Fighting the Chafe

I’m not sure what’s so different these days.  Maybe I’m getting older.  Perhaps I’m a bit less tolerant than I used to be to some of the issues that come along with running long distances.  One of these issues is chafing.

Chafing only seems to become an issue on my longer runs, probably those over 10 miles, especially when it’s hot out.  The most noticeable chafe was on my inner thighs, so I sought out a pair of compression shorts.

I purchased a pair of Under Armour HeatGear Ventilated Compression Shorts a couple of months ago, and was pleased that they prevented my inner leg chafe.  I wore them for a few 6 – 8 mile runs, just to test them out.  Overall, I was pretty happy with them.  The waistband was a little high for me, and I ended up folding it down to reduce the pressure on my lower abdomen.  It felt like it was slightly restricting my breathing.  Other than that, I thought they were fine and would serve the purpose well.

I ran a couple of longer runs (12, 14 miles) and didn’t have any problems, but halfway through my second leg of Ragnar one of the seams began to light my undercarrage on fire.  The flatlock style seams running through the crotch are a little bulkier than I would expect, and they proved to be irritating.

While not as breathable and cool as a jock or briefs, they weren’t as suffocating as I thought they might be.  The ventilated section in front and under provided great wicking.  However, another 14 miler completed this week showed that these may prevent chafing in one area, but added it in another, arguably worse area.

So, if you are hunting for a pair of compression shorts to ease your friction woes, double check those inner leg and crotch seams for thickness and smoothness.  I’m not sure if I’ll pursue another pair or just lube up the tender parts.  I have a marathon in about a month that I would like to finish without major chafing issues.


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