (and perhaps you might) like to wear them and give you some things to consider if you do.
Let’s do this Q & A style.
Q: Rocket, why do you run in your underwear? Are you trying to be sexy?
I am often asked why I run “naked.” My choice of briefs is really NOT meant to be a fashion statement. I don’t wear them to be sexy. I mean, seriously! Being sexy is the last thing on my mind when I toe the line! Even so, I’ve overheard the comments. Things like, “Did you see that girl in a bikini, what the hell?” When my picture was on the front cover of the news paper after I won the Akron Marathon there was some backlash. Here’s a sample comment about the photo:
When I looked at the front page of the paper this morning I thought my neighbors Playboy magazine had been delivered to my house by mistake. In a few years, they’ll be running with g-strings and nipple pads. There is obviously no longer such a thing as modesty or propriety in our sex-crazed American culture.
Alrighty then. The answer is that no, I will not be moving to g-strings or nipple “pads” (does he mean pasties?) The reason I and many other women runners wear them to race in is because they are comfortable and feel fast! There is just something about the feeling of peeling off your bulky warm ups and being in a sleek uniform that finally says I am ready to go!
Q. Do you have to be fast to wear them? I mean, you don’t usually see buns in the back of the pack, if you know what I mean.
Most people assume to be in them means you have to be fast. Well, more times than not the ladies choosing to adorn the smallest buns and singlets possible have some pretty fast legs and are usually in the top 5 percent of the race. Should this be a steadfast rule? No! If you think spankies are the most comfortable option go for it!
But word to the weak of heart – if you don’t like being poked fun of, you won’t make it out there. I don’t care if you are fast, I have heard some pretty snide remarks about my race attire beyond that I look like I want to be in Playboy (*snicker*). When you let a lot hang out, people can say mean things about it. I just roll with it, because to me their comfort and the fact that I feel fast in them makes it worth hearing the occasional snide remark.
Q. Ok, then you need to be super thin to wear them, right?
Well, no! Wear them if they make YOU happy. But remember, they show it all! Every bump, every ounce of whatever you are. So for people who don’t like the idea of others seeing that, I would recommend longer shorts. If it makes you feel self conscious, choose something more modest. Spankies are not for everyone, but there are certainly no restrictions on the size or shape of who can pull them off. Like most things, it’s all in the attitude and with what makes you comfortable.
Q. Say, I’m interested in trying out some bun huggers. What should I look for when shopping for a pair?
When looking for and choosing a good pair of spankies, there are a few things to take into account. They all boil down to making sure they fit!
Fit rule #1: no wedgies! If they are too big, it will be wedgie city!! Since underwear are not typically worn under them, you know what that means… you will be mooning people all over an entire city! Nice decent people who don’t deserve it will see your butt!
Fit rule #2: no camel toe! If the waistband is too loose and they ride up, there’s your camel toe, end of story. Do not let this happen to you! No one wants to see that, and you won’t be buying the pictures of your newly-minted PR if this happens.
Fit rule #3: no muffin top! Make sure they are not too small. If they are too small, they will give you a super cute muffin top, and make your toned, fit legs look like they are part of a string of sausages. So for a good fit, you want no extra material on your thighs and the leg holes to be just snug enough that they won’t move around.
Fit rule #4: no see-through! Finally make sure they are a color that is not see-through. Sometimes terrible things happen during races and you want to make sure that it isn’t the only thing people remember about your race! Also, what happens when white gets wet? Exactly! One other color to stay away from is heather gray. About two seconds into the race when sweating starts, it looks like you have decided to forgo the the port-o-let, front and back! On race day, we want to feel sleek, poised and ready to go. Maybe try black for your first try with briefs; it’s definitely the safest color choice.
Q. What kind of top goes with them?
To finish off this race day look, I recommend a colorful and fun sports bra! Something that makes you smile when you see those race photos. Another good option is a long bra or fitted singlet. It looks weird to have a loose singlet tucked in or flopping around, making you look like you don’t have any pants on. So stay away from loose and floppy on the top when choosing what to wear with your spankies!
Have you ever raced in bun huggers? Do you love your spankies? Buns scare you? Tell us how you feel about the littlest running bottoms!