Running Through Time: Fashions, Records, and Harriers

Oh, to be running in the 70’s and 80’s.We should all do a collective moment of silence in thanks for technical fibers and moisture wicking clothing. The chaffage and sweat stains that some of those polyester shorts would inflict upon us almost makes my thighs burn just thinking about it.

70s workout fashion

Oh beautiful workout fashions of decades past. 🙂

I’m probably the least fashion savvy person, but being that I use any excuse to don sweats and workout clothing this is an area I can take a little more of a stance on. It’s interesting to watch the clothing and shoes change through the years…along with the records and times dropping.

Wow, running even got on People? Well, if they got Farrah to do it...

Sure the athletes do all of the work but it would be naive to not acknowledge that a margin of the time drops are linked to better running gear. Lighter spikes, streamlined shorts, speedsuits, they make our sport not only more comfortable but allow harriers to get the most out of themselves or at least more ‘bang for their buck.’

I’ve talked to shoe developers that explained the logistics of just how much of a difference even a few grams make when it comes to lighter spikes and faster PR’s. If you’re capable of running XX for a 10k in trainers, toss on some near weightless spikes and you could be looking at slicing off up to a minute (maybe more depending on your pace and shoe comparisons) off that time. Appealing, no?

The fact that nearly all tracks now-a-days are all-weather and lightyears ahead of the old cinder tracks of the past, runners today are certainly ‘luckier’ than those of decades past.


20% off your shoe weight

When all of this is taken into consideration, the question begs to asked, should we attach a little more weight to what was achieved during those decades past or the accolades of certain runners? Should we grant a more ‘baller status’ of some of the harriers that achieved such phenomenal feats off of what they were given?

We’ll never be able to compare it, we only have numbers to go off of and a record is a record. Sure, there will always be the ‘what if’ game to play; ‘what if’ we were able to go through time and even the playing field between today’s record holders and those of the past. But that isn’t a reality and you’d only drive yourself mad (or be running in circles…hehe) if you got into the debate too far.

Instead, let’s all be thankful that we are lucky enough to have access to shorts that aren’t polyester chaffage bombs. Let’s be in awe of the athletes of the past just as we are of today’s current running rockstars. Let’s look forward to what more is to come and further propel our own selves forward to reach for new, higher things. After all, if we’re running anyways me might as well run forward. 😉

1) If you were running in the 70’s or 80’s what are some trends that you think you’d be rocking while running?
If I’m going to be stuck with sweat stained shorts you bet they will at least be in a bright color. Though I don’t see myself ever getting into running with leg warmers. Hehe. 😉

2) What’s the advancement in running fashion/apparel/gear you’re especially thankful for?
Moisture wicking everything and split shorts.

3) Who are some of your favorite running stars of the past and present?

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12 thoughts on “Running Through Time: Fashions, Records, and Harriers

  1. I enjoy my vibrams, but then again I think more people were running the right way because all the coushining in shoes wasn’t really happening yet. Um, I’d totally rock the bright colors! I love bright colors! And my running idol is Steve Prefontaine. And I know everyone pretty much says him but I’ve done so much reading on that man and such. He’s legendary and if he had been able to run in present times he would’ve been even better!

  2. I would definitely be rocking some neon and a matching set of terry-towelling headband and those wrist bands. While where at it we might as well throw in some uber chunky white socks (with matching white sneakers of course!) and while I’m cross training I stand by my right to ‘get physical’ a al Ms. Olivia Newton John.
    Perhaps I need to go to the gym in costume tomorrow….

  3. I am loving Ferrah’s little “girl guide” style bandana tied around her neck lol

    and I think you’re right. It must’ve been crazy hard to run back then. When I first started running I was running in my sister’s old cross-trainers (I know, so bad) then when I got a proper pair of runners I was SUPER fast…well for me.

    I actually even switched shoes when my brooks were just over 300 miles b/c I want to wear them for my up coming race (they’re lighter) lol

    • oh ya, cross trainers would def feel like bricks…hehe. shoes (outside of their weight) are super important to make sure u get fit right for ur foot! 🙂

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