Guys you are about to rediscover parts of your body that you never gave any attention or you’ll end up in really bad pain till you pay attention. Let’s talk about the easy one first – your nipples. Your nipples have never had a problem before. They probably won’t have any problems for your first 10-15 miles. The friction of your shirt swaying with each of your 2,000 footsteps each mile combined with several hours of sweat can turn your nipples in a raw, chafed, sore & bleeding place of pain. To avoid this make sure you wear a moisture wicking shirt and not cotton. You should also use bandaids (careful if you have a hairy chest) or you can use anti chafing product like Body Glide or Vaseline. Vaseline might stain your shirt but then again so will your bleeding nipples. If you are about to go for a long run and don’t have anything, you can use your regular deodorant stick – most of them have some anti-perspirant chemicals to reduce the sweat which will lower the chance of raw chafing.
Ok now we need to talk about something even more sensitive than your nipples. That’s right we are talking about the family jewels below your belt. When running don’t wear cotton underwear. Most running shorts come with a liner so you don’t need to wear underwear. Most runners do not wear underwear when using shorts that have a liner. If you really want to wear underwear get moisture wicking underwear. Do not wear cotton underwear, that defeats the purpose of your overpriced moisture wicking running shorts. Remember that moisture is a big reason for chafing and you don’t want chafing or raw skin to happen anywhere near your family jewels. We want everything to be secure. Moisture wicking compression underwear is a good choice but it won’t solve everything. You will want to liberally use an anti-chafing product on your front & back when doing runs lasting several hours. If you aren’t sure where to put it, look at where you are sweating and see where your underwear is damp – then remember to cover those body areas next time. You might want to buy a second body glide stick so you don’t need to use the same stick on all your body parts. If Body Glide or Vaseline doesn’t work, head over to your local bicycle shop. Cyclists have a much worse time dealing with chafing below the belt and there are a few products marketed to them like Chamois Cream that can help you.
You might want to also consider grooming below the belt. The hair down there can be coarse and contribute to the friction problem. If you are going to groom your hair down there, be careful to avoid stubble and commit to it. You can trim a little bit and be ok. Trim too much and it can be itchy. If you shave it all away, it will itch when it grows back and is very short so you will need to keep up with regular shaving.
If you are running in the winter, you are still going to sweat. You want to make sure to wear all moisture wicking layers even in the winter. There is a new problem with winter running. The cold wind can cause frostbite on bits of your body that will make you cringe just thinking about. On extra cold or windy winter days you probably want to add an extra layer around your most sensitive body bits. Some runners will wear shorts over their running tights. Other runners will place a piece of fleece between their underwear and running tights to keep the family jewel warm.