Marathon Wear and Tear (Chafing)

Chafing is such an ugly word, isn’t it?

This Saturday I’ll run my first marathon, and I could use some advice on clothing. The temperature is going to be around 50 degrees at the start of the race, and probably around 70 degrees by the time I finish. I’ve been training through the winter, so I haven’t had to deal with temps over 50 most of the time. That is, overheating has never been an issue, although keeping warm enough has been. I often run wearing my swim jammers as shorts, covered by a pair of running tights. I wear a tight, long-sleeve base layer shirt, which I tuck under everything at my waist, and which prevents my skin from getting holes in it around my waste from the bunched up waist of my tied tights. Then I generally cover the baselayer with a t-shirt or running jacket.

However, I think I’ll overheat in this event if I wear all that. I think I could get away with tights and a t-shirt, but then I don’t have the baselayer protecting me from wear and tear around my waist. I could wear the baselayer with no t-shirt, but even that might be too warm. Last year the marathon winner was wearing those skimpy running shorts and a tank-top, and he didn’t look like he was cold. So what should I do? How do I keep from chafing around my waist?

  • http://www.triathletes.com bob

    running shorts and a shirt. if you are worried about being cold i take a pair of tube socks and cut off the ends and use them arm warmers. you can chuck them when you’re warm and comfortable. maybe a pair of dollar store gloves.
    if you would call me i could give you the same info but with more tips….
    boa sorte

  • Bob B.

    Dude, here’s your plan:

    1. Ditch the tights. Don’t even start with them. You won’t need them and they’re bulky.
    2. Wear whatever loose shorts you want (I use under armor basketball shorts)
    3. Wear Under Armor 6″ inseam boxerjock (http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/en/ua-underwear/mens/pid1218336-Men-s-LX-Series-6-Boxerjock-/1218336-001). It’s the only way to go. I have NEVER gotten chaffage, even on long sweaty runs. They are my salvation!
    4. Wear short sleeves. You may be chilly for 10 min, but then you’ll be plenty warm.
    5. 70 degrees is quite warm for running and heat has a huge impact on your pace. Plan accordingly. You may run 10% slower if it’s 20 degrees warmer than you’re used to.
    6. Don’t wear new shoes.
    7. Don’t wear new socks.
    8. Don’t wear socks you’ve never done a long run in.
    9. No need to tuck your shirt if you don’t have the tights and you’ll want the extra air flow at 70 degrees.
    10. Wear a running visor (I like the visor better than a hat. No glasses, just the visor. I get protection from glaring sun, my head stays cool (since the top isn’t covered), and it wicks some sweat from the forehead.
    11. If you wear a loose shirt, which I prefer, and you tend to chafe, you might try glide in the under arm area, particularly the inside of the biceps and traps, where they rub.
    12. NO t-shirts, they are heavy and can cause serious nipple bleeding. I use a loose Under Armor or Nike wicking shirt. Try it on before and make sure the seams don’t bother. I find the Nike to be better that way.

    Good luck!