why do elite women run in knickers?

Was just watching the elite women race the Great South Run and was wondering why some elite women choose to run in knickers whilst others run in shorts? Those knickers are teeny! but can't imagine that they make much of a difference to performance compared to small, tight shorts?


  • image I don't think anyone had noticed. Might just be personal choce for chaffing?
  • Do you mean like the navy knickers we had to do PE in at school?
  • Don't know was a boy and can't remember that far back anyway. image
  • Oh God (shuddering with the recollection).  Mine were bottle green.
  • Gym knickers were responsible for my hatred of exercise for years! image

    I can never work out how the professionals' knickers don't work their way ... errr up!  They just stay neatly in place the whole time! image

  • I don't know, it's always been that way although I think in the past 5 or so years there's been more of a shift away from gym knickers.

    On a related note about gym knickers I once went to a race and was given the uniform the night before and the gym knickers were yellow. I didn't want to wear them (and one of my teammates actually refused and wore the men's shorts instead. they were yellow too. she had a shouting match with the team manager about this).

    I dont think I've worn them for about 5 years and I wouldn't be in a hurry to do so again. Like plodding lady says they don't have any effect on performance else all of the men would be wearing them too image

  • That's bought back memories, my gym knickers were supposed to be grey flannel and they had a pocket on the front - never knew what I was supposed to put in it but I never wore them anyway.
  • Its an interesting question.  One that pops up regularly on RW and never seems to get a sensible answer.

    Surely someone knows why elite female rurners run in knickers?

  • OMG, the only reason I run is to look at fit women running in pants lol! image  I used to love the girls in their regulation gym knickers when I was at school - sigh...image
  • ours were navy and they were horrific, we refused to wear after the 2nd yr so we got to wear cycling shorts instead, looking back they were just as bad - just longer!
  • I think elite men should also run in knickers
  • No JW, the navy ones were the best - better than the burgundy ones, anyway!  Cycling shorts are even better! image

    I think you're right Johnny, wonder if women would like that lol!

  • imageummmmm - nope!

    CB - I can see ur a connosieur of the gym knicker!

  • lol @ the pocket on the front - maybe it was for a tissue?
  • some of the men in tri run in the knickers with a lttle mankini..............doesn't look good.even with their brilliant bodiesimage
  • You're right JW, those gym knickers rock!  Looking at the girls wearing them made me what I am today - a right old perv lol! imageimageimageimage
  • In answer to the original question it's down to heat and a little bit of aerodynamics.  Having ran in crop top and knickers myself I don't overheat nearly as much as running in a vest & shorts.  I do like to think that there's less wind restistance wearing less kit too, but I prolly don't run quickly enough to make a difference, but for the elite athletes every little helps, so like the elite swimmers choosing the best costume (even if it only makes a tiny difference) it's still worth the effort.

    ..and no, the knickers don't 'ride up'

    Plus - if you had the body for it wouldn't you want to show it off?

  • Vicki - really? do you feel like the knickers make you less hot/more aerodynamic than v short, tight shorts?

    I can understand that a crop top rather than a vest would help but just can't get my head round those teeny knickers?

    lol - why am I so obsessed with this question? I have no idea...just intrigues me!

  • I've always wondered that, especially when the elites obviously train in shorts, judging by their comedy tan lines...
  • I'm surprised by the perving men here. Maybe I'm looking at it all wrong but don't those knickers and crop tops make them look utterly unsexy? It's all laid out on a plate and it isn't like there's anything feminine about most of them to display!

    I still can't get the memory of my burgundy PE knickers out of my head - came complete with my initials on them. How fetching ... NOT!

  • now this is a pair of running pants

     she can run too

    read the biog

  • Hubba-hubba GB!  Biog makes her sound like a nutter though but I'd keep an open mind.
  • Nutters dont worry me I reckon she'd be handfull
  • I've been to Cocoa beach and I'm damn sure I never saw her there......

    Mrs America 2010 is an experienced triathlete..........get me into T1 quickly!!
  • blimey talk about perfect teeth
  • You'd never spot her unairbrushed and straight out of the water image
  • You'd spot me coming out of the water......... my hair colour would streak down my forehead  image

  • Lady Wot Jogs wrote (see)

    You'd spot me coming out of the water......... my hair colour would streak down my forehead  image

    me too oh hang Ive got no hairimage
  • I ran the whole of a Bath Half Marathon behind a mega fit guy who was wearing a thong - I got a PW but hell, it was worth it......  can I just ask why these women don't suffer with chaffed inner thighs?  I look at Christine Ohorugu and can't understand why not - unless she's not doing the distances that would cause the problem.  I have thighs that would crack walnuts and sadly suffer them rubbing together - no amount of vaseline helps over a long period of time.  Would love to wear a small pair of knix just once - no doubt the race photos would stop me ever considering it for a second time !!
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