This is part of a series of posts regarding how I am preparing, planning, and train to complete the 100 miles Ultramarathon Umstead 100: Road to 100. For all the ultrarunning series here is Road to 100 last week’s post and for additional ideas follow the link. Training for a 100.
Running long distances can be tasking to the body in multiple ways. One of these ways comes in the form of chafing. You might say that how come some people suffer from it and others do not. Well like any training or running plan/approach every individual is unique. Like one of the podcasts, I listen to they refer to us runners as experiments of one.
Chafing comes in many forms too, this could be in areas where the skin rubs in contact and creates friction, this friction in part in the long run can cause your skin to become raw. Also, the heat generated can also contribute to additional chafing. You do not have to go for multi-hour runs to suffer from it, warm weather can accelerate the process of chafing and the sweat we produce will add some of the abrasive particles (Salty runner) that could accelerate the process as well.
It is not only skin to skin, other times is clothing or your equipment might rub your skin and create heat areas that will increase the chances for chafing. This is when it pays to run with the equipment you are going to use during the event during multiple training runs.
How do you know you are suffering from it, sometimes during the run, you will feel the areas that can cause trouble, other times you might bleed, like in the case of nipple chafing which can be very painful. But the for sure thing is when you get into the to get a shower and as soon the water hits the skin where chafing has occurred, you will scream in pain from it. Trust, on this you will know.
Here you want to pay attention to previous experiences in which chafing has to occur, what areas? at what degree? what were the weather conditions?
Especially at the times or areas in which there was not much of it, or it was minimal. The reason for paying attention to those is that in an Ultramarathon little things might start to compound and become larger issues.
You want to recognize it early enough to take action before it turns into a show stopper or can make your event a terrible experience.
After your assessment, there are multiple ways to tackle chafing. The recommendation is that if you are going to use any product, you want to try it 1st before the event to make sure it will perform the way you want it and that it will not necessarily cause additional issues or problems.
In general chafing, there are a few products out there to use, Body Glide and Squirrel’s Nut Butter are very popular. There are also Aquaphor and Mission 5-hour anti-chafe products both are in a cream form easy to apply. I make my own mix recipe that I found over the internet and poured it into empty deodorant containers. If you do not mind spending some time and a little bit of a mess, in a nutshell here are my steps,
- In a double boiler bath melt
- 1 Part Shea Butter
- 1 Part Coconut Oil (I add a touch more than just one part to make it softer to apply)
- 1 Part Beeswax
- Mix well and let cool until start getting cream consistency
- Pour over mold or containers
For nipple chafing there are a multitude of approaches, you could use any type of lubricants like Body Glide or any of the mentioned above, others approach will be to use Band-aids, there are also products specifically designed to solve this issue, Nip Guard, Nip Eaze, Nipstripease or Mr.Nipple. I have used the last one very successfully without any issues for years.
Another approach that I have used for areas where I had equipment/gear rubbing specific areas is taping the area to protect. I have used sports tape like KT Tape, on my lower back to prevent issues with my hydration belt. That approach worked fantastic during my 100-mile event a few years ago.
How is the plan going:
This week was another solid week. The workweek mileage was decent, here are some highlights,
Monday run: Normally Mondays are resting/stretch days, this week after doing 45 minutes stretch I went out for an easy 10k run.
Tuesday run: Good easy 12 miles this morning, followed with a 3-mile hilly hike with my daughter
Wednesday run: Easy 10-morning run, feeling very tired during the first 6 miles after that it became cruising mode
Thursday run: Today some speed work 9x Yassos. Definitely very tired today.
Friday run: New Year’s eve run with a few of the running peeps from the area, some easy conversational miles
The long runs were good too, Saturday: To celebrate the New Year I set out to complete 22 miles. (Two extra miles for fun?) Warm weather prove to be challenging on super tired legs
Sunday: The night before I was logging my miles in my training log a realized that I was so close to the 80 miles week milestone so this morning I went for it. Although I was scheduled to do 14, since I have been doing some heavy workout back-to-backs run, I was ok with doing less, but at least it had to reach 12 to meet the milestone. All went well, slow miles a few stops to talk to a few friends but in all, it was not too crazy. Very tired but still felt good.
This week actual numbers: