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With less than 12 days to go until my Brighton Marathon attempt I have a body that I am sure is throwing out phantom niggles and pains just despite me. So I am concentrating on eating well, hydrating and basically tapering without driving myself and everyone around me mad.

Todays post therefore is an attempt to lighten my mood and prevent me from writing another dreadful woe is me post. Although men, you may want to look away now!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!

As we are talking Knickers!!

Briefs!!

Pants!!

Underwear!!

Now in normal everyday life I am a bit of a thong girl. Big panties just don’t work on my big butt, the material slips to places it shouldn’t and the sight of them hanging on the line in all their glory is enough to cause anyone to spiral into depression. So on the whole I go for as little material as possible.

But when you apply this theory to running underwear you open a whole different can of worms.

I have a feeling this might be the most divisive subject I have tackled to date on this blog, it may even change the running landscape forever as we ask ourselves “is she, isn’t she?” every time we see another female runner.

Ok so I am just going to say it….does anyone out there NOT wear underwear when they run???

*tumbleweed blows across the screen*

So let me take you back to the first time I ever ran commando it was a complete accident really. No I didn’t have a dreadful accident, and no I did not forget to put pants on all together, I save that for when I go swimming (Anyone else do that?). I just took them off because they were chaffing.

I was on my way to take part in the British 10K in Central London probably back in 2006 or something. As I walked from the tube station along to the start point, a mile or so I guess, I started to feel a little uncomfortable, and no matter how I tried to reposition things it seemed to just get worse. So there was nothing else for it. I popped into a portaloo and whipped the offending item off and disposed of it accordingly.

It felt a little strange at first, but after a while I completely forgot I wasn’t wearing any.

At first I just took this approach for races, but these days it has just become habit I guess. The thing is I thought I was the only runner that did this. It was my little secret. But the other day while on a running forum that I am part of on Facebook, someone asked the question “What underwear do people wear?” and guess what?? The running world is full of women who run with no pants on. Now I am not saying ALL women, because many of the ladies that responded to the question gave recommendations for running briefs and all sorts of other choices, but there were LOADS of women who admitted to going commando.

So a few things to consider

  1. Are your running trousers hiding your secret well enough? If you are going to go Commando make sure your decency is completely covered. So NO see through running tights…and definitely NO just too tight tights (if you get my drift)
  2. What happens if you get caught short? Ok so knickers are not going to give you much protection, but some is better than none I guess. Some running tights have gussets in them that pretty much do the same job but if you have a weak bladder then maybe stick to the big pants.
  3. What would happen if you had an accident? Not a getting caught short kind of an accident, but a getting hit by a car, or fainting kind of accident. Imagine having to remove your trousers and not having anything on underneath…what was it our grans told us about wearing clean underwear?
  4. What happens if the elastic in your trousers fail? These things happen. In fact they are exactly the type of thing that happens to me…so maybe I need to reconsider.

The phrase “Going Commando” also known as “Free Balling” for men and “Free Buffing” for us women comes from a much earlier phrase “Going Regimental” which apparently was about Scotsmen not wearing anything under their kilts, but I also found something on-line from a Former soldier infantry and medic who said

“When it is hot and humid soldiers in the field can get crotch rot and also get rubbed raw. You don’t want to have too much wet scanky fabric next to that part of your body. It is because soldiers sweat a lot and they can’t take showers for days. It is  (going commando) the best ways way to prevent crotch rot and rashes. I should know have been there done that.

Food for thought hey? Cos none of us have time for crotch rot right?

In August I will be embracing my inner soldier when I take on a Tough Mudder obstacle course billed as “probably the toughest event on the planet”. A lovely blogger who follows me Becca, from the Snickers to Marathon blog gave me some great advice on what to wear, as she has already done this event. She said to make sure I wore big knickers as there is the potential for ripping your trousers on barbed wire, and all the other dangerous obstacles that form the race…including FIRE I might add.

I can’t get that advice out of my head. As if I didn’t have enough to worry about with this event what with its 13 miles of mud, 25 obstacles including electric shocks, ice baths and confined spaces. What if I forget about wearing knickers? It would seriously be just my luck, the elastic on my running tights go while I’m twenty foot high up on the monkey bars, giving the rest of the competition the glorious view of my backside.

Ok enough of that!!

So for the purposes of research I would love to know your thoughts on this who going Commando philosophy. Have you ever run with out pants, would you ever think about trying it, if not why not. Have you had any funny knicker related incidents you would like to share with us???

  1. ha brilliant. only do it occasionally, always when you buy that looks good but wish u had just put your granny pants on!

  2. March 26, 2014

    I’ve gone on a long walk with no knickers but only because I didn’t get any out and my very own Commando was asleep in the bedroom so I couldn’t go back and get any. Felt a little draughty at first! As for accidents, Commando was once in a bike accident. It was the middle of winter and he was wearing women’s tights under his leathers (for warmth you understand). I think the casualty nurses had a laugh!

  3. March 26, 2014

    I’m commando 24/7 and have been for at least 15 years. Got tired of them going places they shouldn’t and really, they are redundant anyway. I save money and time not messing with those things. I don’t want to be running and tugging, that would cause me to trip. We went on a cruise several years ago and the first night it got a little breezy on the top deck so I was doing my best to hold my skirt down. A man and his wife were sitting there and as I walked by he said, “I bet you won’t wear a skirt tomorrow night.” I told him that I probably would but I might wear underwear the next time. His wife laughed and said I shouldn’t have told him that because he would just be following me around the entire cruise.

  4. March 25, 2014

    Always go commando. Never thought about putting pants on under running tights. Why would you!

  5. Ok I might be the exception here … I wear pants. I’ve never thought about not but I did rip my running trousers at the knee the other day when I fell. It would be just my luck that on the day I didn’t wear them I’d rip them in bad place.
    I also recently noticed that some shops (incl M&S) have started to sell fitness pants. Not shorts but pants to match your sports bra. I wondered who would buy them. People that can’t bear to leave the house without a matching underwear set on?

    • I recently reviewed a matching set, although there is nothing at all wrong with the knickers I haven’t worn them since doing the review…the bra has become a regular though!!

  6. March 25, 2014

    When I run in the mornings I don’t wear underwear. I don’t wear underwear to bed and I don’t want to get a perfectly good pair all sweaty and gross for a thirty minute workout and then have to put ANOTHER pair on after I shower. I do enough laundry as it is!
    For my long runs, I wear ExOfficio briefs from REI. I went commando once and had chafing issues so NEVER AGAIN!
    Thanks for sharing this topic. Interesting info to had!

  7. def commando all the way. knickers just get in the way!! did a mud run commando too

  8. March 25, 2014

    Have alrways run commando and never thought anything of it. It’s not as if I sit round in my running shorts all day. or even go to the loo,

  9. March 25, 2014

    have alreays run commando – and never though anything of it. It’s like I sit around in running shorts all day when i’m done.

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