There are some things that runners only talk about in small groups. We huddle together, whispering about our dark secrets. You might hear the occasional word “nipple” “blood” “vaseline” “toilet”.
This week one of running’s dirty secrets hit me hard – the dreaded chafing. I didn’t feel it as it was happening, but at the end of my 14 mile run I had a swollen red line at the top of my leg that was unbelievably painful. Now I have to work out what caused it and how to prevent it.
Chafing happens anywhere your skin is rubbed. It can be on your chest, legs, feet, anywhere! If I run in a vest I get it at the top of my arms where my underarm rubs against the sleeve hole on my vest.
Chafing can be a problem if you’re running regularly as it needs time to heal. I had to cut short my last run because the chafing I’d picked up the day before was so painful.
The runner’s best defense against chafing is Vaseline. It’s not glamorous, but rub it all over any spot you might chafe, There are some runner specific lubricating gels, but I’ve not tried them – if you have, let me know what you think.
If you get chafing during a race, look out for first aiders by the track with their hands stuck out – those hands are probably full of some kind of petroleum jelly.
If it’s too late and the chafing has already happened, try Sudocrem. It’s not just for babies bottoms – it will help you to heal more quickly.
Running…it’s all about the glamour!