What female runners don’t speak about

Solutions for period pain, chaffing, negative self-talk & more!

By Jess Arrowsmith • 3 years ago • HEALTH & FITNESS

Runners, listen up closely. It’s time we address those things.
While running long distance is a definite mental challenge in itself, in more cases than not there are a number of physical (and slightly uncomfortable) challenges faced too – ones that aren’t so readily spoken about.
From chaffing to negative self-talk, uncomfortable sports bras to running with period pain, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of what really goes on during a long distance run.
Triple White had a chat with six empowering young female runners from AM: PM Run Crew who are making mega strides – both literally and figuratively.
Set to race as a team of six female athletes from Australia and New Zealand in the infamous The Speed Project, the girls will run a 550-kilometer relay from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, non-stop. Competing against 39 other teams, the girls will attempt to beat the female record of 48 hours.
Getting intimate with the six super empowering and motivating young athletes, we chatted about all the unspoken things that go on during a long distance run and how to resolve them ‘on the go’ without giving up!


  1. Negative self talk

Solution: ‘Come up with a mantra to say to yourself when the run gets tough and repeat it every few steps. Some that work for us include, ‘dig deep, you’ve got this,’ ‘every run counts,’ ‘put in the effort you can today and you’ll reap the benefits no matter how hard you push your limits.’


  1. Chaffing

Solution: ‘This is way more common than you think and can really make or break your running experience. Chaffing cream is a definite option, but also test out different types of active wear. As a rule of thumb, shorts are more likely to chaff than leggings and tight sports bras are more likely to cause irritation than less strapped-in sports bras.

On that note, nipple chaffing: we recommend bandaids, nipple cream for breastfeeding mums, or Generic 3B chaff cream.


  1. Period pain

Solution: ‘Now here’s something everyone can relate too, while running or not. When it comes to running, stretching it out really helps. Opt for deep lunges, yoga (downward dog & cobra pose & child’s pose) then jog slowly and the cramps will seize. If not, try lying flat on back and stretching leg across the midline to loosen up lower back,’ Annabel says.


  1. Tampon vs cup

Solution:‘To be honest, finding a hygienically sound environment to rinse and clean cup can be tricky if you’re running out on the trails. Tampons are the go during a run. A few brands we recommend are U by Cotex, as they produce sports tampons with an extra leakage barrier. THINX underwear is also making its way up the ranks and is highly recommended, however probably not ideal in warmer climates.’


  1. Bad skin

Solution: If you’ve found that your skin flares up or you suffer from skin conditions before a run dermatologists recommend cleansing and putting an extra lather of moisturiser on so that sweat is trapped in the moisturiser rather than dried straight back into pores. After a run, dermatologists recommend rinsing with water. Also, exfoliate 2-3 times a week only.


  1. Finding the right sports bra

Solution: Test out different styles for yourself, as what works for others may not work for you. ‘I prefer a medium tight elastic band around the base of the bra but too many straps and extra tightness affects breathing,’ Annabel Fendall says.


  1. ‘On-the-go’ bowel issues

Running at all times of days really affects your bowel motions. Being out on a run and needing to go is suddenly a very drastic situation.

Solution: ‘Prior to a morning run, I ensure that my bowels have moved to avoid unwanted situations in the middle of nowhere,’ Julia Chamberlain says.


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