Friday, 8 November 2013

Preventing Chafing While Running

Vaseline

Chafing is a problem which afflicts many runners and the chafing can occur in a number of areas of the body. I first experienced chafing on a warm day when I went for a 5km run. I sweat heavily in warm weather and by the 4th kilometre my inner thighs were rubbing from all the sweat and that horrible burning feeling started. By the time I finished my run, my inner thighs had been rubbed raw and it took a few days to recover and be able to run again. I quickly did some research on prevention to make sure I never experienced that again. Turns out there's a few cheap and easy solutions.

Vaseline

Vaseline seems to be one of those miracle products that is capable of almost anything. Its most important use for runners is preventing chafing and it is my main choice for preventing chafing on my inner thighs. I rub about a fingerful on each inner thigh and this has done the job for me even when running up to 30km. Its also the cheapest option. You can buy a 100g tub for less than $5 which will last you about 1000km.

Body Glide

This excellent product has been designed specifically for preventing chafing. Its cleaner to use than Vaseline because its a roll on stick so no need to get your fingers dirty. Its main positives however are that it is water proof and it is safe to use with wetsuits. This makes it a favourite amongst triathletes, who not only use it for chafing on the inner thighs but also chafing around the neck and underarms caused by rubbing from the wetsuit during swimming. I use this instead of Vaseline when competing in triathlons but use Vaseline for normal running because its a lot cheaper. In Australia, Body Glide will set you back at least $20-$25 for 37g.

Vaseline

Bleeding Nipples

This is one for the guys. Once you start running more than 15km you might notice your nipples becoming sore. As you run, your top moves along your body and causes friction, particularly on your nipples and, if you run far enough, your nipples can eventually start bleeding. Ouch! Thankfully that's never happened to me, although I have felt my nipples become sore on my longer runs, so I dab a bit of Body Glide on them whenever running more than 15km. Vaseline also works but be wary that in warmer weather the Vaseline melts and can leave embarrassing marks on your clothes, almost like headlights!

Other Chafing Hotspots

If, like me, you wear a singlet made of technical material, you may notice chafing under your arms as your arms brush against the singlet material while running. This used to be a problem for me, but I have actually adjusted my arm swing so that contact no longer occurs. If this is a problem for you I suggest using Vaseline. Just put a bit on the part of your arm which brushes the singlet and then you'll be fine.

Tights

The chemical free solution to preventing chafing on your inner thighs is wearing tights. Tights will protect your thighs from skin on skin contact and from rubbing due to loose material from your shorts. Tights are a common choice amongst runners and have other benefits due to the muscle compression they provide.

So there you have it. If chafing is making you suffer that terrible burn between your legs you've got some easy solutions. Choose the option that works best for you and you can continue to run happy and run strong!


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