5 Tips to Prevent Chaffing
The first marathon I trained for was just before my 30th birthday. I had signed up to run with Team in Training and followed their plan to run for one minute and walk for one minute 30 minutes a day the first week. That was working for me. The first “long run” was maybe 1-3 miles, the longest I had ever run before.
I drove from Los Angeles (where I lived) to San Diego (where my then-fiancée Henri lived) and he suggested that we run together by the beach (even though I just did a long run that morning.) Only he said that we should run 10 miles to prepare for the marathon.
Ask me if he ever ran a marathon before. No. But I did the 10 miles anyway. This is what I learned from that experience:
- While my fiancée was a lovely person he wasn’t the person I should have been listening to for coaching. I was in a lot of needless muscle pain after the run and should have built up my mileage slowly. (We’ve been married 12 years and are still running together so I guess it all worked out.)
- On the plus side – Even though I had not been physically prepared to run that distance, my mental strength kicked in and I was able to go farther than physically possible, rather than let him show me up. I was able to tell myself at future long runs, “If you can run 10 miles you can run 26.2 miles.”
- Chaffing, especially between your thighs, is God-awful painful.
Chaffing is the art of your skin rubbing together until you are sore, or in my case, your skin is so raw it ends up scabbing and you waddle like a duck when you walk until it heals.
Chaffing while running isn’t just limited to thigh action. A lot of people get run burns on the inside of their arms from rubbing against their shirts during a race. If that shirt happens to be cotton, it’s even worse. As my friend Mark the Lumberjack says, “Cotton Kills.”
Another painful (and kinda gross) place to graze are your nipples, this goes for men and women. I’ve seen plenty a dude cross a finish line with a blood-stained shirt.
And you know, blisters.
5 Tips to Prevent Chaffing
- Wear dry-wic clothes. From your shirt to your socks stay away from cotton which will rub you raw and wear clothes that remove the sweat away from your body and let it evaporate into the air.
- Cover your sweet spots. Unless you have a gapping thigh gap chances are your legs will brush against each other. So wear running tights, capris or biker shorts to prevent this friction. If your race is going to be hot, or you are more of a shorts-wearing person, see the next tip.
- Body Glide is your friend. Body Glide looks like solid deodorant. You rub it between your thighs, arms or anywhere else you tend to have friction. Remember to also put it a little higher than you think, like under an inch of your shorts, in case they ride up during the run.
- Get a good sports bra. Most of my sports bras are fast-fashion numbers for about $15. Not my running bra. That one was a cool $65 and it’s a marathon in and of itself trying to get that thing on and off. But you know what? My girls are supported and never get sore.
- Cover those nips! If you are a guy or a woman who doesn’t wear sports bras, cover your nipples with Band-Aids before the marathon. It makes a nice buffer between your body and your shirt so you don’t bleed.
I hope you are finding these marathon training posts useful, especially if you ever thought about running a half or marathon yourself, or 5 or 10k for that matter!
I am running a half marathon to raise money for medical expenses for my friend’s son, JJ, who was in a horrific car crash before Thanksgiving and is paralyzed from the neck down.
You can help!
Any donation is greatly appreciated!
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two….and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT, starring John Cena, on FOX!!!
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