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Don’t let blisters or chafing derail your race goals.
While blisters most commonly affect the feet, chafing can wreak havoc nearly everywhere else, from between the thighs to under the armpits. No matter where you’ve encountered these skin problems, they have the potential to change the outcome of a race.
“Though minor in the big picture, blisters and chafing are extremely painful,” says Liz Corkum, a New York City-based running coach. “Especially toward the end of a race—when mental focus and toughness is everything—the pain of a blister or chafing can be enough discomfort to botch a race.”
Running form, sweat rate, weather and the design of apparel and shoes are all responsible for causing these nefarious hot spots. Perhaps the best way to avoid them in competition is through trial and error in training. “It is important to practice what you’ll wear on race day during training so that you’ll know of any possible issues,” Corkum says.
Since the last thing any triathlete wants is to get derailed by some easily avoidable skin ailment, we rounded up a few helpful products that were designed with the runner in mind.
Brooks Streaker Short Sleeve
This men’s shirt has thermoregulating properties to keep you cool and wick sweat during hot end-of-summer runs and features a seamless construction to avoid chafing.
Oiselle Flyte Tank
This tank is a perfect example of a seamless top that is designed to eliminate points of irritation. Since it doesn’t have protruding seams or multiple pieces of fabric, you’re far less likely to develop skin issues, even over many miles.
Balega Blister Resists
Balega uses mohair in the footbed of its new socks to fight against friction as well as a reinforced, cushy heel and toe to protect against blisters. They are available in no-show, quarter and crew lengths.
CW-X Revolution Tights
Spandex tights, capris and half tights usually eliminate chafing on the inner thighs. If you’ve had issues in that area, consider switching to something more form fitting and compressive, like these seam-free tights.
A triathlete’s best friend: This anti-chafe, anti-blister balm can save you a whole lot of pain and suffering. Simply apply it to any areas that might be vulnerable to developing hot spots, and it’ll provide protection all day long.
Pro-tec Liquicell Blister Bands
$10 (8-pack), Pro-tecathletics.com
It can be hard to keep blisters from getting worse once they’ve formed. Blister Bands employ liquid technology to protect the skin from rubbing and friction to allow those hot spots