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New York Times - 24 Best Gifts for Runners 2022

New York Times - 24 Best Gifts for Runners 2022

Squirrels Nut Butter 

Chafing is the bane of both distance runners and people blessed with thick thighs. But a swipe of Squirrels Nut Butter will protect zones that rub together or blister. Made from beeswax, coconut oil, cocoa butter, vitamin E, and nothing else, the formula glides on smoothly and travels easily in its deodorant-style applicator. One former staffer said it kept working for runs upwards of 10 miles. 

10 Tips for Dealing With Chafing Skin as a Runner

10 Tips for Dealing With Chafing Skin as a Runner

According to a report done in 2020, 15% of Australians some form of running or jogging. This makes chafing skin that is associated with running a very common issue.

This is something that many runners complain about as chafed skin is painful and irritating. It can also make it harder to reach your running goals and accomplish your milestones.

The good thing is that there are ways to help with chafing for runners. These tips are a great place to start if you are a runner who is dealing with chafing.

Keep reading to find out what you can do to treat and prevent chafing while running.

1. Wear Synthetic Materials

Synthetic materials are going to be your best friend when it comes to running. Though you may normally go towards cotton, this is not a great option for runners.

Natural fibers like cotton tend to be absorbent and will hold on to moisture as you run. This will cause more chafing skin and more skin irritation overall.

Synthetic materials are more slippery and will not absorb as much moisture as natural fibers. They also tend to chafe less and are gentler on the skin as you are running for long periods of time.

It is best to look for synthetic materials that are sweat-wicking. This will help to absorb moisture without holding on to it and chafing away at the skin as you run.

2. Wear Well Fitting Clothing

When you are going to be running, the fit of your clothing is more important than you might realize. Clothes that don't fit correctly could cause sports injuries or skin injuries as you run.

You do not want to wear clothing that is too tight as this can cause a great deal of discomfort. Tight clothes will cause chafing skin and can dig into your skin causing blistered skin in those areas.

But you also do not want to wear clothing that is too loose as this can also cause chafed skin. Loose clothing can become moist and rub on your skin as you are running.

It is best to choose underclothes options that are just the right fit and have a certain amount of giving. You want your clothing to fit just right but still have some stretch in case you need it.

Socks and shoes specifically should have some give as your feet might swell while running. You could get blistered skin if your socks or shoes are too tight and cannot expand to a certain degree.

3. Use a Lubricant

Using a lubricant is a great idea for areas of the body that are prone to chafing. This is a preventative measure that can help to reduce skin injuries when running for long periods of time.

Vaseline is the most common lubricant, though some people will also use different types of oils. These lubricants work by creating a lubricating barrier for your skin.

This helps to stop chafing from happening as your skin cannot rub together and cause irritation. Runners commonly do this in specific areas, such as between their thighs where chafing often occurs.

If you have chafing that you just can't seem to stop from happening, this could be a great solution. Especially if you only have chafing issues in specific areas.

4. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated throughout your run is also an important way to reduce your chances of having sports injuries. Though you may already know this, being hydrated can also help with chafing skin.

When you are dehydrated your body has a much harder time flushing salt from your skin. Dehydration makes it harder to sweat and can cause salt to build up on your skin.

These abrasive salt crystals can enhance chafing and make the skin irritation much worse. Staying hydrated allows you to sweat profusely as you run to keep your skin free of these dried salt crystals.

Staying hydrated also helps to dilute your sweat so that your sweat is not as salty. If you are not hydrated enough, your sweat will be much more concentrated and irritating.

5. Start With Moisturized Skin

If you are going to be going running the next day, you can begin preparing for chafing skin early. You can do this by ensuring that your skin is moisturized before ever running.

Keeping your skin moisturized before a run is a great way to prevent chafing as well as blistered skin. This helps your skin to be less dry, which is a big contributor to chafing while running.

Moisturized skin is much less likely to cause irritation as it rubs together. This works much like using a lubricant does as your skin has a moisturized barrier.

