Interestingly the last post on this painful and unsightly running injury continues to have the highest number of views. So a follow-up is overdue and needed after 600+ more training miles and no nipple problems!
There are specialist (expensive) creams and roll-on things, special plastic covers (yes really) and even special (small) plasters. There are also compression tops, running tops made from special materials and even running with no top on! But what I’ve found that works 100% of the time for me, is good old fashioned Vaseline. A plain old big tub of the stuff – that costs less than £2.50 – sitting with my running kit ready. Just a good rub on either side about 5 minutes before a run – from 30 minutes ones up to 3 hour 30 minute ones – and no bleeding or soreness. Result. Don’t put it on and after the longer runs you know it. One possible side effect – that I’ve not seen much of – is it can stain your running top.
What is this amazing product? It dates back to the 1850’s and actually started as the residue that had to be remove from oil rig pumps. Some bright sparks had been rubbing on them to heal cuts and burns. Exactly what made them do is, is a whole other question. But 150+ years on and it’s a runners’ dream product – with a fair bit of refinement to give us what it is today (medicinal petroleum jelly).
And amazingly it’s good for other things – that you may not know about – like hayfever. One I need to test again as it’s that time of the year…
Don’t forget your tub for the big day. 9 sleeps time for me for the London Marathon.
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.