Chafing can happen to the best of us, when we least expect it. Here are some tried-and-tested strategies to prevent chafing before it pains you.
If you’ve run long enough, certainly you’ve experienced a painful episode of chafing, where your skin is rubbed raw from the repetitive motion of running. Oftentimes, a chafing mishap happens to us once (and only once) before we learn our lesson and make sure our checklist to avoid this ever happening again.
Chafing is typically the result of consistent friction between skin and clothing, though it can also happen skin-to-skin. The result is skin rubbed raw, and in some cases, well beyond that. Due to the different apparel we wear, it seems men and women have different problem areas with a few common trouble spots.
Here’s a look at where chafing surfaces, how to treat it and how to prevent future occurrences from happening.
A lubricant applied to your thighs before the run (we’re fond of BodyGlide) will help, but the problem could be in the shorts you’re wearing. If you’re noticing that a certain pair of shorts is always near the scene of the crime, try a different pair.
Says running coach Christine Hinton, who’s seen her fair share of chafing issues: “Certain strategies can help. If your upper thighs rub together, consider a pair of longer, tighter shorts.”
Without safeguards in place, miles and miles of running can cause nipples to react horribly with a sweat-drenched top, rubbing them raw and in the worst cases, making them bleed (Google it if you dare). Races on cold mornings can further compound this problem.
This is widespread enough that there are products on the market to prevent chafing of the nipples including Bodyglide, Striderm and Skin Strong available at intraining. If you are looking for something more home-remedy like, then trusty bandaids can do the trick. Just remember to keep the nipples clear of hair, otherwise the post run removal can be just as painful!
TOP TIP: Avoid cotton shirts. They get wet and stay wet, and moist shirts are one of the main causes.
Again, the armpits are an area with plenty of constant friction during the course of a long run, so it makes sense that chafing issues can occur here. Skin rubbing against a shirt, or on recently shaved armpit stubble, can cause quite a bit of pain – often unknown until you get in the shower – OUCH!! Remember to lube up with some Bodyglide under the arms as it is water resistant.
Men look away…
The sports bra is also a common cause of chafing for women, typically happens on the shoulder straps, or on the band along the bottom of the bra. Bodyglide or Striderm are your friend and can avoid unsightly running wounds and prevent chafing.
Avoid clothing that has exposed seams or moisture-collecting material. For women, that includes about anything your imagination can think of, front to back.
BodyGlide, or Striderm should be applied liberally on all areas you experience chafing. Take a some with you on longer runs to re-apply along the way.
Heart Rate Monitor
Much like the sports bra, a heart rate monitor strap can cause issues on longer runs.
Some Bodyglide or Skin Strong is the easiest prevention measure, but of course, another, more-expensive answer is to get rid of the strap. We have a fantastic range of strapless heart rate monitors available in store at intraining.
Good luck and we hope your next run is chafe free and fun.. enjoy that shower afterwards!