Now that you are now running more than ten miles in preparation for the marathon, do you notice your thighs rubbing together? Does it hurt? Of course your legs couldn't be fat . . . they're just muscular! But what do you do?
Less than half of all runners suffer from painful thigh rub on long runs. Both women and men are affected. Runners who "could lose a little weight" suffer, but so do trim runners whose body type simply involves thighs that are shaped that way. After a run the pain goes away in a few days, but during a run the redness and chafing between your thighs can slow your performance, or even cause you to shorten your run. Then there's that burning feeling during your soapy shower after your run . . . ouch!! Even applying lotion doesn't help much. It is far better to prevent this problem, than to deal with it afterwards. Here are two good solutions:
First, you can apply petroleum jelly to your legs (Vaseline is one brand) or a product developed specifically for athletes such as Body Glide. This works. It works better if you have chosen running shorts with a smooth flat seam between your thighs, instead of a big thick seam. On a very long run on a hot day the material may rub off or sweat off, and you may need to reapply. This is less of a problem with Body Glide, but it still can be a problem. The material may get on your car seat when you drive home, so bring a towel to sit on. When you shower after you run you will need to scrub to get the material off your thighs. This solution costs very little per running season.
Second, for under $30 you can invest in a pair of compression shorts. Get the ones that almost go down to your knees. Shorts are cut specifically for men and women, and shorts come in basic sizes like small, medium and large. A running store will let you try on a variety of brands so you can choose which fits best. WalMart or other stores not owned and operated by runners will carry a more limited variety but can save money. Watch out for less expensive brands which may be made of a thicker and rougher fabric, and may even be made of cotton instead of a high-tech fabric. Avoid cotton which will hold the sweat against your thighs causing added abrasion. Look for a good fit, and a slick slippery fabric like spandex or nylon that will take the brunt of the wear and tear, sparing your skin. Compression shorts really work! I now use them exclusively, instead of applying petroleum jelly or Body Glide to my thighs. If they almost work for you, but not quite, instead of one pair of compression shorts try two thin pair. Expect to get over 1000 miles out of a pair of quality running compression shorts.
Back to Beyond
Back to Marathon Training: Latest Updates