After my last 10 mile run I noticed that my back, shoulders and neck were aching. As a large busted runner, my first thought was “Is my bra still fitting correctly?” The next day after washing and drying it, I tried on my running bra, a 32HH Shock Absorber Max.


I looked in the mirror and the obvious was starring back at me. I’d put too many miles on my sports bra. This is something I’ve never seen nor heard mentioned in running circles. We talk so often about how many miles you should put on your shoes before replacing them and how to tell by looking at them if it’s time for a new pair, but never our sports bras. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head. It makes perfect sense. Especially for busty ladies, sports bras have an expiration date.

How is it I’d overlooked this? Well that’s another “Aha” moment altogether. I never look at myself in the mirror before I go out for a run until I’m fully dressed, and by that time my mind is focusing on my run. Of course I give myself a general “once over”, but because my bra still felt snug and I hadn’t felt any noticeable bounce, it never crossed my mind to look at myself in just my sports bra in the mirror.

When I did look, the first thing I noticed was that I could see more cleavage than before. Even with the band in the correct position on my back and the straps at the same length I always wore them, there was more cleavage. The other thing that stood out to me was that the front of the band seemed to be collapsing.

I took my bra off to examine it further and although I couldn’t see any abnormalities with the straps, the band looked strange. The Shock Absorber Max does not have an underwire. It has what can only be described as a “heavy duty” elastic band. When I laid the bra out after trying it on in the mirror, I noticed the band was rippling. No matter what I did, it would not lie straight or flat.

I’m sure after taking most of the summer off from running that my posture needs work, but a new bra was way overdue. I had been wearing the same bra for over a year! This time around I’m going to be sure to periodically check for signs that my bra has too many miles on it.

How often do you replace your sports bra? For you, is there a tell-tale sign that it’s time to do so?