As anyone who is not typical athlete size can tell you, finding shit to wear while you’re trying to be athletic is hard. But if you’re going to do triathlon for any length of time, you’re going to need stuff to wear that’s not going to interfere with all the moving and sweating and panting. Workout clothes are best when you can forget that they are there. Unfortunately, with the limited number of options available to plus sized athletes, finding clothes that are available, fit, and don’t suck in any other way is more elusive than finding good feet to draft off of in the swim leg of a race. With that in mind, I figured it’d be a good service to pass along any resources and products I’ve found along the way, so at least someone else’s search for decent clothes can be a little a shorter.
(Do I need to say I don’t get paid for this? And I buy all this shit myself? I think the fact that I’ve only got 2 followers should make that clear enough.)
For me the issue with running and tri shorts is primarily one of chafing. My undercarriage gets beat up enough as it is on the bike; there’s no need to add to that misery while running. Yet I’ve found that without a frightening amount of (sometimes multiple kinds of) lube, most tri short chamois will chafe me while running eventually.
I bought these Presto Bermuda Shorts from Athleta a few weeks ago and have had great success with them. They’re compressive, which I prefer for running as it reduces bounce; they’re on the slightly longer side so they don’t ride up or twist while I move; and, most important, I’ve not had a single chafing issue in the half a dozen runs I’ve taken them on so far. SCORE.\o/
Some other important features:
The waist band is wide and soft, and doesn’t roll or dig. There’s a drawstring at the top, but it is one of the less annoying types of drawstrings
There are ample pockets–two on each leg that are big enough to fit an iPhone or a wallet and one smaller zippered one that is big enough to fit keys or a gel packet.
The tech fabric is not the lightest fabric I’ve ever worn, but it doesn’t feel too hot so far. I don’t think I’m going to have a problem wearing these throughout the miserable DC summer.
As for fit, my ass hovers somewhere between a US size 18 and 20. I ordered the 2x and think they fit perfectly: not too snug, not too loose, doesn’t pinch or bind anywhere. I, a card carrying member of the stumpy legs society, find that the shorts leg hits about 2 inches above my knee. For people with longer legs these would be a bit shorter, but still out of the range of riding up while running.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with them. They’re not cheap at $49, but I think they’ll last me a while and are definitely worth the price if I continue not to have problems with them and they give me one less excuse to skip a run.
UPDATE: Turns out their durability wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for. I’ve provided an update on these shorts here.