Tuck In Or Tuck Out?

Do you tuck in your running singlet/shirt when you run, whether in a training or in a race, or not?

Having been in the military, we ran with our shirt tucked-in with our running shorts for uniformity sake and for better appearance when running in formation. I guess, the norm is that, if you run with your running shorts, it is better to tuck-in your shirt or singlet.

In the early 80s when I started to seriously train myself to run in road races, I always see to it that I tuck-in my shirt or singlet whenever I run. This was a practice that was a must. This was the same observation I had with the world’s elite runners as I saw them in runner’s magazines. I have the same observation with the Kenyans and Ethiopian runners in the past Olympic Games and other IAAF World Championship Meets. The following pictures were example of world’s elite marathon runners in action in one of the famous marathon races in the world.

World's Elite Marathon Runners in the 80s (Google's Images)
Alberto Salazar In The 1980 New York City Marathon (Google's Images)

 However, things had changed lately. For the past 2 1/2 years that I’ve been to road races, I’ve seen a lot of runners with their shirts and singlets tucked-out from their shorts. Some of the world’s elite runners have also been in this kind of fashion trend.

Usain Bolt With His 2008 Olympics 100-Meter Dash World Record (Getty Images)
Samuel Wanjiru's Gold Medal Finish in the 2008 Beijing Olympics (Photo by Xinhua)

Last March when I participated in the 2010 Jeju Island Ultramarathon Race, I had a chance to visit an ASICS Store. While I was trying to fit one of its running apparel, the sales lady told me to tuck-out the singlet that I was wearing. She said (through her language & hand signs) that I should wear the singlet tucked-out from my shorts! At first, I was surprised and uncomfortable going against the norm that I was used to.

For the past weeks, I’ve been trying to run with my shirt/singlet tucked-out from my running shorts and try to study the difference from my runs if I tuck-in my shirt. It seems that there is no difference at all. But with a slight difference though. My running socks and shoes tend to be wet with my perspiration faster than when I am wearing my shirt tucked-in.

The best would be running like this…

Anton Krupicka @ 2010 Miwok 100 (Photo: http://www.ultralive.net)

But you’ll be surprised that running at The Fort, the usual running places in Manila and other private areas outside Metro Manila without a singlet (half-naked) is not allowed. It’s corny and no proper explanation had been given except that it is not allowed because the place is a private property.

Tuck In, Tuck Out, or Half-Naked…the choice is yours!