Runner Question: Chub Rub

I scored with the Manager’s Special again yesterday! Tofu Steak for $.39!tofu steak

I used my super cheap tofu to make a big stir-fry. This is a more “dinner” kinda meal to me, but I have to work from 4-7ish so I made it for lunch. This way Ben will have dinner ready when he gets home too Smile Sometimes I’m a good lil’ wife like that.IMG_4505 (800x533)

This mix had tons of onions, broccoli and peanut sauce that I made myself. Plus, lots of brown rice. I actually measured it out today – 1 cup, then 1/2 more when I went back for seconds.IMG_4507 (800x533)

This weekend Jules emailed me this question. It’s a pretty common question and problem so I thought I’d address it here. Weigh in with your solution in the comments!

I ran a 10K this morning and…My legs rubbed together creating an almost bruise on my inner thighs.  And I have a high tolerance for pain when I tell you this hurt! My lungs felt great, my heart was beating strong, my knees held up, my calves were feeling good, but my thighs made me slow down.  Grrrr….
I asked a friend about it after the race, and she told me it was "chub rub."  And so I ask you- and your readers- three questions:
1) Besides losing 30 pounds (working on it!) and/or wearing capris (it was 94 degrees out this morning!), is there a prevention?
2) Is there a treatment or cure- because OUCH.
3) Can we come up with a better name for this phenomenon than "chub rub"

Yes, I am all too familiar with chafing thighs… That stinging in the shower. That awkward walking around the rest of the day. Ouch.

1. First off, I don’t think I’ll ever be thin enough to not have this problem. So, losing weight isn’t the only solution and shouldn’t stop you from running. I am shaped in a way that keep my thighs kissing. I’d like to think they love each other (and that’s why they won’t leave) – so I work with it.

2. This is totally an issue for me so I either lather up the vaseline. I personally don’t use Body Guide because Vaseline is cheaper.  Heck, I don’t even buy Vaseline – I buy this Petroleum Jelly from the 99 Cent store! Put on a thick layer if you go this route. Warning: It stains, but it prevents a lot of hurt so be generous.knockoff vaseline

Or I wear capris. In the summer I try to use long shorts/short capris.IMG_4305 (600x800)

chub rub3. Please chime in with your solutions to preventing Chub Rub & ideas for calling it something other than Chub Rub! Thanks Smile


  1. says

    I’m going to have to invest in some vaseline or longer shorts! I have the chub rub issue too and sometimes it makes me so mad when I run and my thighs are rubbing together like mad. However, that’s also how I’m shaped and I don’t think my legs would ever be thin enough not to touch. I’m a tad jealous of those with naturally thin thighs!

  2. says

    Ah, the joys of chub rub! I have suffered with this forever (even when I was 30+ lbs lighter than I am now – I’ve just got thick thighs!). The best solution I’ve found is longer shorts – I don’t wear “running shorts” (like Nike’s Tempo shorts) and & instead swear by “running tights” – w/ a 6″ or more inseam or capris. (I’m 6’0 though, so you may not need an inseam that long). Some running skirts have longer inseams too – my favorite is the SkirtSport “Happy Hour” skirt – expensive but totally worth it! I also use A&D ointment on any spots that are likely to still chafe – it’s inexpensive & won’t stain!

  3. says

    i don’t get the thigh rubbing (just means i look bow-legged) but i agree it needs a better name! what about “big gates to heaven”? :)

  4. says

    Chub rub – love it. Also love that it happens when you’re not even chubby. :) I just know which shorts work and which ones don’t – mostly through trial and error. Tight shorts definitely work best, but I have several loose pairs that are awesome… and several loose pairs that I know won’t work for longer distance. I’d say trial and error to figure it out… and once you know the pairs that work for you and you feel comfortable in, buy a lot of those. :)

  5. @Jule _E says

    I can’t help! I never heard the term and love it!! Vaseline, yes. And baby powder after if you do get chafed. I like the shorts with tight shorts under a looser pair. Luluemon makes a good set, not as long/hot as capris but my thighs don’t munch them into a bunch when I run!

  6. says

    Even at my thinnest weight, when I had food poisoning and couldn’t keep food or water down for 36 hour, when my BMI dropped to a scary number, my thighs still touched. It’s genetics, and not weight. Sure, if you’re overweight, they’re going to touch, but being a healthy weight doesn’t mean they won’t. It depends on how wide your hips are.

    My solution: spandex shorts that do halfway down my thighs. Long enough to prevent the chafing, but still good for warm weather.

  7. says

    I try and stick with calling it just regular ‘chafing.’ Has a less negative ring to it :)

    I either wear tight, longer shorts, like bike shorts, or I have happened to get lucky with a few pairs of traditional shorts I own. Also, I swear by Body glide– i use it on some of the worst areas around my sports bra, shirt seams, inner thighs, and even heels.

  8. says

    1) I gotta say that the lunch looks delicious.
    2) Why can’t it just be called thigh chafing?
    3) Also I don’t think that I am overweight but I get this when I wear my running skirt for some reason. Body Glide works for almost any chafing as long as I make sure to apply it properly. I can definitely tell when I’ve missed a spot.

  9. says

    I hateeee chub rub! And wish there was a better name for it too. My favorite trick is to use deodorant (or well technically anti persperant) on my thighs! I buy a separate stick just for that every summer. Works perfectly for when I wear skirts/dresses in the summer or running with shorts!

  10. says

    I find that smaller shorts with less fabric ride up less and create less of an issue than my bigger shorts (which I bought before I lost a lot of weight).
    I do shorter runs in shorts (6-7 mi or less), longer ones in capris. I also always apply vaseline just to be safe.

