Sustainable running: 5 top tips to kick-start your green running habit

We’re excited to announce our new partnership with Therme Manchester Marathon as their Official Sustainability Partner! Therme Manchester Marathon is one of the UK’s premier running events, famous for its fast, flat and friendly route. This new partnership will open up a fantastic opportunity within the world of sustainable running races, helping not only the race to become more planet-friendly, but the runners, too.

8 minutes to read

by / 4th February 2022

Isn’t running already pretty sustainable?

Running might not be the first thing that comes to mind when deciding what area of your life you’re focusing on making sustainable. But actually, adopting a sustainable running habit is one of the areas where the changes you can make are easy to implement, easy to keep up, and still make a huge difference to the planet. We promise there will be no sacrifice of actual running.

Caring for your running clothes in a green way

As tempting as it might be to throw all your gear in the washing machine as soon as you get back from a run, first think about whether washing after every single run is necessary. Gloves and hats don’t generally need washing more than once a week unless they’re particularly grubby. Your other clothes might just need to be hung out to air for a few hours, so you can avoid washing them, thus saving water and energy.

Recycling and donating your old running clothes

Check out ReRun Clothing, an organisation whose mission is to save old running clothes from going to landfill. They have a variety of initiatives, including collecting and reselling old running clothes via their website.

Most charity shops will be delighted to receive old running clothes (in good condition) as well as old race t-shirts that are just hanging around in a drawer. 

At the start line of the Therme Manchester Marathon you’ll be able to discard your unwanted warm clothing in the bins provided. Our/Their incredible charity volunteers will then collect this clothing to sell in their shops meaning your prized running jumper will be put towards raising £1,000’s for good causes. 

You may want to keep hold of your old race t-shirts, so consider using a service like Too Many T-Shirts. They create memory blankets out of old t-shirts – a great memento of all your running achievements!

Consider a clothes swap

If you’re part of a local running community, why not organise a clothes swap? Everybody brings along items they no longer need and swaps them for items they do need. Then anything left at the end of the swap is donated to charity. 

Say no to the t-shirt if possible

If you can, say no to the finisher t-shirt at the point of registration. Although we understand how rewarding it is to have a t-shirt that celebrates your race completion, many of these t-shirts are produced using plastic-based materials. If you say no to it after it’s already been produced, it may go to waste immediately, so the point of registration is the place to start.

Therme Manchester Marathon now has its Green Runner category where you can opt out of receiving a finisher t-shirt and/or medal at the end of the race. This is completely optional as we understand that many people like to keep their t-shirt and medal as a memento, but for those who don’t feel they will use them, they have the option to opt out knowing the money saved will be donated to The Ocean Cleanup to support their mission to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. 

Think about your travel to and from running events

Don’t just think about the race, think about how you can make your running habit sustainable outside of the running! Car sharing, shuttle buses, walking, and utilising the car-share options of the likes of Uber/Bolt are all ways you can travel to the venue without using your own car.

Be sure to check the event website for details on road closures and public transport access to the event, ahead of event day.

Take an Ailuna dare to kick-start your sustainable running habit!

Feeling inspired to make a change and incorporate sustainable running into your lifestyle? Take a dare in your Ailuna app and take another step towards a sustainable running habit that’s easy to stick to.

Join the free Ailuna Community Facebook group or tag on Instagram @ailunacommunity and share your photos of your sustainable running gear!

Share on social media:


Nothing new in 2022

Ailuna action creator Gemma shares how her challenge to buy nothing new for the whole of 2022 went, as well as her tips & learnings.

Read More »

Learn how to live sustainably with Ailuna