Remember our no-cotton rule when it came to race day essentials? Unfortunately, avoiding cotton doesn’t remove the risk of chafing completely. Helena found this out recently wearing new tights on a long run.
If you haven’t yet had chafing, it’s only a matter of time. Especially once you increase your mileage, because in shorter races, as long as it’s good fit and quality, your clothing will see you through the finish line untainted. But in adverse conditions – with unexpected temperatures and perspiration levels – things can go awry very quickly. Trust me, I know.
Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable is a great maxim we should all strive for. However, running up a hill for miles is already a massive challenge–why add chafing to make it even more difficult? Unlike getting past the Inverted Wall or the Rig, there is no glory in overcoming chafing.
With all this experience behind us, we were quite happy to try out an anti-chafing solution in the form of a handy roll-on from our friends at Bodyglide. In addition to a few training sessions and runs, I tested the Bodyglide anti-chafing and anti-blister balm in an actual race too. This was in fact our first race of the year – the Spartan Winter race in the Jizera mountains of the Czech Republic.
If we look at the story setting, the conditions were ripe for some chafing trouble:
- The course was spread over 1800+ ft of elevation and descent which meant running up and down steep hills in snow.
- Because the temperature was -5 degrees of Celsius (roughly 23 F), I had to wear multiple layers of thermal clothing to sustain heat before the race even began. Chafing guaranteed. Even in perfect conditions, I would at least get chafing in the thigh area. Soon after the kick-off it became clear I would sweat buckets, which could have made this foreboding discomfort even worse.
Luckily, no chafing was experienced.
Although the temperature differences made this race a more-sweaty-than-usual Spartan Sprint–reminding me of my super sweaty ice hockey days–I finished it strong without any blisters or chafing.
Overall, we’re chuffed with Body Glide as our anti-chafing solution. We will be testing it further in longer races and races with swimming obstacles, but for now this is it for me.
Let’s quickly look at the pros and cons of what you can expect:
- No chafing (especially in the thigh area) or blisters.
- Very portable and easy to apply thanks to its roll-on, deodorant stick-like packaging. It’s small enough that you can pack it for longer runs, hikes or extensive walking.
- Solid ingredient list with plant ingredients and no petroleum. No mess and it’s vegan friendly.
- I’ve yet to find a roll-on product that would spread evenly on my gorilla-like hairy legs.
To date I’ve skipped on using gels, oils, other nasty and/or uncomfortable stuff that some OCR athletes and triathletes use to avoid chafing. I just didn’t like the feeling of greasy stickiness those products create.
Bodyglide didn’t give me this feeling. As a product intended to prevent chafing, it does its job well. It’s also easy to apply and very portable to boot, being the same size as my deodorant stick. Overall, a solid thumbs-up from me!
If chafing has ruined your race experiences to date (or made race recovery that much more difficult), do check out Bodyglide.
*Although this product was given to us for free by its manufacturers, our review is 100% honest and not sponsored. In the context of obstacle course racing, we tested this product out thoroughly with different gear and in both training as well as racing conditions. As ever, we’re dedicated to bringing you only the best news and advice to help you become a champion in your next OCR–so stay tuned and don’t hesitate to get in touch with any feedback or questions.