You should moisturize your skin the day before going running as well as moisturizing before you go running. Make sure you use a moisturizer that soaks into the skin instead off simply sitting on top of it.

Otherwise, you will sweat your moisturizer off and it won't help with chafed skin.

6. Consider the Weather

If you want to go running, it is always a good idea to take the weather into consideration. Hot and humid weather causes the most chafing as it causes you to sweat more.

Hotter weather also creates more risk of becoming dehydrated, which no runner wants to experience. It is best to run in mild weather or to pick a time of the day that is the coolest.

7. Wear Anti-Chafing Bands

Anti-chafing bands are specifically designed to help people combat chafed skin. These are usually available as thigh bands as this is the most common area for chafing.

Anti-Chafing bands are made from synthetic blends that are not going to absorb a bunch of moisture. They also come with silicone to help them stay in place as you run.

Chafing bands help to create a material barrier between your skin to protect your skin. This is an ideal option for runners as thigh chafing is very common and can be very painful.

These bands can easily be worn under your normal running clothes without adding any bulkiness.

8. Use Powders

Powders are a chafing solution that has been around for a long time. Though this isn't an ideal option for preventing chafing, it can help to reduce it once chafing has already started.

Cornstarch-based powders are the best option as they are silky on the skin while being highly absorbent. Powders create a barrier so that your skin is not repeatedly rubbing against itself.

It also helps to absorb sweat in those areas as moisture can cause greater chafing. You can easily apply a powder to problem areas if you are starting to feel chafing.

This is a great way to reduce chafing and help your skin to be better protected for the remainder of your run.

9. Be Mindful of Your Equipment

If you are running for long periods of time, you most likely have to take certain kinds of equipment with you. This is something that most runners do, especially if they are running long distances.

You may want to bring a water bottle, heart monitor, armband, belt, or other kinds of equipment with you. If you do run with any kind of equipment, it is important to be aware of any chafing that it could cause.

Armbands, belts, and any other kind of equipment could easily become a chafing issue for your skin. They could begin to rub and cause abrasiveness that could result in blistered skin or chafing.

You will want to choose a runner-specific type of equipment and be aware of any damage it causes as you run. You may have to get creative if you find that running equipment increases your risk of chafing.

10. Wear Running Clothes

Running clothes are the best option for runners for obvious reasons. There is a reason why there are clothes made specifically for runners.

These types of clothing will be made of synthetic materials that are best for running in. They won't be absorbing a bunch of sweat or rubbing against your skin as you run.

Many high-quality pieces of running clothing will also be seamless or have very minimal seams. This can make a huge difference as seams can rub against the skin causing painful chafing.

Running clothes also have the elasticity to them to help you to find a better fit. You don't want to wear anything that is too tight or too loose for longer runs.

How to Deal With Chafing Skin as a Runner

If you are struggling with chafing skin, there are several ways that you can try to prevent this. This is important for runners as chafed skin is one of the most common issues and can be very irritating.

If you are a regular runner or run for long distances, this is most likely an issue that you have faced. It might have even been a big enough issue to interfere with your running goals.

Are you struggling with painfully chafed skin while running? Contact us today at Squirrel's Nut Butter to see our selection of anti-chafing products for runners.

7 Must-Know Tips for Long-Distance Running

7 Must-Know Tips for Long-Distance Running

Did you know that running for 5-10 minutes each day can significantly reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases?

It's also an excellent form of exercise for people who are overweight or obese since it can help them lose weight and keep it off. But running long distances can be tough on the body, so here are some tips to make sure you're doing it right.

Keep reading to learn 7 facts that will help you tackle long-distance running.

Tip #1: Increase Your Max Heart Rate

Your max heart rate (MHR) is the highest number of times your heart can beat per minute. It's important to know because it's the indicator of how hard you should be pushing yourself while working out. Many long-distance runners' MHRs are more than 200 beats per minute.

