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Nude running? Here are 4 realities no one will tell you

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Every few years a fitness craze comes along that takes the health and wellness industry by storm.

Nude running is one of them. 

You may have heard of the term ‘naked running’ – that is running without a watch (yes, seriously!)

Nude running on the other hand is running without clothes or minimal clothing.

This form of running has become increasingly popular over the last few years.

More people are looking for ways to celebrate their bodies as well as find new ways to enjoy exercise.

And especially after the events of the last few years, we are hearing more stories from people who participate in nude running events to unwind and get back to basics.

So if you’re looking to learn more about nude running you’ve come to the right place!

What are the benefits and realities of nude running? How can you start nude running?

In this guide we’ll look at:

  • What is nude running?
  • What are the benefits of nude running?
  • What are the risks and realities of nude running?
  • Where to find nude running events near you 
  • Nude running Q&A
  • Nude running: How to start

Ready?

Let’s go!

nude running

What is nude running?

Nude running involves running without some or all of your clothing.

Some people go nude running purely for enjoyment, whereas others want to find a better way to connect with nature. 

In recent years, nude running has become a way to celebrate body positivity and body inclusivity.

A wealth of events have popped up all over the world over the last few years, and nude running doesn’t show any sign of decreasing in popularity.

Related: Does running make your butt bigger? 20 butt building exercises

What are the benefits of nude running?

You may be wondering: “How does naked running benefit me?”

Here we explain some of the key benefits of running without clothes.

#1 Encourages body positivity

The human body is amazing – it’s the greatest instrument that you own. 

Nude running encourages you to embrace your body and all that it stands for.

In today’s world, it’s all too easy to criticise your body and compare yourself to others. 

Naked running allows you to appreciate everything that your body can do which is a really empowering experience. 

Adrienne Martini from Another Mother Runner explains how it feels to take part in a nude run:

“After growing and delivering two babies, my body and I have made peace with each other. For all its pooches and flops, it has served me well. After a minute or two of convincing my body that, yes, we would be running right now, I settled into a groove. It was a profoundly silly way to spend a morning. When I crossed the finish line, I felt something close to joy. Then I towelled off, put my clothes back on, and drove home to see what comes next.”

Adrienne Martini, Another Mother Runner

So if you want to feel more confident about your body, take a leaf out of Adrienne’s book and celebrate your body by going for a nude run. 

#2 Allows you to connect more deeply with nature

Running is one of the best ways to reconnect with the natural world around you, especially if you regularly run in the countryside. 

A nude run allows you to connect more deeply with nature.

You get to feel the wind on your body, the sun on your skin and the grass under your feet. 

Arguably, these sensations make running a more mindful activity, which has plenty of benefits for your physical and mental health. 

nude running

#3 Helps to foster a community

Running is a community sport and there are run clubs across the land that regularly meet to pound the pavement each week.

Naked running is not dissimilar – and there are various communities that organise nude runs such as 5k and 10k runs and even marathons.

Later in this guide we explain where to find nude running events near you.

#4 Boosts your mood

By experimenting with new forms of running, you will be boosting your confidence and self-esteem.

When you run, your body releases ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins which are sent around the body.

These in turn give you that familiar ‘runner’s high’ after a run. 

Related: What is the 75 Soft Challenge? Benefits + how to do it

nude running

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What are the risks and realities of nude running?

There are a few risks and realities of nude running that you need to know about before taking it up as a sport.

Reality #1: Lack of supportive clothing 

We ladies all know the importance of a supportive sports bra when it comes to high impact exercise like running.

Your boobs are made up of various tissues.

The reality is the sports bra exists to support your breasts, reduce discomfort and minimise movement when you exercise.

Running without a bra can irritate the breast tissue which can cause pain and discomfort. 

As a result, your exercise form could suffer and lead to muscle imbalances and even injuries. 

Some nude runs do have a ‘clothing optional’ rule – so in these cases you may be able to wear a sports bra if you are concerned about not wearing a bra. 

Reality #2: Lack of supportive footwear

As we explained above, running is a high impact sport so it’s important you protect your body.

This includes your feet by wearing a proper pair of running shoes.

A good pair of running shoes will provide the necessary comfort, support and stability on your runs. 

They work by absorbing the shock when your foot lands on the ground and encouraging your feet to move in a safe and efficient manner through running gait. 

