What is Chub Rub?
“Chub rub, ” for those of you (like me, until recently!) who are unaware of the term, is the chafing between your upper thighs that can result from physical activities like long distance running. It happens when your thighs are bare and friction is created when they rub against each other, and it HURTS!
All I have to say, after yesterday’s 14 miler, is holy chub rub!!! I was wearing one of my favorite running skirts that usually does not giving me any chafing issues and let me just say that last night’s shower was not the highlight of my day. As soon as the shower spray hit my legs; I could feel the burn, and I was determined to never have that feeling again!
How to Avoid Chub Rub
Yesterday’s episode of chub rub got me to thinking about the different remedies for avoiding this painful side effect of long distance running (and other physical activities). Aside from wearing shorts without a lot of extra material that bunches (think spandex or compression shorts) to cover the bare skin of your thighs (I still like my running skirts with spankies though!), there are products you can purchase to coat the skin and prevent friction.
While some runners use petroleum jelly, I am a little leery of using that on my skin and my running clothes, and I have read that it wears off over time–maybe lasting for a half marathon, but not the full distance. It’s also petroleum-based, and I’m not a fan of using skin care products that are made from petroleum products. That being said, you can always start with some good old-fashioned Vaseline.
Aquaphor also contains petroleum, but significantly less than Vaseline. Unlike Vaseline, it contains panthenol which helps it absorb into the skin. Vaseline forms a protective barrier, but is not absorbed. It also contains other minerals and is less greasy than Vaseline (at least in my opinion!).
Body glide is a product made specifically for avoiding chafing and blisters during physical activities. It comes in a stick that is easy to apply to different areas of your body, not just your thighs! Many runners and other sports enthusiasts experience chafing on their feet, under arms, and nipples (yikes!). I like that it doesn’t contain petroleum, lanolin or mineral oils. Before any long run or race, I always remember to stash a stick of Body Glide in my running bag.
Whichever product you choose, make sure you put it on before longer periods of physical activity, so you don’t experience the painful discomfort of chub rub. I recommend experimenting to find the right product before race day, because the last thing you want to deal with during a race is serious chafing!