With autumn falling on Korea, the temperatures are dropping… and dropping fast. With my half marathon only a few weeks away, my legs are pounding the pavement more and more to get ready for the fateful day when I run my distance. That means, I must be out in the cool weather day after day. I personally enjoy the weather and find it refreshing; However, one part of my body doesn’t. That’s right I have runner’s nipple.
That’s right, with the longer distances, my nipples are rubbing raw to the point they bleed. After each 16k (10m) run, they’re incredibly sore and seem to stay erect for nearly 24 hours. Just in time to head out again.
What Causes Runner’s Nipple?
A number of things can lead to the skin chaffing so badly it breaks. Most notably, a combination of sweat and constant friction between the nipple and clothing. Nipples are especially sensitive, given they are secondary sex organs. With prolonged distances, the nipples continuously rub against one’s shirt to the point the skin rubs raw and blood starts to trickle down. During a run, it may not be noticeable, since one is preoccupied with trying not to fall over… but after the run is complete – Oy, can you feel it!
Preventing Runner’s Nipple
The long and short of it, is there is no way to stop runner’s nipple from happening without preventative measures. The longer one runs, the more one sweats, and the greater amount of time friction against the nipple occurs. The only way to stop runner’s nipple from happening is to reduce friction. Probably the top runner’s commercial product on the market is Body Glide. I’ve never used the product, but have friends that do. I personally use Vaseline and have found it to be a much cheaper alternative to other commercial products. I also think it’s easier to find comparable products outside the US as well. For example, the $10 Body Glide one buys in the US goes for nearly $20 in Korea. The same amount of Vaseline costs less than $3.