Friday, June 11, 2010

The Bro Bra

Early on when I started reading blogs and forums about endurance sports, I read somewhere that it's OK to talk freely about certain things with other endurance athletes. You know, like peeing in your wetsuit or what kind of chamois butter is the best to liberally apply to your butt. Well, hopefully this is true because I'm about to do it.

Lately, I've been having this little problem while running. My nipples are getting really chafed by my running shirt. And because it's warmer out and I'm drenched in sweat within 15-20 minutes of starting, my nipples get really irritated and sting like crazy. This has been known to continue for hours after my run, despite showering. Obviously this is really annoying.

At first I tried using Body Glide, but this didn't help at all. It just melted away and made a huge oily mess.

Then I tried band-aids, but that didn't work out too well either. The band-aids where not a problem during running, they actually did a good job. It was taking them off afterwards that totally sucked.

So today I went out and bought myself what I like to call a bro bra.

You might be asking why I don't just call this what it actually is, a compression tank-top. In response, I offer two distinctions contrary to it's intended use to support my position. First, regardless of the fact it is a full shirt, I'll be wearing it for the sole purpose of protecting my chest. And second, while wearing skin tight clothes during a race is fine, I have no desire to look like a cape-less superhero while training. The bro bra is intended as a base layer. A courtesy shirt is appropriate at all times unless you have a bib and a timing chip on.

As I walked into Sports Chalet ready to find the best bro bra money could buy, I had a laundry list of requirements -

- It had to fit really tight. There was no point in adding a garment just to keep getting chaffed.

- The fabric had to be really thin so I could comfortably layer without overheating.

- The length of the body had to be long enough to tuck into my compression shorts. Otherwise I was concerned the shirt would ride up my torso and create an equally annoying alternate problem.

After reviewing all my options, I chose one from Under Armour. It was thin, and even the size down from what I normally wear was long enough to tuck in. I bought the smaller size to insure the tightest fit possible.

I took it out for a run tonight. It worked fine. It was especially warm today and even a bit humid, so finished the run completely soaked. But I had no problems, no pain, no anything. The bro bra came through with plenty of support.

I am pleased to have found a solution to my problem and am happy to pass this tidbit of insider info on to others who may be currently suffering.


Barbie said...

I just wrote a comment and it disappeared - TAKE 2

So sorry about your nipples - and thank goodness for the Bro Bra. I could nt think of anything worse than trying to focus on running and have burning boobs.

Unknown said...

nipple chafe is the worst! i always feel for that dude you inevitably see at every race coming into the finish line with the blood spots over the nips. The body glide seems to work okay for me. I've yet to have problems with it! But I wear a few different compression shirts as well.

Remember the Seinfeld ep with the "Manzier" vs "The Bro" ... good stuff!

KovasP said...

I could have used a bro bra on this morning's run! Luckily, since I run early, there is noone around and I can pull my shirt up. Not sure if I would want to wear another layer now that it's hot, but if it happens again, I'm on it.

Caratunk Girl said...

That is awesome...I remember this guy in one of my marathons who had bleeding nipples and it still makes me cringe to think about it. I wish he had that manzier. Or is it the bro? HA! I just see Jeff mentioned that too.

Pete32 said...

Always a problem for me. Thanks for the in-depth research, now I'm going to have to go out and get some Under Armour:)

Big Clyde said...

Stinging nipples...too early for me this Saturday morning! But seriously, glad you found something that works for you. I'll have to keep it in mind.

misszippy said...

Congrats on your bro bra. I believe on Seinfeld they had a "bro" or a "manzier." I think you are a step or two ahead of them.

shel said...

duuuuude, you totally don't need to layer. it's too dang hot for that mess. serious athlete = no longer fashion conscious. you are allowed to look like a total dork as long as you are wearing the gear designed to protect you from chafe, over heating, funny tan lines etc. and i agree with misszippy - i vote it be renamed the "manzier" FTW.

Chris K said...

While I've never had similar issues, kudos to you for making laugh about a man's nipple problem.

DRog said...

Agree totally with the courtesy shirt unless timing chip is involved - haha!great solution I like it...

Kathleen said...

You might want to also try "New Skin" liquid band-aid. I have used it to protect my toes from ongoing blisters. I have had some success with it. You can always try it with your new addition to your wardrobe to see if it will stay on. No need to worry about taking it off, it comes off eventually and is clear.
Just a thought.

Glenn Jones said...

You know - I have some shirts that work and some that don't. And some that work for less than 10 miles and others that don't. And I know each and every one of them and what they are good for or not.

I tried nip guards as well, but I sweat so much that they fell of after about 15 to 16 miles. These days I just have shirts that I wear when I'm on a long run, and shirts that I stay away from at any cost!

Aimee said...

I love the "bro bra" phrase..ha ha! I saw this guy at my 1/2 mary that had blood spots on his shirt after the race. I felt so sorry for him! I always thought the band-aid idea was a good one, but now I understand why it isn't! I hope the "bro bra" works for you! :)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

"bro bra" well, umm, i am speechless, and thats a rarety for me

Lindsay said...

Umm hello just go shirtless!! :) Thankfully I don't have to worry about nip-chafe, but I'm glad your bro-bra solution is working well.

XLMIC said...

"Courtesy shirt"... *snicker*

What an awesome review and suggestion! I saw a guy at the Paris Marathon who dropped out at the 18 mark... major blood spots on the shirt. He seemed to be walking very normally, so I wonder if it was the nipple issue that led to the dropping out.

And yes! Always opt for the smaller size :)


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