So what do you do if your MHR is so high that you can't physically keep up with it while you run longer? Well, there are a few different things you can try:

Increase your endurance: If you increase the amount of time you spend running each day then your max heart rate will decrease automatically. Also, make sure you are wearing the correct gear because this can affect your endurance as well.

Take it easy: You can also try taking longer breaks in between runs to give your body a chance to recuperate.

Check your training plan: Make sure that you're pushing yourself, but not too hard; what feels like an intense workout for you might be very easy for someone else.

Tip #2: Warm Up & Cool Down

Warming up and cooling down are two of the most important parts of running long distances. The cool-down process is especially vital because it helps your muscles return to a normal state, as well as flushing toxins from the muscle tissue. Without this important process, you're more likely to develop a rash, a fever, a headache, or a more serious condition.

So how can you ensure that you're properly warming up and cooling down during your runs? Try the following:

Warm-Up: At first, just walk for about five minutes to get your muscles prepared for the workout ahead. Afterward, try doing about five minutes of gentle jogging, followed by some dynamic stretches (like high kicks and arm swings). Then run at the pace you want for your workout.

Cool-Down: As soon as you finish running, take a few more minutes to stretch out your muscles to make sure they don't get too stiff while they're cooling down.

Tip #3: Run Frequently

Long-distance runners like to run every day of the week if they can since it helps them build stamina and endurance faster than running less often. This is especially true for beginners who are just starting. If you're new to running or haven't done it much in the past, take it easy at first and build up to running every day.

Try this: Run for about 10 minutes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; take Tuesdays and Thursdays off; then run again for about 20 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays. After a few weeks of doing this routine, you can try increasing your weekend runs to 30 minutes and adding a run during the week, too.

Tip #4: Mix Up Your Routes

If you're running the same route every day then your body will get used to it and start working less and less each time. It won't help to build endurance or stamina, either. And if you always run at the same pace, your body will have a hard time cooling down properly after each workout.

To avoid this, try to mix up your routes as much as possible. Just go in different directions every time you run or change up the scenery.

For example, jog around town one day, then cross over into an entirely new neighbourhood the next time you head out. If you run at the gym, try to use a different machine or go to another floor of the building. Mixing up your routine will keep your body on its toes and help you avoid unnecessary fatigue.

Tip #5: Take Your Time

Long-distance runners are always trying to improve their times by shaving seconds off every mile they run. But if you care too much about speed and start pushing yourself too hard, chances are you'll just end up getting exhausted faster than ever before.

To avoid this scenario, learn how to pace yourself better by taking your time at the beginning of your run. However, don't go so slow that you begin to lose momentum or worse yet, lose interest in running altogether. Instead, make sure to go at a pace you know you can keep up with for the full duration of your run.

Tip #6: Keep It Simple

For most runners, it's not the actual running technique that gets boring—it's all the other stuff that comes with long-distance training like getting dressed, putting on your shoes, and heading out the door. If you want to keep things interesting, try mixing up your routine with these simple tricks:

Change Your Shoes: If you own a lot of running shoes, consider wearing a different pair each day instead of the same ones over and over again. It's okay to rotate them every once in a while; just make sure you're wearing the same pair every few days at least.

Change Your Accessories: If you usually wear an armband to hold your key and cell phone, try carrying your items in a different place so you can use a different arm for a change. Making sure you have the right accessories and gear can also help you prevent chafing.

Tip #7: Make Some Long Distance Running Friends

Running friends can help you stay encouraged and motivated when things get rough. Plus, they're always great to bounce ideas off of and talk about the latest training plans you've been working on.

So if you don't have any long-distance running buddies yet, then there's no better time to look for them than right now! Put up an ad online or use your social networks to find some runners near you who want to talk about the sport.

Improve Your Long Distance Running Today

Now you should be better equipped for long-distance running. Use these tips to improve your runs and get the most out of your workouts.

If you're looking for other products to enhance your run, be sure to also check out our anti-chafing products that make the run even more enjoyable.