How to choose a performance T-shirt for a marathon

london t-shirt printing, marathon, people running

Every year, 40,000 people gather at the British capital to run a 26,2 miles marathon and raise money for their chosen charity. This is the famous London Marathon and it has collected over £830 m since it started back in 1981.

In 2016 participants raised £59.4 m which set a new world record of money collected for a charity in a single day. With numbers such as these, it is no wonder that so many brands are interested in the marathon from a marketing perspective.

It is no secret that sporting events are a great opportunity for brands to showcase themselves. Case in point, everyone knows it as the London Marathon but its full name is the Virgin Money London Marathon since the company started its sponsorship back in 2010.

The power of a sporting event to collect funds and/or expose a brand should not be overlooked. If this is something your company would be interested in, then here we have a few tips on how to do it and choose the best printed T-shirts in London.

Reasons to Sponsor a Sporting Event

We are very well aware that if you had the means to sponsor an event such as the London Marathon, then you wouldn’t be reading this blog post (if that were the case would you consider buying some T-shirts from us?) but sporting events come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Regardless if it’s an event for 40,000 people or 500, these occasions always have a positive impact on top of brand exposure.

Sponsoring the London marathon is difficult but there are other marathons that are smaller which are easier to be a part of. Here’s a list of others (not so big) UK marathons which should be easier to join.

Reach out a Specific Audience
The kind of people who attend these events have a distinguishing profile. They’re usually fit, are into fitness and self-improvement. If these kind of go-getters are an interesting target for your brand then this is your opportunity.

Help With the Organisation of the Activity
It goes without saying that sponsors are a big help when organising an event. For a brand, it is important for it to evaluate the kind of effects the occasion has on its community.

Link to Success
Marathons are the success story by excellence. Just think about it, it takes months (sometimes even years) of training for people to be in the right condition for it. These athletes must sacrifice a lot in order to be in top shape. No wonder it is so exciting when they finally cross the finish line! Whenever you sponsor a sporting event (especially a marathon) your brand will be associated with positive values.

If you’re a charity and would like to participate in the London Marathon, their main website explains how to sign up.

 

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How to Pick a T-shirt for your Runner

Now that you’re officially participating as a sponsor or a charity at a marathon, it is time pick a T-shirt for your runner. This is the person who’s going to be representing your name on the track so they must look and perform their very best.

Materials

Not all fabrics are created equal. Much like their original source materials, whether synthetic or organic, they differ greatly on what they do and how they do it. Unlike our regular routines, when we run we out our clothes under a lot of stress so we cannot wear our regular clothes when we’re performing this activity. When we select the clothes for a sporting activity, the first thing we need to take into account is the season when the event will take place and the weather prediction for that day.

When the weather is cold
Winter marathons are rare but they do happen on occasion and even if it’s not winter, you never know when it might rain in this British weather so it is important to be prepared. For these occasions, there are long-sleeve wicking T-shirts and also lightweight windproof jackets which can help runners get through even the harshest of weathers.

If it’s hot
Consider a vest instead of a T-shirt. A vest is more comfortable because it will allow for better transpiration and prevents chafing around the armpit area. While running, our bodies can get very hot, very quickly so make sure the material is light and designed to keep the athlete fresh.

By the way, do you need customised sportswear? ⚽️ Printsome’s apparel-printing services are perfect for making souvenirs, merchandise and uniforms, among many other possibilities. Visit our custom sportswear service to find out more.

Some qualities the fabric of a T-shirt for running should have:

Thanks to the advances we’ve seen in textile technology in the past few years, we now have endless options when it comes to a garment’s performance. Here are some of the terms most commonly found when describing contemporary sportswear:

Thermal Insulation
Whether to stay fresh or stay warm, clothing insulation has been designed to protect the user from the weather. Garments with this technology usually have three layers:

  • The closest layer to the skin which gets rid of sweat
  • The outside layer which stops the elements (also known as ‘windbreaker’)
  • The in ‘between’ one which traps the air and prevents the outside layer to touch the skin

Wicking
This is the technology that allows fabrics to absorb moisture and ‘expel’ it as vapour. The following graph explains how the technology works. These types of garments are essential to keep the runner dry during a marathon. Wicking fabrics like Adidas’ Climacool dry fast and also feature extra ventilation.

