Trying a Tri? Some Tips to Keep Your Lady Parts Happy and Pain-Free

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Some of you may know that I started my foray into cycling by racing triathlon. That’s why it took me two years (!!!) to realize that bike shorts had padding—because I was always training in swim gear! But if you’re interested in triathlon—as you should be, it’s awesome—I have a few tips.

  • Know that you’re adding a stress to your lady parts. Swimming means harsh chemicals, running means different chafing.
  • Handle run chafing the way you handle chafing on the bike: with a cream. I like Body Glide for my inner thighs on runs where my shorts are really short, or when I’ve come off the bike and already have slightly irritated skin.
  • Cool water post-ride/run. Especially on the backs of your legs—cool the skin down as fast as possible to get heat rash to subside faster.
  • Get used to riding in your tri-suit. It’s a whole new ballgame at a triathlon, since you’re swimming and running in the same outfit you’re riding in. The chamois in a tri-suit is much thinner, so you’ll want to know how it feels in all 3 sports, but especially on the bike. Wear it on short rides or brick workouts to break it in, don’t save it for race day.
  • Shave less, especially where your chamois is. It’s hard to skip shaving or waxing in the summer, I know, but try to go as long as possible without it—razor burn and heat don’t mesh well—and when you do shave, save that for post-ride so skin isn’t raw when you roll out.
  • Just because you’re racing triathlon doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train in regular shorts too. For any ride that doesn’t have a run immediately following it, I’m a fan of just wearing my normal bike shorts to keep my lady parts happy.
  • Post-race, it’s tempting to fall over and just hang out on the ground for a while. But don’t! Drop your pants: remove your chamois right after your ride. Get out of the shorts/that tri-suit ASAP!

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