Banish the Chafing Woes

Apr
10

Posted by Coach April Corey

Raise your hand if you have ever let out a blood curdling scream when you hit the shower after a race or long training session! When that water from the shower hits the chaffed parts of your body, it is not a pleasant experience. But rest assured, there are several ways to help prevent gear chaffing.

Swimming

If you are prone to getting that really pretty hickey mark around your neckline (which was not cool as a teenager and definitely not cool as an adult) when wearing a wetsuit, slather up some water-based lubricant (not petroleum based because it will break down the properties of the neoprene and ruin your wetsuit) around your neck or anywhere else the wetsuit may rub before you jump in the water. If you have a sleeveless wetsuit, you may get some rubbing under your armpits. Put some lube there too.

Cycling

Saddle sores are always a major issue with new cyclists. Along with wearing cycling/triathlon shorts, there sometimes tends to be friction where your bottom and female/male sensitive parts touch the saddle. One way to help with the friction while your bottom half is getting used to your saddle, is to coat “down there” with some lubrication before you head out on a ride. Some people like to lube directly on the body and others like to coat the padding of the shorts. Another potential issue is if your cycling shorts are short and/or ride up while you are riding, you may get a friction rub from your thighs hitting the saddle. Consistently riding will help your sensitive parts get used to the saddle (make sure you are properly fitted for your bike and with a saddle that works for you) and may make the lubrication unnecessary. You can also wear cycling shorts that are a bit longer so your thighs don’t rub the saddle.

Running

It never failed that when I first started running, I would chafe. My favorite places to chafe – inner-thighs, underarms, bra-line (front, back, top and bottom), waistband (usually at my hips and lower back) and the dreaded backside (use your imagination). I have also seen men with severe nipple rubs that have caused them to bleed thru their shirts. It is especially worse when I am on long runs (over an hour) and don’t have a chance to reapply the lubricant. Doing a trial run in your gear before your race, will give you a really good idea if the shirt seams are hitting you in the wrong spots, there is an errant tag or if your shorts are riding up and making your thighs rub.

Another place that tends to affect triathletes is the area where the timing chip attaches to your ankle. If you don’t have the Velcro strap just perfect, it can rub a raw spot on your ankle. Lube it.

 

There are a wide assortment of lubricants on the market. Some you can get at your local bike/running shop and others you can get at your favorite pharmacy. The lubes come in a variety applicators: roll-on, spray-on and lotion/gel-type. There are also some that are bike specific that give a “cooling sensation”, in case you like that cool, minty feeling on your sensitive parts. My favorite type of products come right from the baby aisle. I like to buy the industrial size container because I use it a lot and I don’t share, plus I can get travel sizes to throw in my bike bag or hydration vest in case I need to re-lube midway thru a ride or run.

Being chafed to complete misery during a race is no fun and can be prevented. Take precautions and Happy Racing!


 

Coach April Corey is a USA Triathlon Level I Certified Coach and has made South Mississippi her home for the past 17 years. With a full time job and two young children, April knows how and what it takes to go from being a couch-potato to an Ironman distance finisher on a time-crunched schedule. In the beginning, her goal was to “just finish” and now she regularly makes the podium at running and triathlon events. April has coached beginner and experienced athletes preparing for Sprint, Olympic and Half-Ironman distance events and has also coached her two children in several youth duathlon, triathlon and running events. She enjoys working with athletes of all levels of experience and helping them mentally and physically complete their races. She brings with her a deep desire and commitment to helping other achieve their personal fitness goals. April is an active member of the Ticking Tri Bombs, a USAT club. She can be reached at April@TeamMPI.com.

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