Here are three problems that may keep otherwise willing converts from embracing shirtless running. Anyone with solutions are welcome to offer them (* Refer to Comments section for these).
1) In a comment on this blog, Anonymous wrote:
I would love to (run shirtless), but I have bad acne on the shoulders and back . I always imagine people staring at me, even if nobody really does. Mostly, I am thinking if somebody would be feeling offended not only seeing me shirtless but my problem. Any psychic trick I may use?
Thoughts: I'm no doctor and speak from complete ignorance, but might some sun on your back actually have a therapeutic effect on the acne? Thought admittedly it might make it worse for all I know. Could you seek medical advice on how to deal with the acne? Perhaps you might reflect that acne on the back might be considered far less of a psychic hindrance than 'heavy man-breasts', 'rather a prominent beer belly' and other oft-heard laments. Alternative 'psychic tricks', anyone?
2) Jiruns, in 'The best place to run in Philadelphia...', from the blog The Training Blog of Jiruns (click here for original), wrote:
The only problem with running shirtless is there is nothing to soak up the sweat from the torso as it cascades down the body to the shorts. By the 35:00 mark today, my shorts were soaked. Luckily, running shorts don’t get much heavier when they are wet. The second half of the run was mostly uphill, with soaked shorts, socks and shoes. Needless to say, not the best conditions to run.
Thoughts: One might suggest carrying a hand towel, but that's rather a pain to clutch all the while. If it's a breezy-enough day, the wind might dry more of the perspiration before it pours downwards. I've heard of products that can impede sweating, but I would avoid these as they might hinder the conducting of heat away from the body. Suggestions?
3) Anohergal wrote in a comment on this blog:
I lived in a more conservative community for high school (many Asians)... and it would have just been weird for people at my school to have seen me running in a sports bra... also awkward if I stumbled upon someone who knew my parents, etc. However, in college, it was a more laid back community and I felt much more comfortable going shirtless there. Coming back for summer vacation was bad though...!
Thoughts: A restrictive social context is, with minor tweaks to the context, a common complaint. It's easy enough to glibly say that, for change to come, someone must be the first to 'cross the line', but guaranteed opprobrium is hard to withstand. Finding 'a really quiet area' to run in is unwise since there may be safety risks. Joining a gym for jogbraed treadmill running might work, though most gyms would frown on males going shirtless. But there's the cash outlay to consider, and you might think the outdoors more inviting anyway. Another tricky one.
May 2015: First up, though I still try to put up blog content whenever I can, it has been easier to more regularly visit the the Twitterverse. Follow me at @barethomas10 and let's keep the shirtless running flag flying. Of course, the blog still attracts very interesting comments, and good discussion. Keep it up.
Second, in the years since this venture launched, and as shirtless running among women has gone increasingly mainstream, the term "jogbra" has clearly declined in use. I will thus prefer "sportsbra" henceforth - as has already been the case on Twitter, and in recent posts here.
I continue to welcome guest posts (sent to firstname.lastname@example.org) on any related topic, including from those who would discourage stripping to the waist. I am myself of course a fervent convert to the joys of running bare. But let all voices be heard!