September 27, 2017

The trials and tribulations of runners nipples

On running and finishing races one of the most common sights I see is blood on men’s t shirts. I see it every race without fail. So what is this, why does it happen and how can we prevent it?

Being a lady, and not facing this issue, I have consulted with many of my male running companions on this subject to really understand what happens to these guys. So blood on t shirts is widely described as runners nipples. Effectively during a run a t-shirt or singlet can chafe and overtime cause bleeding. Ladies are normally wearing close fitting bras so this isn’t usually an issue.  I have seen cases where there is a huge amount of blood so it’s a real problem and the male runners I have spoken to try lots of things to prevent it.

No fixes are full proof and these all meet with mixed results but here are a few solutions:

  • vaseline to prevent chafingVaseline – that old favourite! This is used generally for chafing and is a great barrier. However it might not last a marathon!
  • Plasters – guys use plasters to prevent the problem but they can slide off or stick firm so you get a wax into the bargain, when you rip them off.
  • Body glide – triathletes use this a lot to help get wetsuits on and off; another great barrier/ anti chafing gel
  • Nipple daisies – these are awesome and designed for ladies but cover your nipples perfectly. You can buy online from ebay which also saves a bit of embarrassment.
  • Take your top off – many fellas run without tops. Great if you live up north (Australia) but in Tassie in June not such a good option. However if you have a physique similar to Djokovic I actively encourage this anytime of the year
  • Wear skins – some men I have spoken to have managed to get round the problem by wearing a really close fitting top.

Does anyone have any other great suggestions? If so please do get them down here.

To bounce or not to bounce…

One of the most important things us ladies need to worry about when running is the ‘bounce’ factor. There’s nothing worse than running with an ill-fitting, or poorly supporting, sports bra. For the last few years I’ve stuck with the same brand, Sport Jock, but recently Shock Absorber have been promoting a new super duper sports bra that reduces bounce by 78%, so I decided to give it a road test!

Running sports bras Sportjock and Shock Absorber

Sport Jock vs Shock Absorber



















Nature, or rather genetics, has been generous to me in the bounce department so I need a good sports bra. There’s no way I’m running 42km unsupported. After trying lots of different sports bras I landed on Sport Jock. Sport Jock is an American brand and is awesome. The bra is effectively a cropped top and has many redeeming features. I find it to be fantastically comfortable, really supportive and it doesn’t chafe. You could easily wear it on its own if you chose to (or have abs like Madonna) but I normally wear it with a singlet or t-shirt. The other great feature is that it comes in many colours.

So the Shock Absorber bra had a tough road ahead. The bra is called the Ultimate Run bra so we’ll see how it goes.

Fit and Comfort

It is a bit more fiddly than the Sports Jock in that you have bits to adjust and a bra fastening at the back. However the fit is good and it’s pretty comfortable. My heart rate monitor did sit a little lower with this bra but it still worked perfectly.


The Shock Absorber bra comes in three colours: black, white and blue so not a huge variety but the blue is quite fun and different. You could wear this just on its own as a cropped top.


No chafing at all and this has been road tested on a 20km run. The Sports Jock is similar with no chafing problems.

Bounce factor

The Shock Absorber bra claims to reduce bounce by 78% and I certainly didn’t bounce a lot but 78%? Perhaps yes but I’ve no idea how you measure that! I’m sure there would be a few volunteers out there who would have been keen to help Shock Absorber measure it.  The Sport Jock is also very good at the bounce factor and I didn’t notice a massive difference between the two although the Shock Absorber perhaps did just edge it.

Washability and wearability

This is an important factor for runners as you wash your kit a lot. If it doesn’t wash well, or requires special washing instructions, you won’t buy another. I have washed this bra a few times and tumble dried it and it comes out fine. The Sport Jock washed incredibly well and I have had a couple for years that I still wear.


Both similarly priced the Shock Absorber bra is $42 on Wiggle compared to the Sport Jock priced between $36 and $39. Pretty good value in my opinion.

So my verdict…it’s a great bra and I’ll wear this running so give it a go. As for whether it’s the Ultimate running bra it’s definitely up there but see how you go ladies.

It’s difficult to buy decent running bras in Oz so I recommend Wiggle. Buy Shock Absorber here and Sport Jock here