(Not) running in leggings

It’s been a while since I’ve written about running. It’s now three months since my marathon and running no longer consumes my every waking minute. But I’m still running four times a week and averaging over 20 miles a week.

Running in summer is hot. Even running in an 18 degrees overcast kind of day is hot. But running in some of the crazy temperatures we’ve had lately (even though I always run fairly early in the morning) is REALLY HOT. In a vague attempt to stay cool while I run, I wear shorts for about five or six months of the year (approximately April to September, depending on the temperature at the time).

But I’ve noticed recently that a lot of women don’t wear shorts when they run. They wear leggings. Sometimes three-quarter length leggings, but more often they are wearing full-length leggings.

WHY?! Why do they do this to themselves?

Running in the summer is hot. Running in leggings is hot (that’s why I wear them in winter – to keep warm). Being hot while running is unpleasant and can actually make you feel quite ill.

I literally can’t imagine why anyone would put themselves through that, but there is nagging feeling at the back of my mind that these women are worried about showing their legs. I really hope that isn’t the case, but I suspect it’s the truth.


Guess what? When you run, nobody is judging you. They are too busy worrying about what they look like themselves to worry about what anyone else is looking like. When I see runners – whether super-speedy elite runners or runners who move at little more than walking pace – the only thing I think is ‘good on them for being out there and running’. I don’t think ‘Oh God, look at those legs/ boobs/ tummy/ sweaty face’. And I’m pretty sure nobody else does too.

When you are running, here are a few things people don’t look at:

  • Your cellulite
  • Your white legs
  • Your unshaved legs

So, ladies, please do yourselves a favour. Let the leggings go and get yourself a nice pair of shorts to run in. You will feel so much cooler and you will never look back.

Running, Runner, Shorts, (Not) running in leggings

Running in Nice was HOT


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I totally agree, same goes for shopping/walking around/going the park etc. I wear knee length loose fitting ones Currently my legs are a mass of healing bites, bruises off the bike pedals, not to mention the plaster on the cut on the knee, yes even adults need plasters occasionally and unshaved bits round the spots and cuts.
    I will not ride a bike in shorts in case I come off at least I have some protection.

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    • I do wear shorts when I’m not running too, but only when the temperature gets to about 28, as I’m not the sort of person who feels excessively hot, so I’m comfortable in trousers. But running is a different matter! My husband had a nasty fall from his bike in shorts. I doubt wearing trousers or leggings would have made much difference to him, apart from possibly to get stuck painfully into the cuts!

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  2. I wear to the knee leggings, they are Skins compression ones and I feel they help my legs when running, they are heat reactive so dont make me feel sweaty! Maybe one day when i can run much better i wont need the compression to help me!

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    • If they’re only to the knee, they’re pretty much long shorts! I’ve never used compression shorts or socks. I would be interested to see if they help me to run better, but have never fancied spending the money on something I might not like/ use!

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  3. I couldn’t imagine running in leggings.
    I sometimes wear leggings and end up roasting in them and that’s just walking!
    I think it starts off when they are younger. My teen always wore leggings for PE. They were given the option of shorts or leggings and 99% of her year group wore leggings. x

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    • I don’t wear leggings for anything other than running in winter. It is a shame your daughter’s school gave them the option of wearing them because most teenagers would choose leggings, then they will never feel brave enough to switch to shorts. My daughter’s school PE kit is a skort. x

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  4. I don’t run, but in the summer I don’t wear skirts or dresses. If it’s really hot (maybe over 27C), then I’ll get out the knee length denim shorts, but short shorts or skirts just mean lots of chub rub. It’s not pleasant, so jeans or linen trousers are so much more comfortable. For sports when I was slimmer I’d use shorts, but nowadays I’d probably boil in jazz pants. Purely for rubbing/feeling self conscious. I never wear leggings – I don’t have the legs for them.

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    • I only wear leggings for sport, not for daywear. I can understand linen trousers being comfortable in heat. I used to be able to wear jeans all summer round, but I just get too hot in them these days, so I have a couple of lighter pairs of trousers for daywear, then I wear shorts for daywear when the temperature gets above about 26 degrees!

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