Coach Wendy writes: We've all done it at least once! Many have experienced it. Some still have the scars to prove it. Yes, even the pro's find it a challenge. Finding the best gear to fit ones unique body bits is often a trialing experience!
You know the old saying" What do gynecologists, urologists and triathletes have in common?" Well, from the medical perspective, the two pursue the endless juggle of playing with physiology and the challenge of performance. In the case of the triathletes, they just want to avoid having to make an appointment to repair any damage caused through ill-fitting equipment causing unfavorable injuries to sensitive regions!
Yes, choosing a good seat and or wearing a well fitting sports bra are two of the most common issues that cause triathletes concern in these sensitive regions. Ironically, they are topics often the first to be 'swum' over and avoided - especially the seat department!!!
We often hear the comment "You'll be right, you'll get used to it". Well excuse the cow-shed terminology but guys, the short answer is that num nuts and unresponsive willies is not good for your health let alone any family planning that may be on the agenda. Girls, feeling like you're crotch is made of sand paper may mean that you need more lubricant and feeling like you've been punched in the chest after a run means that you need a more supportive sports bra!
Oh yes, the unspeakables and the intolerables! Hey, a good seat, lubricant creams, supportive fabrics and regular checks are the quick solutions it should be that simple!
Regardless of our gender, there are common habits that will ensure that hygiene of the body's personal bits are kept up to the best possible standard. The most common areas of concern are the cycling shorts and the hygiene of the butt region! Using an anti-bacterial liquid when washing your cycling shorts, drying them inside out in the direct sunlight and using a chamois cream, will keep your shorts in the best possible condition to provide for your comfort and hygiene.
The other tricks include, getting your shorts off as soon as possible when you have finished training, especially if it's a hot day. After every training session (like yourself) your training gear, especially you cycling shorts need to unwind in the washing machine! (just throw the shorts in!). Wearing the same pair of cycling shorts twice is not only asking to ride alone, but more importantly, you will leave yourself wide open for skin infections caused by perspiration and sometimes urine 'dribbles'.
Applying an anti-chaff cream directly on to the skin and around all the curves and flap areas of the butt area will also reduce any rubbing that may result from a long time in the saddle or a saddle that is taking time to mould to your anatomy. Most anti-chafe creams are suitable for all external body parts, i.e. the most common upper body area to chafe is an area 3 inches from the socket of the armpit. Due to the arm swing when running, this is a common chafe area where the singlet or bra edge seems to be constantly in contact. Guys you can forget the bra rubs, but make sure the nipples have some anti-chafe cream on them or in extreme cases, try some soft tape directly applied to the nipple and skin and then a layer of anti-chafe cream over the top of the tape.
With our unique curves, flaps and body bits, we also need to be aware of any changes. Apart form the magical feelings of getting fitter and the increased muscle definition, there may well be some other changes that we need to be equally aware of. What could start as a red spot could turn into a pimple that becomes an infected hair follicle and with the body immune system being tested, the next potential development is an infection or an open wound.
We can monitor these blemishs easily if it's on our hand, but consider if is under our armpit or on our butt - or worse between some of the curves and creases of our butt regions! Weekly checks of the body folds to ensure everything is okay is a good idea. Mole changes, sudden lumps, bumps and red spots are indications that something is not right and needs to be treated accordingly. It is therefore critical that you are aware of any bodily changes, especially the ones that potentially may cause health challenges that could affect your life outside the triathlon world!! Lets try and avoid the potential visit to the urologist for a kidney infection or a visit to the gynecologist for a more serious matter!
Train smart guys and girls and avoid the rubs and rashes. Let's work towards minimizing the damage caused through ill-fitting equipment or inappropriate actions in the sensitive regions!