July 25, 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.

What makes a great running event?

I have run hundreds of races and there are some great ones and not so great ones. So what makes for a great race? Here are my ten pointers.

Organising running races

  • Have plenty of loos – queuing for four toilets is timewasting, smelly and annoying. It’s more annoying when you get there and there is no loo roll.
  • Have enough drink stations. Seriously race organisers listen up. Waiting 5km for a cup of water on a 35 degree day is not good enough.
  • Don’t start too many people at once – either start in waves or restrict it based on the funnel of the start. People falling over each other is not a good look.
  • Have showbags – people love show bags and suppliers love supporting these things. It’s a win win.
  • Have a medal. Not enough runs now give out medals; it is a sense of achievement so please give us a medal no matter how crappy it is.
  • Make a clear exit route at the end so knackered people know where to go and what to do; by that point you are slightly delirious so it needs to be easy. The Mother’s Day Classic do a great job of this.
  • Bag drop off. Offer it and make it easy to drop off and pick up. Put all bags in sections and get one person to man each section, e.g. 1-200, 201-400. Sound simple? That is because it is; but it is amazing how many organisers get it so wrong.
  • Have chip timing – you’ll get the serious runners entering and everyone likes to download a certificate with their time on.
  • Offer clear instructions on the course, chip timing, results, bag drop off etc. online and in a leaflet sent out to participants.
  • Plan the course so it is traffic free, iconic (that will get people wanting to run it), easy for spectators to access and not too hilly.

I could keep going on but I need to restrict this to ten. Any other thoughts on what other people think makes a great race or any recommended races out there?

MS Walk and Run – how was it for you?

Last Sunday Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra held fun runs to raise money for MS. People round the country were running or walking 5km or 10km for this cause. So how was it and how did we do?

Run Rabbit at MS Fun Run

Before the race!

My boyfriend and I gave the Melbourne run a go. It was a pretty chilly ten degree morning and the run was around Albert Park, an awesome running track. It’s flat with a great outlook, what more could you want!

The race started at 9am and we got there by 8.45am. We were positioned at the start line when I decided I needed the loo; it’s always that moment of deliberation for a runner. With these events there are never enough loos, never enough loo roll and always a massive queue.  But MS you didn’t do too badly.

And they’re off! It was amazing to have so much red around and lots of people running for MS; it made for a great atmosphere. But it was a bit of a crazy start. The 5km and 10km start all happened at once and people were tripping up and sliding around in the mud; now that didn’t make for a pleasant start and it took a good few kms for it to thin out a bit. After that it was fine. The course itself was great, flat and lots of people pointing to where to go so that was excellent. There were also plenty of people clapping and cheering at the half way mark.

Luckily for us the weather held out and it was cold enough to be great running weather but we missed the rain; unfortunately the walkers didn’t.

My pace was all over the place mostly due to the amount of people on the course; it’s quite tricky to get a good rhythm but I kept around about a 5minute per km pace which I was happy with.  My heart rate at one point reached 183bpm which given I have a resting HR of 41bpm was definitely too high so I scaled it back and maintained a HR of about 170bpm.

MS did well on the water, there was plenty round the two lap course.

Finishing the MS fun run

A lot of sore bodies at the finish!

I got across the line in 50 mins 20secs which is not as quick as I would have liked but a perfectly respectable time. Unfortunately my boyfriend beat me by a minute – typical! Back to interval training.

But what did I really miss – the show bag. I love a good show bag at the end of a race; it’s that treat for finishing. I, instead, treated myself to smoked salmon and eggs at Blue Tongue in Elwood. Yum!

For all the results and more info click here.

Yummy gnocchi – great pre race meal

Carbo loading is fairly commonplace before a big running race and pasta is a favourite amongst runners.

Here is a delicious alternative, gnocchi with mushrooms and truffle oil.

Pre race carbo load with gnocchi

I recommend making the gnocchi from scratch because it takes so delicious and you can make lots thereby giving you plenty of quick meals in the future. This recipe should make enough for 4 people.

To make the gnocchi you’ll need…

  • 500g desiree potatoes
  • 125g stong 000 flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutmeg
  1.  Bake the potatoes for about an hour and a half until soft for mashing – let cool for a short while
  2. Use a mouli, sieve or potato ricer rice all the potatoes into a bowl and mix through with your fingers
  3. Add the egg yolks to the potato and mix with your fingers
  4. Add the flour gradually and mix with your fingers until you have a dough which isn’t too soft to the touch but is malleable
  5. Divide the dough into 4 and roll each into a thin roll on a floured surface
  6. Cut each roll into small pieces and take each piece and roll between both hands to create an oval shape
  7. Place the gnocchi pieces in salted boiling water (with some oil) and cook until they float to the surface.
  8. This step is really important to ensure awesome gnocchi.  Immediately remove the gnocchi pieces and place them in iced cold water; this prevents them cooking any further. When they are cool to the touch remove from the water – don’t leave in too long or they absorb too much water.  [Read more...]

All your race results in one place!

One of my outright favourite running websites is Athlinks. Athlinks is an awesome website which holds all of your race results in one place and it’s a great site to get your geek on.

athlinks race homepage

Athlinks pulls race results from high and low profile races all over the world so you can access them in one place. I have race results from ten years ago stored in the database! It doesn’t seem to capture all races as my London marathon races seem to have been missed; however you can add ‘unofficial’ race results yourself.  You can see gender, age and overall position per race along with pace and any other data they can pull. Pace is probably the most interesting one to look at.

[Read more...]