Another reason adulting sucks: There are a dwindling number of occasions when wearing a tutu—at least in public—is acceptable. Luckily, the last of these moments include epic race events, like the Disney Princess Half-Marathon I'm running this weekend!
I spent three hours gathering outfit ideas on Pinterest and Google Images for my upcoming race on Sunday (I don't mess around), but after the tutu overload, I still had one burning question: “How the eff do you actually run in one of these things?!”
I decided to turn to a professional for the tricks: three-time Olympian and New Balance runner Kim Smith, who also happens to be the winner of the 2014 Disney Princess Half-Marathon—which she ran in a tutu. Below, her five crucial tips:
1. Look for a tutu specifically designed for running. Thanks to Etsy, they exist. A light material with minimal “fluff” is less likely to impede your race. Be creative with color and design instead of getting caught up in crazy shapes. Try Race Junkie’s sparkly skirts, which fit closer to your body.
2. Ensure a proper fit. Like anything you wear on race day, if the tutu doesn’t fit, it’s going to annoy the eff out of you. If it’s too small, it could cause chafing, and a too big tutu is prone to slipping.
So don’t guess on the size—know your waist and hip measurements, and use the size chart the brand provides (pretty much all do).
3. Go short. This is one of the few cases in fitness when shorter is better...unless you want fabric getting caught between your legs as you run. Think: mini mini-skirt length—or no more than 12 to 13 inches (14 if you’re tall).
4. And definitely layer. There’s nothing sexy about showing your arse at Disney World. Always wear slim-fitting shorts or capris underneath for max coverage and comfort. Sequins and tulle against bare skin aren't fun—even in the "Happiest Place on Earth."
5. Whatever you do, do not change your gait. If you alter your running form to accommodate the accessory, you’ll increase your risk of injury. To pinpoint any potential distractions (fit, itch, pain, etc.), practice running free (no tugging) and fast (no slowing out of concern for your costume) at least once or twice in your tutu. Then, if there are any issues, fix them or ditch the skirt. Trust: You'd rather be safe (and, okay, a tad boring) than sorry. And, hey, you can always wear a tiara.
Wish me luck!