Friday, June 17, 2011

Weekly Training Tip - Save the nips!

This weekly tip is actually for the fellas, believe it or not.  And no, I don't mean "Save the ta-ta's".  I'm talking about probably one of the most painful phenomena to happen during a long distance running event...chafing of the nipples.

This is typically only a problem for the men, as women usually wear sports bras.  Men, however, usually wear loosely fitting tech shirts, which are constantly rubbing on the nips while running.

Did this guy spill ketchup on his shirt, twice?
I think this guy bought his shirt like this.
Yay for bloody nips!
Awesome.  I can't lie, I've been there.  It's not something that us guys usually take into consideration before a marathon.  It usually only happens when we get on the sweatier side, but in all reality this ego-shattering, laugh producing tragedy can strike at any time.

There's been a few different companies that have tried to capitalize on this problem, and come out with products to protect our very delicate nips.

NipGuards are pick and stick products that cover the nip
Other companies, such as BodyGlide, have products that are simply applied and are "anti chafing" products.  One product that I recommend against is Vaseline.  Vaseline is probably the most widely handed-out product on race courses, probably due to it's cheap price and bulk quantity.  However, if you use Vaseline, be warned: It will probably stain your shirt!  This might be even more embarrassing than having bloody nips, because now every time you run you will have discolored spots on your shirt where your nips are.  I've actually thrown away a shirt because of this.

My solution is much simpler, and maybe cheaper (I haven't really done the price matching to see, but I like to tell myself that it is).  I simply put a band-aid over each nip before a long run, if I'm at all concerned that I'll have some irritation.  During triathlons, it's not usually a problem, and likely the band-aids wouldn't stay in place during/after the swim anyway.  But in the run-only setting, don't forget the band-aids!

Just your generic, normal sized band-aid

Looks kinda funny, but it will save your life!

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