I believe it’s fairly common that the vast majority of dream of the big buy items; gps watches, shoes, packs, waterproofs, the travel to the race, the race itself.
However, there is one factor present in every training run and race that has the ability to have a greater impact on the outcome of your time on the trail then bonking or taking a light tumble.
I’ve been fortunate to avoid this constant threat till lately, but 2017 was the year when discomfit made its way into my running career. Thank you body. Looking into this market, not many options seemed to exist from retailers, namely Body Glide or the recommendation of Vaseline (I should point out the American market seems to have more options readily available).
Through my employment, I was fortunate to meet the guys behind Premax, a skin care company who specialise in performance sports and recovery. Created by physios, they make massage creams, anti friction balm, chamois creams, sun/cold weather face creams and a grip enhancer. It also transpires they have a huge user base in elite athletics and sports already. I came away with a bag of goodies to try for myself, cheers Rob.
So, 3 months on, how raw are my inner thighs?The balm comes in a screw lid applicator, much like a stick of deodorant (without the ball). Small enough to travel, 60g, this stays in my wash bag, both domestically and abroad.
It has a list of ingredients that include beeswax, vitamin E, tea tree oil, aloe, mandarin oil and bergamot oil. All designed to protect the skin from abrasion and irritation.
There were two sides to my test. The deepest winter we’ve had in years, followed by a pretty sweltering summer. In the Scottish highlands I was in the depths of the Beast from the East, where windproof tights were a necessity. I forgot to use it the night before a short headtorch run and that was my first experience of realising the effectiveness. As they say, you don’t know how much you value something till it’s gone. And boy, did I regret not wearing it. High mileage in windproof kit, throughout winter…..
Thankfully, I remembered to use it for the remainder of the trip, including the big day out above and appreciated it!
The Lake District, running legs 4 & 5 of the Bob Graham Round. This was the endurance test. From putting it on to taking it off (2 1/2 hrs of driving included) I was wearing the balm for 10 hours ish and it worked as well as it had when originally applied. No issues, despite 3000m of climbing and a long day of movement.
All out running. Racing, the last thing you need is the distraction of your nipples being cut down by your jersey action like a cheese grater or thighs burning as you push on, mentally needing every help you get muster.
In all scenarios it passed the test.
Applying the balm is simple, Premax recommended 5 minutes before you head out the door and to reapply as required.
A little goes a long way and my 60g tub is nearing its life some 3 months and 450 miles later.
A little between thumb and index finger and you can cover a vast area. It isn’t sticky, nor does it take much to wash it off your hand, yet, when I’ve returned from summer runs, often I’ve thought I must be sweating heaps down below, only to discover, it’s the balm still in effect, lubricating the area. What’s more, for me personally, Premax’s Balm has reduced, if not removed entirely an issue I was experiencing on my inner thigh. Let’s just say bright red, raised and tender were the symptoms on hot days last year, without the requirement of exercise to induce. I can’t categorically say the Balm has stoped this, but I’m certain it has been a contributing factor.
All in all, I’m impressed and it’s a product I use on every run. So much so, last week I bought a replacement container for when this runs out.
For me, Premax’s Anti Friction Balm has had the biggest impact on my running in 2018. I don’t have to worry about chafing, psychologically it makes focusing on the training session or race performance that bit easier. 2017, for those wondering, was taking on my coach Paul Giblin.
Sometimes it’s the small details that have the ability to generate the largest impacts.
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