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.
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.
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.
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?