Always a runner? Then dress like one!

My friend Nick Anderson used to explain that as a coach he is interested in the runner 24 hours a day, not just the hour or three that he or she is actually running each day. Let’s face it, it is relatively easy to ‘be a runner’ when you are actually running. But the other 21 hours a day, when there are all the distractions that come from life; family, friends and work, then it is much harder to be a full time runner.

And what about what you wear when you are not actually running? It’s easy to look like a runner when you are running. But perhaps less so when you are not – trainers and a suit looks a bit daft and running tights in the office is a definite no-no in my books (at least they are for me!) It is probably ironic then that people who consider themselves to be a runner – who define themselves as a runner – often look like every other person on the street when they are not doing the thing that they love. Obviously if that is not a problem for you, then you are in a good place. But for me – whose life is all about running now – I want to advertise my passion for the sport.

The answer… t-shirts!

I have always wondered why races supply either huge t-shirts (London Marathon, I’m looking at you) that end up straight in the bin, or poor-quality technical t-shirts that I am only going to wear when I’m running and only when none of my good quality t-shirts are clean (which is pretty much never). I do like wearing the cotton t-shirt that I got from the Great North Run 25th edition and from the Hampstead Heath Pond-a-thon – the only ones that fit me. And recently I have had a chance to advertise my love of running with some lifestyle t-shirts.


A few weeks ago I was contacted by SUNDRiED who wanted to send me one of their t-shirts. It is an odd situation when you are asked to review a non-technical t-shirt, but I was happy to see what they are producing. They send me a small black t-shirt from their ‘Run’ series.

SUNDRiED describes itself as a brand that was created by surfers in Peru. They produce t-shirts, sunglasses, hoodies and some other bits, all emblazoned with either their logo or a graphic word or phrase. In terms of the actual t-shirt, they feel amazing. The first one I received, was a men’s small in black with the word ‘RUN’ emblazoned across the front. That was a bit too neat for me (blame my lack of running rather than the t-shirt – I guess I am not quite a small any more!) and it was pretty quickly ‘borrowed’ by my wife. So SUNDRiED sent me another one – khaki, size medium. It is lovely and will not be being borrowed by anyone! It is a really neat fit, soft organic cotton and I really like the simplicity of the logo.

LtW_tshirt_photoLike the Wind magazine t-shirts

The other running t-shirts that I have really been enjoying wearing – for a whole host of reasons – are the ones that we produced for the Like the Wind magazine Pop-Up*.

The t-shirts were designed by Fergus McHugh, one of the illustrators who works on the magazine. Fergus came up with five designs and I think they are all brilliant. We ended up only producing three of the designs that Fergus came up with, due to financial restrictions, and I have nabbed one of each for myself. But I don’t just love the t-shirts because the designs are cool – having been involved in the manufacturing process, I really enjoyed sourcing the organic cotton t-shirts, finding a printer and deciding on the sizes that we would have produced. Obviously I am biased, but I think that the LtW t-shirts are great. I am also really looking forward to seeing someone wearing one when I am not expecting to see it.

Be a runner, dress like a runner!

So there you have it – I love the idea that I can express my love of running all the time through the power of t-shirts. The streets are full of people pronouncing their affiliations and the things that they enjoy doing, so why not do the same as a runner? What are your favourite running-related t-shirts or items of clothing?






* Disclaimer – I am the editor and co-founder of Like the Wind magazine. You can find out more here.


  1. I like the Howies “Work Hard, Run Home” shirt. Not sure if they make it currently, but they do re-issue it every now and then.

    I was enough of an indie-kid in my youth to think that running t-shirts should be like cool band shirts. They should be a way of advertising your running allegiances and maybe the interesting races you’ve done. Technical fabrics seem to nice enough now that you wear them as regular clothes, so I’m always surprised running-clothing manufactures and race organisers don’t do more nice ones. If it wasn’t luminous yellow, I’d wear my 2011 Ridgeway Run shirt, for it’s simple, pen-line elevation profile on the front, but most event shirts don’t seem as nice as this.

    The same with proper running shirts, you get a few with nice graphics on the front, but most seem to assume you’ll just end up covering it with a race number at some point, so you can just make do with some block colours or a stripe or two if you’re lucky.

    1. I have got one of the Howies “Work Hard, Run Home” shirts and I absolutely love it. Not really for running, but the sentiment is brilliant (well it would be if I didn’t work from home!) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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