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How to Prevent Chafing During Long Runs

Oy, chafing. It’ll make you shake your fists at the sky, bellowing a long “whyyy” for making intense runs that much more strenuous. An awful amalgamation of heat, moisture and, er, rubbing, this sneaky friction monster creeps up on the best of us, irritating skin until it’s red, swollen and just plain unsightly. Not to mention, it’s a total hindrance to our carefully crafted pre-marathon programs.

But if you’re the type that’s not about to let a little chafing slow you down (and we sincerely hope you are), there are ways to combat it. Here, three athlete-approved tips for preventing chafing.

1. Wear body-hugging garments. Loose tops and shorts might seem like a remedy for staying cool, but these fabrics don’t hover over skin and actually end up creasing and grating against sensitive areas like your inner thighs, underarms and bra lines. Instead, opt for formfitting, cropped leggings and tees that will stay in place and protect sensitive areas. They’ll act as a second skin and buffer from friction.

2. Say so long to seams — kind of. Aside from the ubiquitous inner thigh chafing, repeat offenders also include anywhere else bumpy, uneven seams meet skin (think: sports bras, running tops and socks). In New Balance’s Made for Movement Seamless Collection, the seams are few and shallow and sit flush with the fabric. As a bonus, the collection is made with moisture-wicking materials that help keep you dry. (Psst: you can score the collection at the recently-opened Walnut Street location!)

3. Lubricate liberally. Friction is caused by two dry entities (ahem, your thighs) rubbing together and creating heat. By lubricating the vulnerable surfaces with a runner-vetted product like Body Glide (deodorant works in a pinch!), your skin won’t become as irritated when it comes into repeated contact with skin or other materials.

And if it’s already too late, clean the burn thoroughly with unscented soap, slather with a similarly gentle moisturizer and top it with an extra-large, moisture-resistant Band-Aid. Wear breathable cotton clothes while it heals. You don’t want chafing keeping you away from your next 20-miler, do you?

For more information about finding the right fitness gear for you at New Balance, click here.