Forget tennis elbow, runners nipple is an official long distance running injury and it hurts. It even has it’s own Wikipedia entry – under the official title “Fissure of the nipple“.
The first time you get it, you’ve no idea until you’ve finished running and look down at your t-shirt and see the blood. And then it hurts (and even more when you get a shower afterwards). All being well you’re not wearing a white running top.
For men it’s even more frustrating, why should they bleed? They seem to have no purpose or use but they still bleed and hurt – rubbish.
Once you start building up the mileage (runs an hour or longer or thereabouts) you’re into runners nipple territory and a little prep before your runs help big time. Good old Vaseline helps and for me 90% of the time stops it happening. Longer runs just mean more Vaseline. And worst case it doesn’t happen as bad.
You can buy – more expensive – branded goods like “Body Glide” and they work just as well, and according to the labels are better than plain Vaseline. Personal preference really. Some theories about one reacting to cold and water worse but I’ve never noticed. You can even go as far as nipple covers or guards, small plasters, though these can move and come off. For ladies, good sports bras can really help. Decent running tops help as well – as the materials don’t rub as much.
On the London Marathon route, the helpers – including 1st aiders – around the course, have jars of Vaseline to use as you run round.
Not a dangerous running injury as such but can be painful so a bit of prep before your run is well worthwhile.
And yes you can even get the fridge magnets…