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 running shorts rant: a chafing tale of woe
phaedrus


Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 37

running shorts rant: a chafing tale of woe Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:59 am 

I remember when I first started running, a few years ago, hearing occasional stories about people's chafing problems. I didn't really get it. Chafing? I thought of runners so heavy that their thighs couldn't pass by one another. On the cosmic scale, chafing seemed like such a trivial problem, like bad breath or ear wax buildup. Little did I know...

Most of my shorts are sold specifically as running shorts, and are made of coolmax or something, but I also have a few random pairs designed for soccer or basketball. So I didn't think much about it when I picked up a pair of tennis shorts not long ago. They were Head brand, 100% polyester. I did notice that they had a slightly different feel to them than my other shorts, as the fabric felt more "clingy". Interesting.

I wore these new shorts for the first time on a 13 mile long run. It was an out-and-back route with the turn-around point 6.5 miles from my home. A few miles in, I noticed that the shorts had a tendency to ride up my inner thighs, and I had to keep tugging them down. Annoying, but nothing too bad. But as the miles passed, they started to get more uncomfortable. At the turn-around point, the thigh chafing was starting to get real bad, and not long afterward it became a very serious problem. I was in major pain, and every stride made it worse. I adopted a loping duck-walk stride to try to minimize the chafing, but it didn't help much. The intense burning and singing pain was way worse than anything I had ever imagined chafing could be.

I really didn't know what to do. I was still about 5 miles from home, but running the rest of the way under these conditions was too painful to contemplate. I thought about asking someone for a ride, but was too embarassed. The only other thing I could think of was to take off my shirt and stuff it down my pants, but that didn't really help, and it looked like I was a child molester out at 7AM to scout elementary schools. Finally I decided I had no choice but to just keep going. Eventually the pain kind of maxed out, and I was able to detatch myself from consciousness enough to make it home.

The last few miles, I'd deliberately avoided looking at my thighs, for fear of what I'd see. It was bad. They were a mass of blood, my shorts were soaked in blood, and there were blood rivulets down my leg all the way to my shoes. Showering was incredbly painful; I screamed. Later my thighs scabbed up real nicely, and after about a week I was able to run normally again. Needless to say, those shorts will not be a part of any future runs!


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: running shorts rant: a chafing tale of woe Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:07 am 

The thing that gets me sometimes is nipple chafing. Normally I'm fine, but on long runs where it's cold and wet, watch out! It's also pretty embarassing having two round blood stains on your shirt chest. Now I wear nipple protection on my long runs, just in case.

sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: running shorts rant: a chafing tale of woe Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:51 am 

Ouch!!!!! I've had a couple of bouts with chafing but nothing compared to you. I'll file your story under "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

BGibbsLMT

Southington, CT
Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 68

Re: running shorts rant: a chafing tale of woe Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:44 pm 

A handful of vaseline petroleum jelly or a bodyglide stick will solve that.

boomerfss

Kamloops, B.C.
Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 5

Re: running shorts rant: a chafing tale of woe Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 11:18 pm 

I've had problems with chafing as well. Now I run in Nike compression shorts. Kind of like bike shorts minus the padding. No more chafing problems.

sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: running shorts rant: a chafing tale of woe Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:10 am 

I use vaseline on my long runs but sometimes I miss a spot.

OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Underwear Chafe? Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:53 am 

Hmm, now on the subject of chafing, my problem is always sweaty underwear on long runs. I've always just worn cotton briefs when running, and like anything cotton they do a great job of soaking up and retaining sweat. Then they get all baggy and start chafing the upper insides of my legs, despite the fact that I wear running shorts with liners over them. When I remember I'll smear on a bunch of vaseline before my long runs, and that eliminates the chafing problem, but I forget the vaseline more often than not. I've always kind of wondered...what do other guys wear for underwear when they run? Jock straps? I've never liked them much. Cotton briefs like me? Do they make briefs out of other fabrics that don't retain sweat? Such fascinating subjects we discuss here...

boomerfss

Kamloops, B.C.
Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 5

Re: Underwear Chafe? Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:24 am 

I used to run with the same set up as you. Underwear and shorts. Now that I switched to compression shorts, I no longer wear underwear. I didn't think I would like it, but got used to it on the first run. I'll never go back

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Underwear Chafe? Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:10 am 

Underwear, what's that? All of my running shorts have a supportive liner built-in, and that does a fine job of, um, packaging things.

OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Underwear Chafe? Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 12:02 pm 

Well I've sometimes wondered if some people just go "commando", as Kramer would say, but I wasn't sure that would give enough support, and could be pretty revealing on a particularly wet or sweaty day. That would take care of the sweat problem, though. As for the decency factor, I guess that kind of depends on the specific fabric. Some of the stiffer fabrics might be fine, while the silkier stuff could get embarassing. You can see that I'm just not cut out to be an exhibitionist!

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Underwear Chafe? Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 12:18 pm 

What kind of shorts are you wearing? The kind I use has a liner that's separate from the shorts themselves. They're attached at the waist, but otherwise the shorts hang loosely over the inner liner, so it's nothing like wearing a speedo if that's what you're imagining. I don't think modesty would ever be a problem.

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