No matter what your shape, weight, or height, chafing and running go together. I was inspired to write this and all my other A-Z posts by Mark Remy who wrote the book “C is for Chafing“. I am a big fan of satire and I love all of Mark’s writing on his blog. Part of my journey is to describe how my faith journey and my running journey have come together. (And always have been together.) More importantly, how people around me have helped, supported, and inspired me during my running journey.
What is Chafing?
In simple terms “Chafing is skin irritation that occurs where skin rubs against skin, clothing, or other material.” 1 For myself it means that I will have big red welts on parts of my body after a long run. After 10 years of running I am still learning about new parts of my body that chaf.
Not just thigh chafing
Most people think of running and thigh chafing or nipple chafing (Which is covered in another post). Most chafing is associated with running, but it can also happen with swimming. The key is to know where you will chafe then use the appropriate materials to stop the irritation. Fortunately, for athletes, you will only experience chafing where skin will rub together, or you have equipment that will irritate that region. I have the most experience in running, so I will highlight that, but there are times when I have had chafing with swimming and biking as well.
I have two places that I experience chafing and running, thighs and armpits. I know there are other places, but these are the two places that I have experienced.
- Thighs: I combat thigh chafing by always using compression shorts, and if needed, I use glid stick.
- Armpits: I try to wear sleeves, but when I do wear a singlet, I use a glide stick or vaseline.
The only places I have had chafing with swimming is when wearing a wetsuit. This is on the back of my necks when the velcro closes and my armpits when swimming with a sleeveless wetsuit
I have had chafing irritation in the crotch region during biking. This is dependent on the heat, the wetness (rain/drizzle), and of course, the saddle you are using.
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