Running Tips: 5 Ways to Help Prevent Chafing

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The burn during the run, the post-run blood streaks, and the accompanying scabbing and pain for days post-run… we’ve all been there. I assumed that chafing was the fault of my body type, or that I shouldn’t wear certain styles of clothing on the run. Not so.

Through my constant struggle with finding solutions to my chafing problems, I’ve learned a few helpful tips that may help alleviate your unnecessary pain, too. Because let’s face it – running can be hard enough without the pain of chafing!

Material matters

Cotton is a big no-no when it comes to hammering in some miles. Stick to synthetic fabrics like lycra or polyester. Apparel that’s made specifically for running helps to wick moisture away from your body, and is designed to keep fabric from sticking to your skin or rubbing you raw. Consider updating from running in old cotton t-shirts to some nice running apparel! It will change your life.

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Body glide = chafe-free stride

Whether you’re chafing between your legs, in areas that must-not-be-named, your armpits, or in places you didn’t think could possibly chafe, Body Glide could be the hero you’ve been searching for. Similar to lip balm, Body Glide slides on and keeps problem areas lubricated, so you can tackle your runs without the dread of chafe pain.

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Fit is legit

PSA: If you’re experiencing chafing, you may be wearing the wrong size! This happened to me, so I know first hand. I’m a huge fan of relaxed fit clothing, but if your running apparel is a bit too large, the extra fabric may bunch and cause chafing. Pay attention to where chafing is occurring, and consider trying a different size or style of apparel.

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2-in-1s are worth a try

If fitted shorts aren’t your thing, consider going for 2-in-1s. These babies are great because they incorporate a spandex under-layer with a relaxed top. The fitted layer helps to prevent the chafing that may come from relaxed-fit shorts, and the outer shell still gives you that looser look you love. It’s the best of both worlds!

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Why so salty?

Yep, hydration and electrolytes play into chafing. If you’re overly salted or under-hydrated, that salty sweat may cause you to chafe faster than you can finish your bottle of water (okay maybe not THAT fast, but you get my point). Monitor yourself to see if you’re over-consuming salt or if you’re going out on runs without being properly hydrated. Hydration, such a simple fix. 

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Sierra balances an overflowing schedule of work, college, and running, and can relate to any 20-something who’s trying to figure out life. Her running is her kind of self-care – and also the small amount of time that she gets to spend with herself every day, coming before all else (except her dog, Butters).

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