By running without a pair of proper running shoes you risk common running injuries like shin splints.

Running without a pair of running shoes can also impact your running form and performance.

Reality #3: Lack of protection

Running gear such as running leggings, running shoes, a sports bra and running socks all provide protection on your runs. 

Without these clothes, your skin and body are more susceptible to chafing, blisters, niggles and running injuries. 

So if you do take part in a nude running event, you may want to take extra precautions to minimise the risk of injury. 

Reality #4: Cultural sensitivities

Not all countries and cultures are accepting of nude running.

So it’s important you check the laws and regulations in your country before going nude running.

In fact, in some countries nude running in public places is illegal, so it’s important you do your research before taking off your kit. 

Related: Moisture wicking underwear: Benefits + where to buy

nude running

Where to find nude running events near you

Many cities and countries around the world are organising nude running events as the sport grows in popularity. 

Running communities and naturist communities alike are turning to nude running events. 

In fact, other sports like cycling and swimming are also holding nude versions of their sports. 

The best way to find nude running events is by doing a simple search online.

Local running events in your region and country will appear. 

Websites like Quirky Races and Running in the USA also hold information about nude or clothing optional running events. 

Here are a selection of nude running events from across the globe:

Related: What does running do for your body? 10 benefits of running

nude running

Nude running Q&A

Q: Is it safe to go nude running?

A: Most organised nude running events will take the necessary precautions to ensure all participants are kept safe. 

If you’re planning to do a solo nude run, then it is recommended you take the necessary precautions to keep safe.

This means running in a safe, secluded location to avoid any unwanted attention. 

Also tell people where you will be going and take a means of mobile communication in case you encounter any problems. 

Q: Is it illegal to go nude running?

A: As we explained earlier in this guide, in some countries nude running in public places is illegal, so it’s important you do some research before taking off your kit. 

Most nudity and clothing laws concern which parts of the body must not be exposed to view. 

Some countries have strict clothing laws, such as in some Islamic countries. Other countries are more tolerant of non-conventional attire and are relaxed about nudity. 

For example, according to the UK Crown Prosecution Service, naturism is the act of going without clothes in a non-sexual manner, and it is legal.

Their guidelines state that the law in the UK is clear that nudity itself is not criminal, unless there is a sexual context or intent to cause alarm and distress. 

Related: Running by feel: 5 life-changing benefits of running without a watch

nude running

Nude running: How to start

Now you know all about nude running, here’s how to get started. 

#1 Respect the law

It goes without saying that you’ll need to ensure you are not breaking the law by going nude running. 

If nude running is allowed, it’s still important you follow all the necessary guidelines and regulations. 

#2 Find a safe and secluded location

Your safety is important on a nude run so ensure you find a safe and secluded location to go for your run. 

It may be helpful to go for a test run to understand the route and if it’s right for you. 

If the idea of running naked outdoors is too much, you may consider nude running on the treadmill. 

#3 Find a nude running event near you

If you don’t like the idea of nude running solo, then find a nude running event near you to take part in.

As we explained earlier in this guide, there are various nude running events across the globe – from 5k to marathon distance.

#4 Prepare for the event 

You need to think about all the same things that you’d normally consider when training and preparing for a traditional running event. 

  • Have you trained for the event? 
  • Do you have a race day strategy?
  • Is the course and terrain suitable? 
  • Is the distance suitable? 
  • How will you travel to the event on the day?

Just because it’s a nude running event doesn’t mean you throw all preparation out of the window.

#5 Protect yourself 

Your skin will be exposed to elements like wind, rain and sunshine so it’s even more important that you protect your skin.

This means wearing sunscreen and anti-chafing cream. 

You may also want to consider wearing a pair of running shoes if you’ll be running on unsteady terrain. 

#6 Treat others with respect

Nude running can make some people feel vulnerable, so ensure you respect others and do not run too closely in others’ personal space. 

Some nude running events will have their own set of rules and guidelines to ensure everyone participating feels safe.

Related: The 9 best running challenges for your strongest year of running

Caroline Geoghegan
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Stephen

Monday 13th of November 2023

Hello In your list of nude running events The ‘Naked’ Run United Kingdom links to a run in Horsham where they are encouraging people to run without a watch or gps or any tech, not actually nude as in with no clothing ! Be careful if you turn up spontaneously naked :)

Andy

Sunday 5th of November 2023

Great advice.