  11. ida says

    Great tips! I’ve also heard being well hydrated helps b/c you can sweat more and keep salt from building up and making the chafing worse.

  12. Jules says

    Thank you all so much for the great tips! Special thanks to Monica for saying that it shouldn’t stop me from running… even though I am overweight, I love running (slowly), and am motivated to keep at it!

    I’m off to CVS for vaseline and baby powder! and on the to-do list for next weekend: the hunt for long shorts.

    Thanks again! :)

    • says

      I have never been able to run in shorts because of thigh chaffing and I’m not really that overweight. It’s just the way I’ve always been.
      Actually, I sweat so much that I also get chaffing on my arms if I wear tank tops, on my back from sports bras, and even on my butt (not fun.)

      Sometimes it takes a little testing to figure out exactly what is best to wear when you go out for a run but it’s not worth stopping you from getting a good run in. I say ditch the shorts in favour of capris and your thighs will thank you.

  13. Susan says

    I lost 30+ pounds but my thighs still touch- I have 2 pair of shorts that are comfy and long enough that it’s not a problem but I do occasionally use lanacane anti-chafing stuff. It’s not as messy as vaseline ( it doesn’t stay wet/sticky) and you can easily find it in the drug store. I live in a rural area and can’t find body glide anywhere. I mostly use it to prevent bra/shirt chafing during longer runs in the summer.

  14. says

    Even though my thighs most certainly touch, I haven’t had that problem, and I think it’s because I always wear long pants or capris. I know I use Vaseline (or lip gloss, one time) on my shoulders under my sports bra straps, and that helps.

  15. says

    Oh chub rub sounds so yicky! I think inner thigh chafing would work just fine, or does it need to be more clever? But I just wanted to add that actually yes, loosing weight will eventually help this problem. I’m talking from personal experience I used to get this from just walking around and after loosing weight never do anymore.

  16. Amy says

    Eww, chub rub? Yeah, let’s stick with calling it chafing. :) My boyfriend has thin, runner’s legs and he still gets chafed on his thighs (which makes me feel better, knowing I do NOT have thin runner’s legs, ha). He swears by body glide. I swear by longer inseam shorts. I’ve been wearing some by Patagonia that have an inseam of about 5 inches. My thighs have rubbed together no matter how much I weigh or how thin my legs are (which has never been very).

  17. says

    You don’t have to do capris! Just wear bike shorts (or bike-type shorts, but not with padding…just like capris, but bike short length…don’t know why I keep going on and on about this) under running shorts. That’s what I do, and I live in Florida so it is HOT most of the year. The one time I thought I would be “cooler” without them, I paid the chafing price! So now, I always wear my bike shorts under my running shorts.

  18. says

    I too am one that even at my thinnest still suffered from this lovely ailment, and it certainly does suck. When I would run in shorts I would always make sure they were either a type that didn’t ride up or BodyGlide was my best friend. Now being pregnant and the fact that it is summer, I am even noticing a problem when I am walking around in dresses, ahh the joys of rubbing thighs!

  19. says

    oh yes. isn’t it the worst. I get this problem where i get inner thigh rub so I wear tight capris but then those tend to push my butt together and I get butt chaffed which is so much worse. so my best solution is just to lube up with a whole bunch of Vaseline on every inch of my lower half and I am a greasy good to go.

  20. says

    story of my life. i actually don’t use body glide either and actually just a layer of lotion before i head out the door. works every time, and i live in a very dry environment! no stains either!

  21. says

    I get this myself- I found that body glide or bike shorts under normal running shorts do the trick (Not sure if you have a walmart nearby, but they have danskin bike shorts at mine for $5-pretty cheap solution!)

  22. Jill says

    Never heard the term ‘chub-rub’ until reading this. Yuk! Sadly, I’m all to familiar with the feeling of being on fire, and waddling like a duck to prevent the raw, bleeding wounds from touching.
    Capris work well for me, as do the sporty skorts but you have to make sure you get the ones with the bike-short type liner rather than the mesh panty. Walmart has el cheapo bike shorts that go under looser (more flattering) shorts. Sure you can buy nicer bike shorts for $50 a pair but the wallyworld ones are about $6.

    Not sure about the bargain vaseline. Did you see the brand name, ‘Lusti’. I wondered as to its intended purpose, but hey if it works for what you need and it’s 99c per bucketful, don’t knock it.

  23. says

    I’ve heard that deodorant rubbed on your thighs can keep chub rub away, but I’ve never tried it. I always run in capris/shorts.

    However, I do the rub around my sports bra are and I think Goldbond helps. It has menthol or something in it so when you sprinkle it on be prepared for a cooling/tingling sensation. Before and after I run I sprinkle some around the chest band of my bra and it does seem to help a lot.

    • Jill says

      There is a product, favored by long distance motorcyclists and cyclists, called Monkey-Butt powder. The name says it all. I believe it’s a lot like Gold Bond, but the label is cuter.

  24. says

    Hmm…I wonder if the petroleum jelly would work. I have this problem even if I wear leggings. And it’s definitely not uncommon! I am apple-shaped with very muscular legs and I STILL get “chub rub.”

  25. says

    I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking of investing in Body Glide. I don’t want the stain of vasaline on my running shorts. The running skirts are the worst for “chub rub” with me. I too am genetically built to have thighs that always touch each other. They were worse when I was overweight, but they touched even when I lost a bunch of weight. Embrace the thunder thighs. It reminds me of this Nike ad:

  26. says

    My thighs totally kiss too. I wear long under armour compression shorts and they are a godsend! I haven’t had any thigh burns since wearing them. I rarely have to use vaseline.

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