Summer is on its way and runners across Canada are excitedly packing away their running tights and venturing out in shorts for the first time this year. While it does feel liberating to ditch the winter layers, running in shorts comes with one downside: thigh chafing. If you’re unprepared, thigh chafing can turn your blissful, sunny run into a bow-legged waddle, but the good news is, it’s entirely preventable. Check out these five tips to avoid thigh chafing this spring and summer.
As you become dehydrated, the concentration of salt in your sweat increases. This extra salt can cause friction, which eventually leads to chafing. To prevent this, make sure you’re staying hydrated throughout the day, and bring a water bottle with you on your run.
Wear different shorts
Longer compression shorts are your best option to avoid chafing. Avoid shorts with seams at the inner-thigh area, or that are made with cotton, since it soaks up sweat and is more likely to rub against your skin. Another option is to choose a pair of shorts with a longer inner lining, but not all runners like this option because they prefer to layer with their own compression shorts.
Try some thigh bands
If you don’t like the idea of wearing compression shorts under your running shorts (or alone), thigh bands might be the solution for you. Just make sure you get some that are made for sports, so they stay in place while you’re running.
Use a lubricant or gel
Another easy option that doesn’t involve a brand new shorts wardrobe is to simply spread a generous layer of skin lubricant or gel to your inner thighs before heading out the door. Many sports stores and running specialty stores carry brands that are targeted to runners, and that come in handy, easy-to-use sticks so you can just roll it on and go without the mess or staining of petroleum jelly (though that is certainly cheaper).
Use a powder
If gels aren’t your thing, perhaps a powder might be a better choice. Baby (or talcum) powder is an easy, inexpensive option, but you can also find specialty products that, like the gels, are catered to runners. Just put a generous amount on your thighs before heading out the door and enjoy a chafing-free run.