Tag Archives: chaff

Sports Bras for triathlon… what are your priorities on race day?

When it comes to choosing a Sports Bra for your Triathlon race day there are quite a few things to consider. Before moving too far down the process I think it’s important to know where your priorities lie first.

 
Some women are most concerned about the way the Sports Bra looks under their tri suit. If this is you, then you should identify this as it will eliminate a few options early.
Bras that will hide nipple show under tri suits are often made up of thick moulded cups.

 

While these will be more flattering under a suit, they are likely to hold moisture for longer which will increase the chance of chafing. Chafing or ‘bra burn’ will strike when there is excess moisture or friction, and will be particularly nasty if both of these join forces. If nipple show or unsightly straps is what bothers you try the Moving Comfort Juno or the Berlei Ultimate Performance, but be aware that these bras will hold moisture.

 
Other women are most concerned about the support factor. On race day there are plenty of spectators around, for those who are body conscious in a tri suit ‘strapping the girls down’ might be their main priority.

 
Lots of high impact Sports Bras use thick straps, underwire and or moulded cups. While these are great features for support the straps could compromise the look under the tri suit, underwire could irritate you when swimming and moulded cups will hold moisture.

 

So if support is your main priority look for a wire free high impact bra with thin yet firm materials, and a racer back design. Some great options include the Moving Comfort Rebound Racer, Enell Sports Bra and the Shock Absorber Active Multi bra. But remember, these may hold some moisture and could show under your tri suit.

 
For most, the possibility of chaffing is their biggest nightmare which will have them leaning towards bras made of quick dry fabrics. While you may expect me to launch in to the ’support should be number 1’ rant, when it comes to your race day bra I am most concerned about staying chafe free as this is the biggest sports bra issue women experience with triathlon.

 
To prevent chafing we focus on the bra fit and the materials used. The bra band must be perfectly firm to eliminate unnecessary band movement (FYI the bra band is the highest risk zone for bra burn). Materials need to be thin, quick dry fabrics. 2XU make a great Tri specific bra which has the best quick dry material in the business. Other options to explore include the Moving Comfort Jubralee and the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra.

 
While we don’t often choose to compromise on support, because race day makes up such a small percentage of your overall training it’s unlikely you will have any adverse effect to choosing comfort over support for race day, and you won’t be left with the battle scars of bra burn.

 

best bra for triathlon melbourneBuy the 2XU Tri Bra online here:

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Beating Bra Burn

3 years ago every one of my long runs was tainted by the dreaded bra burn. In fact every step I took past the 12km mark would elicit that horrific chinese-burn type pain, and that wasn’t even the worst of it. Hitting the shower post work out had me squealing in agony! Not to mention the laughs that I would get from my Spray tanner… it wasn’t a pretty site!

I was reminded about all this on my run yesterday morning. As I approached the 8km point I felt the heat build around my bra band and realised pretty quickly why. I was running in a bra that I purchased over 2 years ago, I hadn’t used it recently but decided to stick it on so I could review it. What I didn’t think carefully about was the fact that I had lost a few kilo’s since I had it fitted, and it was no longer sitting firmly around my ribcage.

Bra burn, or chaffing around the bra band region is caused by a combination of moisture and friction. Obviously when working out it can be difficult to regulate the sweat and subsequent moisture build up, but friction is fairly easy to control around this area.

Here are my top tips to prevent bra burn:

1. Have your Sports Bra fitted professionally. The band that runs around your ribcage must be firm. If it is not tight enough then it will shift easily while you are moving and result in friction.

2. Choose a bra with moisture wicking materials. Most quality Sports Bras will use material fibres that draw moisture away from the skin. Be mindful that these capabilities only last a certain number of washes, current standards for this in apparel is roughly 40-80 washes varying from brand to brand. I’m not aware of any everyday bras that use these technical fabrics, so another reminder not to attempt to train in your everyday bra.

3. Make sure you skin in completely dry before putting on a Sports Bra. Along with this, never be tempted to put on a damp or not-quite-dry Sports Bra, it is a recipe for disaster.

4. Apply anti-chaffing solutions pre work out if you are prone to any sort of chaffing. I have had good experiences with Body Glide, Healed Anti-Chaffing Balm (healedonline.com) or an easy to find option is always Bepanthen.

Just to reiterate point 1above the most common mistake that people make when dealing with this issue is buying a bra that is looser to reduce the pressure on the affected area, or loosening the bra band. This is only going to exacerbate the problem.

Good luck!

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