Chafing is a significant problem in ultras. The longer you run, the more likely you are to chafe. Any place where anything comes in contact with skin, including other skin, is susceptible to chafing. Your long runs will give you ample opportunity to learn what areas chafe, how they chafe, and allow you to experiment with solutions.
Here are my suggestions for various areas:
- Nipples: Cover with adhesive bandages. I used to use duct tape, but the adhesive irritated the skin after long hours of exposure. For added protection, add a dab of your favorite sports lube to the nipple prior to applying the bandage.
- Groin/thighs: I've tried quite a few options- various lubes, tape, compression shorts, a kilt (added ventilation), and various states of trimming and/or shaving. I finally found short running shorts (current favorite = Brooks Infinity III) and a liberal dose of SportSlick brand lube work wonders.
- Armpits: The 'pits are difficult to protect. The only real option I found was good ole' lube.
- Any area the clothing touches, including sports bras for the ladies: Different articles of clothing will cause different levels of chafing. I prefer cotton shirts to technical shorts for this reason- the cotton is less abrasive. I usually treat trouble areas with a dab of lube or periodically change to a different style of clothing.
- Hands (due to carrying water bottles): My knuckles usually gets chafed in long races. In cool weather, I've found fingered or fingerless gloves to be effective. In hot weather, I just lube up the knuckles.