It’s hotting up! The heat wave is in full swing so we chatted to Richard Edmonds, co-founder of Runderwear, for his top tips on summer training and how we can all avoid the dreaded chafe!
“Chafing is something that makes all us runners shudder! It’s a friction-induced skin injury where the outer layer of skin (epidermis) is rubbed creating microscopic tears, exposing the skin layer below (dermis), which becomes red, raw and irritated. It can occur anywhere on your body, but the thighs, groin, underarms, under breast and nipples are particularly vulnerable.
“Runners are more susceptible to chafing, along with other endurance athletes, due to repetitive movement, usually generated through skin-to-skin contact of multiple body parts, combined with sweat. Excess moisture from sweating, water sports such as a triathlon swim or damp weather conditions will increase the likelihood of chafing. Salt residue from perspiration or seawater will aggravate the situation, acting like sandpaper, grinding and irritating the skin. An extremely painful burning feeling is the result, especially during your post-run shower!
“So, your best bet for avoiding chafing is to wear seamless, breathable and sweat wicking fabrics. Try to ensure that the layers of clothing closest to the skin are made using a moisture-wicking fabric. This will deliver sweat away from the body, minimising any rubbing or irritation. Cotton is traditionally thought of as good for hot weather, however the technology now exists to make man-made ‘super-wicking’ materials. For example, Runderwear excels at wicking moisture away, with its unique 92% Polyamide material.
“Make sure you choose underwear and socks with an ergonomic fit, that’s just right. Loose fitting garments, combined with sweat, will increase the chances of rubbing. That said, our feet can swell when running, particularly in hot weather so it’s good to wear apparel with a certain amount of ‘give’. Check the materials for the presence of Elastane which will indicate this (Runderwear is 8% Elastane).
“Running in the heat increases exertion levels, so you want to remain as light as possible when on the move to retain fluid and energy. Many people consider the weight of their trainers, but choosing clothing made from a lightweight fabric for underwear, socks, shorts and base layers can really make a difference.
“Also, fluids are so important to keep on top of – not only to keep the body hydrated and functioning at its best, but also to reduce the risk of chafing. If you are dehydrated, your body is unable to flush salts away from your skin as easily. Drink lots of water before, during, and after exercise, allowing you to perspire freely so the perspiration doesn’t dry into salt crystals that can enhance the chafing.”
Runderwear is an award winning range of chafe-free sports performance clothing and here at Runners Rader, we’re big fans. Check out the range www.runderwear.co.uk