As a nine-time marathoner, 15-time half marathoner, and two-time dash triathlete, I haven’t got a lot of a motive to be within the information. I didn’t win any of these races, and whereas I am happy with my accomplishments, loads of different folks have run simply as a lot or extra. But when I informed you that I’m a Muslim who wears the hijab (an Arabic phrase which means “to cowl”) and based the Instagram account Run Like a Hijabi, you then would perceive why I’ve made a number of headlines.
In 2015, I entered the Runner’s World cowl search contest. Out of hundreds of entries, I noticed that I used to be the one contestant who wore the hijab. I used to be picked as one of many prime 10 finalists and featured twice in Runner’s World journal. Then lastly, my dream got here true: I used to be chosen by Girls’s Operating journal to be its cowl mannequin within the October 2016 difficulty!
To me, carrying a hijab means I am guarding my modesty and respecting my physique out of deep devotion to my religion. And having folks take a look at me as a substitute of my physique is liberating and liberating for me as an athlete. I can deal with coaching and working with out worrying if my pants are too tight or if my cleavage is on show. Overlaying is a alternative I make, and I hope that folks don’t decide me due to it.
Different Muslim athletes who select to cowl are making headlines, too. On the 2016 Rio Olympics, Ibtihaj Muhammad grew to become the primary Workforce USA athlete to compete whereas lined within the Olympics. The athletes who have been not too long ago featured in Nike’s Professional Hijab adverts additionally all compete whereas lined.
Nonetheless, I’ve discovered that hijabis seldom participate in marathons. Though some hijabi athletes are within the information, there’s nonetheless not a lot illustration within the leisure working neighborhood. I need to assist change that—I hope to encourage fellow hijabis who need to run by speaking about my experiences and sharing my recommendation on my social media platforms.
In case you’re a hijabi who desires to run, the six ideas I’ve outlined under will allow you to get began. In case you’re not a part of the Muslim neighborhood, I hope that the data right here will allow you to to know us slightly bit higher.
1. Discovering modest athletic garments is difficult, but it surely’s getting simpler.
As a hijabi athlete, I put on loose-fitting clothes that is not see-through or made from mesh materials. I additionally put on long-sleeve shirts and lengthy pants and canopy my hair. It took me some time to change into used to understanding in modest gear—and it would take you a while as properly. However when you do, you’ll get the grasp of it. What I discovered works greatest for me is to put on working tights with skirts or shorts over them for protection, any long-sleeve athletic prime, and a efficiency hijab, Buff, or beanie to cowl my hair. I search for gear made out of sweat-wicking materials, which helps maintain me cool in hotter climate.
2. Efficiency hijabs exist, however I’ve but to seek out the right one.
From my expertise, many of the efficiency hijabs on the market don’t match very properly and slip after I’m working. Others are thick and scratchy and simply don’t look good. The one which I do like and truly put on throughout my marathons is named Asiya Sport Hijab. After I do put on my efficiency hijab, I put on it with a baseball hat or visor, each for aesthetics and to maintain the solar out of my face.