Chafing, aka one of the glorious aspects of running that results in lots of startled animals as you light up the trail with well chosen expletives... occasionally paired with chucking a heart rate monitor deep into the woods. Oh, and lest you forget the best part: the post run shower.
Haha. Okay. We've all been there, and maybe I am exaggerating a bit. That said, if you have been on the receiving end of a heart rate monitor that rubs your skin raw, you are well aware its no walk in the park and the sooner its gone, the better.
Here are 6 ways to nix the chafe once and for all - starting with the easiest adjustments:
Tighten or loosen the strap for a better fit
If you've made it to a blog to find help, you've probably tried this one. Nevertheless, fit is the most likely culprit, so make sure the band is snug - but not too snug! - before carrying on down the list. The band should not move at any point in the run and also not cut into the skin due to tightness. Find the sweet spot!
Lower the strap slightly
This should not effect accuracy, as the monitor can still detect heart rate via the descending aorta from an inch or two lower than usual. Follow the fit guidelines from above when you reposition the strap.
Vaseline, Body Glide, or similar balm
Antidotally, this seems to have varying results that range from perfection to inaccurate readings with no effect chafing. Absolutely worth a try though, just don't lather too thick to ensure the monitor can work appropriately.
Heart rate monitor bra
Sorry men, this is one is for the ladies.
Your monitor attaches directly to the bra, eliminating the need for a strap all together. Also, more comfy than a strap. Boom. Word of caution: there are multiple on the market and reviews vary. Check out this bra for a good option.
Change the strap
Everything breaks down over time, and a heart rate monitor strap is no exception. What was once a nice, fluffy, soft band now feels like something between sand paper and a cheese grater. Treat yo self.
Use tape or a bandaid
Personally, this is my favorite option. Athletic or kinesiology tape works well and I've even heard runners rave about duct tape! I find a bandaid is the easiest and, if you can snag the waterproof type, it will last multiple days if not weeks. Heres how it works:
Have you had success with other options? Don't keep those nuggets of golden knowledge to yourself. Share in the comments so we can all be chafe free in 2018.
Happy chafe-less running!