Chafing results from rubbing on the body, usually from clothing, packs or skin on skin.
AVOID IT Top ultrarunner Kim Cavill has finished on the podium at some of the UK’s toughest races, as well as coaching other runners to race success. She says it is crucial to practise your race day kit and clothing, and to make sure that your pack doesn’t move around while you are running. Experiment with different layers of clothing, ensuring that you wear good quality wicking fabrics, including for your underwear, and that you avoid seams wherever possible. Women should make sure they get sports bras professionally fitted; men may wish to consider taping their nipples to avoid nasty rubs! Make sure you lubricate any sensitive areas before starting your run and take a small pot of lubricant with you to re-apply at the first sign of any soreness. A small pot of Vaseline is easy to carry, or sports specific products such as Bodyglide are available in pocket size containers. Depending on the area, taping may also help to reduce rubbing if it can be easily applied.
TREAT IT Brett explains that chafing is really difficult to treat once it’s established, so it’s far better to prevent it happening if possible. Try to keep any rubbed areas clean and dry, while talcum powder or antibacterial nappy rash creams may help to soothe the area and prevent further friction.