The Power Of The Outfit

I lay in bed tossing and turning. My mind is restless. I try everything, counting sheep: nope. Deep breaths through my nose: absolutely not. Shot of Nyquil. Now we’re getting somewhere. Finally, I doze off but it’s not all that long before I shoot up in bed with visions of pink in my head. I look at my clock, it’s only 4am. I drift back asleep only to find myself shooting up in bed again.This time, it is visions of purple that fill my mind. Ugh, it’s only 6am. I manage to fall back asleep just in time for my alarm to go off at 7am. Before getting up I lay in bed for a few more minutes to collect the thoughts that disturbed my slumber; ok, black crops with the pink band, pink sports bra, pink and black striped underwear, white t-shirt and black jacket. I assertively nod as if to give myself approval for the tough decision that has been and with that, I roll out of bed. It’s workout time!

Yes, I did set my alarm to get up for an early morning interval workout. Yes, I was slightly nervous about how that second bowl of spicy chili would sit during my workout but, my lack of sleep and restless mind had little to do with the actual running part of my workout. Rather, it was all in the outfit. That’s right, what I would be wearing as I set out by myself to sweat completely alone in the park at 7am.

Sound crazy? Well, okay, the above scenario might be a slight exaggeration but, there is definitely something to say about feeling good about what you are wearing for a run/workout. If you have no idea what I am talking about then I’m sorry, but you have yet to work out in a kick-ass “oh yeah, I’m fast!” run outfit, and you my friend are missing out. So before you think I’m too crazy, go and get yourself one. Go for a run. And get back to me.

In all seriousness, when I get dressed for a run and I feel good about what I’m wearing; the fit, the feel, the colours, it does something to fire up my mental game.Tempo at 5:00 mile pace? No big deal. Intervals with cut down rest? Please, I am a runner, I was made for this! Hills? Uh, yeah…they’re still just hard. The beauty is that getting into an awesome outfit is not about seeing anyone else in it. It is about the internal confidence and motivation that working out in an outfit you feel good in fosters. So go on and loose that old pair of wedgie underwear that you’ve been holding onto for years and loose that old t-shirt that accidentally shrunk into the size of your ten year old cousins.

A few months ago my mom bought her first lululemon outfit with a gift card she got for her birthday; a bright blue power y tank and black shorts, plain and simple. After wearing her new outfit to Body Pump she said, and I quote, “I know this sounds crazy but I actually felt like I could life more weight!” And my mom is that runner who wears not only my hammy downs – but my hammy downs from like, the ninth grade. She still does wear my hammy downs but she has her ‘special outfits’ and when she works out in that, she feels a positive difference.

When you feel good about what you are wearing, your workout benefits and I say you owe it to yourself to put on the outfit that makes you feel like the road warrior that you are! It will translate into the pavement, I promise! And hey, if people driving by are inevitably going to honk at you, you might as well give them something to really honk about right?!

While I love to create new outfits (when my lack of laundry-ing doesn’t inhibit too much), my all-time favourite fall workout outfit is:  black crops just below the knee, purple swifly t-shirt (compliments of lululemon), black gloves and a black hat with a low braid. Oh yeah, that’s nice!

About the Author: Nikki Tufts graduated from Boston College where she captained  her team to three consecutive DI NCAA Cross Country Championships meets. Furthermore, she has represented Canada at the World Cross Country Championships and holds personal bests of 16:38 and 35:04 for the 5,000m and the 10,000m respectively. Having just returned home to London, Ontario, Nikki is looking to hit the ground running and get back into the London running community!