ask a runner: what to do for chafing?

lululemon ask a runner

lululemon: ask a runner

you asked

I am training for my first marathon and as my miles have increased, I have been having painful chafing in the bikini area. Is there a product or clothing that would help alleviate this problem? - Kelly

I have been running for 4 years now and I am starting to struggle with my sports bra chafing. I have never had a problem in the past but when I do a longer run I am chafing underneath. What kind of running bras do you recommend and how is the best way to care for them?
 Thanks, Jill

a runner responds

Kelly & Jill,

Chafing can be so uncomfortable; I feel your pain! I have a combination answer to these questions: Bodyglide and good gear. “Bodyglide” (, is a neat little product that applies just like deodorant. You can put it anywhere on your body (bikini area, inner thighs, armpits, man parts, etc.) and it will not sweat off. It’s also mess-free and invisible. Just slide some on in the areas where you are prone to chafing before you dress for your run, and it will be your new best friend! If you have an existing raw spot due to chafing, a little polysporin with bodyglide over top should help ease the pain during your run.

Although Bodyglide will help prevent chafing, I also have certain shorts and tops that I know tend to give me more chafing than other pieces due to their stitching and where the seams lie on my body. Unfortunately, this is found through the trial-and-error method. I have my go-to shorts that I know fit my body well that I always sport for my long runs (the Run:Speed Short), and I have an awesome bra that I love to wear for my long runs as well (All Sport Bra). Remember that rain will also increase your chances of chafing, so even if you are not headed out for a long one (and your are prone to chafing), load up on your bodyglide and get out there!


Ainslie is the first run expert featured in our Ask a Runner series. Check out her website to get to know her better:

Upcoming run posts from Ainslie:

- Nutrition tips for runners – May 24
- Marathon training – May 26
- What kind of shoes to wear – May 27
- How to stay motivated – May 28

read more related posts:


what about my socks chafing on my feet? Is taping the area the best option? I always get blisters after about 4k!

Comment by callah — May 21, 2010 @ 10:09 am

I use the bodyglide and it does help to prevent chafing! Also, I would add that as a sports bra ages, the more it’s worn and washed, the more likely the fabric is to be rough and cause chafing. So, just like running shoes our running clothes have to be replaced sometimes.

Comment by Emmy — May 21, 2010 @ 10:26 am


BodyGlide also has a product called Protect Your Feet that helps with both blisters and chafing. Hope it helps.

Comment by Steven Page — May 21, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

The product is actually called FootGlide.

Comment by Steven Page — May 21, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

i use deodorant stick instead of body glide all over my feet and any chafing/blister-prone areas. works just as well, and much cheaper than body glide.

Comment by annie — May 23, 2010 @ 11:34 am

You can use bodyglide on your feet too! Just stick/slanther it on; I’m in training for my 4th marathon and I couldn’t live without it. Don’t forget to get in between those toes ;)

Comment by Ashley — May 24, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

thanks for the advice! I’ll be sure to look out for it :)

Comment by callah — May 26, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

If you are running and getting chafing because of friction you need to try out a new product called Blister bomber. This stuff is amazing and I just checked out their website and one of the testimonials is from an athlete who had chafing from a sports bra. This stuff if in a small portable container. I tried it and love it.

Good luck!

Comment by Daryl — June 9, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

Vaseline is great, inexpensive choice that works well.

Comment by Monica — July 10, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

Also, a i used a new product called everstride and it worked really well to help heal my chafing and now prevents it from coming back.
hope that helps!

Comment by Michelle — July 23, 2010 @ 8:12 am

I love the Body Glide liquified powder for my feet. You may also want to invest in a pair of running socks. They are much better than your typical cotton sock.

Comment by Heather — September 8, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

I’d never had any experience with chafing before, but I recently hit 15 miles in my marathon training and got a unpleasant surprise. I didn’t realize until afterward how bad my underwear was chafing. It hurt just taking them off. Ow! Does it make more sense to get some Body Glide or invest in some technical underwear for athletics (which seems expensive)? Also, is it better to wear shorts without liners? I’ve noticed that most running shorts now have underwear-like liners inside. All my current ones have it. Is it better for chafing to find unlined ones?

Comment by Emily — March 24, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

Hi Emily,

Chaffing can be about as much fun as a poke in the eye. You don’t normally experience it with shorter distances, so it can come as a nasty surprise when you start to hit your longer runs. Friction is the cause of it but the real culprit is moisture (aka:sweat) so having a liner in your shorts won’t make a difference to the amount of chaffing you experience. The best thing to do? Get lubed up! Body Glide is a great option but I’m partial to good ol’ fashioned Vaseline. The silver lining to the chaffing rain cloud is that you will now know where you are going to chafe in the future. Most people experience it between the legs at the top of the thigh – where there can be a high amount of friction – but other areas can include underneath your heart rate monitor, parts of the bra or, with our male guests, nipples (ouch). A healthy dose of BG or Vaseline will prevent the pain and won’t damage any run gear.
~ Tess, GEC

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — March 26, 2011 @ 10:33 am

With regard to the underwear and the chafing caused, sometimes I just find it works to go without. I know it sounds crass and potentially embarrassing, but underwear provides an extra layer of seams that increases the risk of chafing, especially if you are running with tights. I also run long distance and do 1 full marathon and 2 half marathons each year. I also use Body Glide (which doesn’t stain) or Vaseline or Aquaphor. If you have shorts with an internal brief, you know you don’t need the underwear. If you have tights, I swear, no one will notice or care. As they say above, also use the lubricant in all affected areas, including feet.

Comment by Sherry — December 18, 2011 @ 6:06 am

Hydropel is the best thing for feet in my experience, and I’ve tried about everything including taping (and run 100 milers and such).

Comment by ultrarunner — March 16, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

It also helps if you have dryfit socks!:)

Comment by Sarah — August 7, 2012 @ 10:24 am

Bodygluide is the best! I use it for everything. It works great for chaffing but also put it on the bottom of your feet to avoid blisters. Also, you can put it on or above your eyebrows to avoid sweat getting into your eyes during a long run. When you get into the 20 mile mark I also found that vaseline helps.

Comment by Jodie Schrage — August 26, 2012 @ 6:37 am


Comment by Susan — September 5, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

I want anyone who has had chafing skin to try a body wrap made by . You can even wear it swimming. no more chafing on the beach. The gels wind up gone in a few hours. This is like wearing a bandaid on the skin. It’s my secret shhhh!

Comment by Runningmeover — September 17, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

Thanks for the post….been looking everywhere for info about bikini area chafing….I was going to go ahead and buy the shorts and bra you mentioned but I am a size 14, Lululemon does not make clothes for curvy women apparently….(Grrr)

Comment by Miriam — August 5, 2013 @ 4:36 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment