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Glide On, Pain Off

August 20, 2012

My nipple danger zone is around five miles. It is like sitting in the splash area at a Sea World show. There is a slim chance you won’t get wet, but that is very unlikely. For me, as I approach that five mile mark, or the 35-40 minute range, the chances of a certain repetitive motion ailment increase drastically. Not including musculo-skeletal injuries, chafing is one of the most painful things that can happen during a run. More so than a twisted ankle or pulled hamstring, chafus maximus is very much avoidable. But what is the magical cure to such ails? This runner unequivocally says the answer is Body Glide.

Body Glide: anti-chafe (miracle) balm

Now if this were a serious science experiment, I would also test and evaluate at least one competing alternative. It is always important to experiment in running to see what works best—sneakers, shorts, socks, etc. On the other hand, we runners also tend to stick to one thing once we find a product, workout, or route that works well. Body Glide has been immensely effective, and I do not intend to take my chances elsewhere. The biggest other option for the chafing problem is Vaseline. I keep ChapStick on hand for my lips, and Body Glide for any other potentially chafed areas. With apologies to its supporters, I just find Vaseline unappealing.

For those who have never experienced this, chafing is not just uncomfortable. It is downright painful. If you have ever seen a male runner with two bloody spots seeping through his shirt like a scene from The Natural, then you have witnessed an extreme result of chafing. If you have experienced a red rash-like area in between your thighs about where the shorts rub against them, then you have chafed. For me, it is more likely as the temperature rises and my sweat increases. However, it can definitely also occur in the winter months, especially when I get smug and think I am safe.

Whenever it strikes, it strikes sharply. Chafing hurts, during and after a run. While running, the pain is clear. Every step is another wince. Beware though, jump into a pool or a shower with badly chafed skin and you are sure to howl like a wolf into the night sky. It hurts. Colder water helps but will not make the pain go away. The only remedy is time to heal and some good old fashioned toughness.

Ranging around $10-15 per stick, there is almost no monetary excuse not to have some Body Glide on hand. As a bonus, they also make products specific for women, cyclists, pain relief, and your feet. Usage is as simple as any roll-on deodorant. My advice: apply liberally. Like anything, it is important to learn your individual needs based on your body and apparel choices. Everyone also has different areas of concern for where they need the most protection. Having done many long runs with disastrous results, I finally ran my most recent marathon free and clear of any chafing on my nipples or thighs.

So use the Body Glide. There is absolutely no reason to chafe during a run. Unless it is at the jerk who cut you off at the water station.

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7 comments

  1. I am not in love with body glide. Vaseline is just too goopy to use for anti-chafing, but I am not in love with body glide either…


    • It is definitely a personal preference, but I have found Body Glide to be the perfect mix between efficiency and non-goopyness.


  2. I have thigh chafing. I never go for any length run without applying Glide, even in the winter with long pants. The worse thing is when you get it, it takes days for it to clear up. Thanks for writing about this little spoken of running problem.


  3. Bleeding thru your shirt, where is he chafing?


  4. I was not happy with Body Glide and found a spray called Slik by Skin Strong. No more chafing!


    • Ooh, a spray, very interesting. I love the easy roll-on application of Body Glide. Spray deodorants where never for me either though.



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