After every long run, I get to play ‘Where Do I have Chafing Today’ game. And let me tell you, I NEVER win this one. Because anytime I have chafing, I definitely lose.
And with the extreme heat, the chafing, or the rubbing of skin against skin/clothing is way worse than usual. For runners, usual spots for chafing include the underarms, inner thighs and where ever your running clothes have close contact with your skin (waistband of your shorts or where the sports bra rubs against the skin).
I do use copious amounts of Body Glide, but three hours of sweating in 100-degree real feel heat is no match for Body Glide, as I have learned this year. No match at all. So when every long run is finished and I’m feeling the runner’s high, I am quickly brought back to earth the second I step in the shower.
Imagine a million tiny knives being thrust into your skin. That is what it feels like.
And you often don’t realize you have been chafing until you feel the water from your shower hitting these sensitive spots on your skin. When this happens to me, I typically emit a shriek of pain, begging for it to stop, scaring the bejeezes out of my husband with every cry and whimper that come from my lips. I have my usual ‘hot spots’ that typically have some chafing, and I am prepared for those, but there are ALWAYS new spots that I don’t know have been affected until shower time. And they always take me by surprise.
This is why I live in fear of shower time after my long runs. The tiny knives, the knowledge that some new place will feel the burning sensation of chafing, and the realization that this will continue to happen week after week – at least while it is this hot and I am sweating this much.
Seriously, this is a game I hate to play because I will never win. So bring on the Neosporin (to prevent infection) and the baby power (to stop the burning). And I’ll keep playing as long as I am training to run a marathon. It’s just part of the deal.
(No pictures because NO ONE needs to see my pain.)
A few tips to prevent chafing, from my experience
- Wear synthetic clothing. Cotton is almost guaranteed to increase your chances of chafing.
- If you get chafing with a sports bra, find one that has covered seams, as this is where it is most likely to irritate your skin
- Use Body Glide. In extreme conditions (like the ones I seem to run in) where you sweat excessively, go with straight Vaseline on the spots that you know to be potential problems.
- Wear tighter fitting clothing, such as Lycra shorts to prevent chafed thighs or compression clothing.