Organic Runner Mom

Chafing. How can you prevent it during exercise?

Keep your skin protected!

Tips for Preventing Chafing During Exercise

Tips for Preventing Chafing During Exercise

How do you prevent chafing during exercise? Athletes must prepare for this as they get ready for a big race or big training day. I am usually very careful to avoid it but it is a problem that most athletes will encounter.

At the Bear Brook Trail Marathon one summer I realized that I had completely forgotten to pack any sort of Body Glide. How would I protect those more delicate areas that can be susceptible to chafing especially on a hot and humid day. Not good! The longer the race the worse the chafing can be. When I finished running the Trail Marathon (actually 29+ miles in 6:07) I discovered that I had awful chafing under the band of my sports bra and in a place that was literally totally “the pits,” my armpits. I winced just thinking about taking a shower. This got me thinking about the solutions for preventing this issue.

Trail Running

Trail Running can often be wet and sloppy resulting in perfect conditions for chafing, even on your feet! Eek!

Tips for preventing chafing Before & During exercise :

  • Use Body Glide.  You can pick it up at any running store or race expo. It comes in an easy  roll-on and glides on to prevent unnecessary rubbing in areas such as under your sports bra, in your armpits, or in more unmentionable places.

    Body Glide Anti-Chafe

    Body Glide Anti-Chafe

  • Vaseline is a cheaper alternative than Body Glide and can be found in any drugstore. During a marathon you may even see race volunteers offering vaseline to runners on the go which can save you if you are running into trouble during a race.
  • Aquaphor Healing Ointment is something that I first discovered after I used it on my kids for rashes and Eczema. Aquaphor like vaseline can be “greasy” but it does the job. Aquaphor has saved me from during marathons as well as from wetsuit chafing during triathlons.

    Aquaphor Healing Ointment is  great for preventing chafing.

    Aquaphor Healing Ointment

  • Boudreaux’s Butt Paste is a great  preventative for babies and athletes alike! It keeps your skin protected during exercise but also has a nice smell. This saved my husband from chafing during the rainiest Vermont 50 Mountain bike ride.
Boudreaux's Butt Paste

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste

How to take care of chafing after a race or long training day:

  • Apply Aquaphor to the “raw” areas  prior to entering the shower or before getting dressed to protect your skin (If you don’t you may yelp upon entering the shower)
  • Use antibiotic cream as needed and keep these areas clean.
  • Try to avoid wearing tight clothing or clothes that will re-aggravate the areas that are sore.

What are your methods for preventing chafing during long runs or runs in hot and humid weather.  How do you take care of your skin if you discover chafing after a race?

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20 responses

20 responses

  1. I use Glide and also have used the Gold Bond brand (easier to find if you live in an area with no running stores). You can find the Gold Bond brand at most stores! I chafe very easily……….. even on a short run! Eucerin/Aquaphor are a must afterwards. Heals it up in no time.

  2. Thank goodness I don’t chaffe — the only time was during the Boston Marathon 2012 — I accidentally packed a new (but identical to what I normally wear in a race) singlet — it hadn’t even gone through the washer and I guess was stiff (?) it chaffed my side up by the armhole seam — in fact in GOUGED out a little spot and I still have a scar. It was sooo hot that day. Uh, so my advice is don’t intentionally or unintentionally wear anything new!
    Jennifer F recently posted…Slice & Slurp, it’s National Drink Watermelon Day + Watermelon Ginger Limeade RecipeMy Profile

  3. I’ve started using vaseline vs the body glide. I can get more on there LOL. I didn’t think about what to do after though other than cringe when you hit the shower. Good tips!

  4. I think I am used to the heat and humidity because it is very rare that I chafe. When I know I’m going to be out for a long time on a sweltering day, I will use Skin Strong spray, and that does the trick.

    As far as dealing with it after the fact, I just grit my teeth in the shower, and wait for the pain to be over. It usually heals up pretty quickly for me.
    Jenn recently posted…race report: st. augustine 10K {11.05.2015}My Profile

  5. I chafe in the strangest place: behind my one arm pit… as in on my back! It has to be the way I swing my arm. So, I just use vaseline. Great tips.

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