Water Vapour Transmission
This is the measure of how much water a material can transmit. The lower the numbers are then the better the protection from the moisture is.

Anti-static Performance
Basically, it prevents the build-up of static electricity and/or reduces its effects. This type of technology is usually reserved for workwear but at times it is also present in clothes for training.

Note: Check out our guide on how to design workwear.

Antimicrobial Performances
Originally designed for medical and military equipment, these types of fabrics are designed to kill microorganisms. They’re particularly helpful in sportswear because they control the bacteria which causes bad odours.

Ultraviolet Protection
Ultraviolet (UV) rays can have some very negative effects on our skin like premature ageing and even skin cancer so they’re no joke. Fabrics with this technology will help protect your skin from the effects of the sun. This is particularly important for sports that take place on the outside like running a marathon. Remember to always wear sunblock. There’s only so much protection a T-shirt can offer.

 

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Fabrics for Performance T-shirts

When selecting a T-shirt to represent our brand, our first instinct is always to go for the cotton T-shirt. It’s understandable. Cotton is a great fabric for T-shirts. It’s breathable, fresh and feels great to the skin. The problem with cotton is that it’s highly absorbent. This means that if you’re sweating too much, before you know it, your garment will be drenched.

Here’s a list of more suitable fabrics for sportswear:

Bamboo
This is one of the few ‘natural’ fabrics that are appropriate for sportswear. Bamboo fabric is very soft, has some antibacterial properties and even protects the skin from UV rays. This textile is often named as one of the most sustainable but some sources disagree.

Gore-Tex®
Is a synthetic fabric that became popular for being water-proof and wind-proof while still maintaining some breathability. It is designed to be worn in all types of weather and is composed of Teflon.

Lycra
It is one of the first fabrics that were used for sportswear back in the 50’s. Till this day, it is one of the most popular fabrics for sportswear due to its strength and ability to stretch up to seven times its original size.

Note: Check out our blog post on the evolution of the UK’s Olympic kit where we talk about the evolution of the fabrics and how they were used.

Polyester
When we think of synthetic fabrics, polyester is usually one of the first names that pop up in our minds. It can come in different ways, one of the most popular is microfibre in form of a mesh. This allows for flexibility and transpiration. One of the problems of polyester is that while it repels water, it absorbs oil — and most of our body orders are oil based. Meaning that sometimes the odours can become trapped in the garment even after washing it.

Polypropylene
Very similar to polyester but with a few differences. For starters, polypropylene does not absorb water and, for this reason, dries faster. This material is a great insulator which means it is ideal for waterproof garments.

TENCEL®
As a registered fabric from Lenzing fibres, this material is described by the company as ‘more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen.’ On top of that, it has a very sustainable production process.

Wool
It might surprise some because wool is often associated with jumpers and coats but, as it turns out, it is also great for training gear. This a good choice for sports that take place on the outside like running. Wool traps air which keeps the user warm; it’s also breathable and wicks moisture.

X-Static®
This type of fabric is mostly known for having silver threads which fight bacteria. For this reason, this material is used in the military and clinical sectors. It is a great material for sportswear because it prevents odours.

Nylon
Sometimes also referred to by its less popular name polyamide. Nylon is a silky material which can be found in many different types of garments. It was originally designed to replace silk after the fabric became scarce after World War II. As first, it was mostly used as a material for women’s stockings but nowadays it is used in a wide range of articles including some which aren’t even clothes.


Personalised Sportswear

Thanks to our five years of experience in the T-shirt printing industry, Printsome is able to attend the needs of anyone looking for personalised sportswear. May it be the customisation of a team’s kit or running vests for a marathon, our printing experts are ready to offer you the best option.

Need them for yesterday? Our delivery options can adapt to most deadlines. We also deliver all over the UK and Europe. Why worry about logistics when we can take care of that? Printsome deals with the boring stuff so you can get back to training. Personalising sportswear has never been this easy.

To find out more, simply visit our website.

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