As your mileage increases, sadly, so can chafing potential. Chafing is the result of friction from clothes rubbing against skin, or skin rubbing against itself. Unfortunately, when it comes to chafing, it can get worse before it gets better. It takes a few runs to know where, and how badly you tend to chafe.
Crossing a finish line with a blood-stained shirt is ideally something runners would avoid, so with that in mind, here’s a list of ways that runners can prevent and treat chafing.
Band aids. Bloody nipples are, for men, one of the worst consequences of chafing. Consider using band aids or tape to help prevent this. Cover them up before the run to keep them protected. Band aids are a go-to for many runners because they are a bathroom cabinet staple, and available at any drugstore, grocery store or corner store. Instead of using them after the bleeding starts, use them to keep skin from breaking in the first place.
Today on my run I found out nipple chafing is 100% a real thing and it’s awful.
— Colin Ratliff (@ratliff_colin) October 1, 2018
Grease up. If you want to erase chafing disasters, get Body Glide or a tub of Vaseline (but be aware that though cheap, Vaseline will stain clothing). Apply liberally, especially if you know you’ll be out for awhile. Another idea is Squirrel’s Nut Butter, an all-natural anti-chafe product.
Driving this morning, I saw some high schoolers running in short shorts alongside the road, and my first and only thought was "My thighs are chafing just WATCHING them…"
— Shannonigans (@xMsShannonigans) September 24, 2018
Invest in waterproof outer layers. A lot of people think of chafing as a summer-only problem. It’s not true. It might be less visible in winter, but several runners still finish the run with a blood-stained shirt. That might be because fabrics are getting wet. Moisture causes chafing. Get a tough shell that’s going to be waterproof and stand up to winter’s elements.
Use compression tights. Consider trying compression gear. The tight material can prevent that inner thigh rub. 2XU is a great compression brand that can help you eliminate the chafe and enjoy your run.
Go seamless. Running gear is moving to a seamless, tagless approach to eliminate the chafe factor. Bras like Reebok’s newly launched Pure Move Bra are made with only seven pieces of material, and no clasps, hooks or underwire. This means that there’s less for you skin to catch on, which should reduce the likelihood of chafing.