Women's Running

How To Avoid Five Common Triathlete Issues

Though triathlon comes with a great number of health and vanity benefits (hello, sexy swimmer shoulders!), there’s still a few, ahem, “issues” female triathletes encounter, from uncomfortable bouncing boobs to painful saddle sores. The best defense is a good offense. Avoid these common triathlete troubles with simple prevention strategies:

“Down there” drama

Sores in the groin, rear end and upper thighs can make cycling uncomfortable—or worse, become infected and painful. These nuisances, caused by chafing, blocked hair follicles or excess pressure on the crotch, typically manifest themselves as red, tender lumps. To avoid these sores:

Support “the girls”

Though many tri tops and suits have built-in sports bras, some wom-en may find they need a little extra support. When selecting a sports bra:

Sun exposure

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, more than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than two mil-lion people are diagnosed annually, and more than 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to skin aging are caused by the sun. Sun protection is essential to skin cancer prevention—and so simple too!

Eau de Chlorine

Even the most expensive perfume can’t mask the smell of chlorine. The water in swimming pools can leave swimmers with dry, brittle, itchy hair and skin. Soap and shampoo post-swim can help, but a vitamin C-based treatment like SwimSpray ($12.95, Swimspray.com) can counteract the residual chlorine, leaving skin and hair soft and odor-free.

Chafing

A rite of passage for many triathletes is the “wetsuit hickey,” a large, red blotch on the neck caused by chafing where the suit meets the skin. Triathletes can experience irritation in any location where friction is applied to the skin: in the armpit, under a heart-rate strap, along the inner thighs or under the toes. Minimize friction by wearing snug, moisture-wicking clothing with few seams and applying a lubricant such as Body Glide, ($9.99, most running/triathlon stores) to areas prone to chafing.