What is Up with Nipples and Running?

If you are a guy and you have run for any extended period of time, then you will be very familiar with what I am about to talk about. If you are woman, then I have no idea if you go through the same thing but I suspect you do.

I made my nipples bleed the other day. That’s right – my nipples. Not something you hear everyday, and before I was even a runner I did not know that a guy’s nipples could bleed. I mean, I guess it makes sense that they can but it is not something I spend even an iota of time thinking about.

My nipple problem seems to flare up when I run in the rain. There is something about getting my shirt and jacket wet and the friction that creates to rub me just enough to open them up. I never really notice it while I am running – adrenaline, serotonin, whatever – but after I finish, take my shirt of and get down to some relaxation the burning hits me. You know the feeling – a pain that does not go away because if you put a shirt on the rubbing continues the irritation you and if you go shirtless the air freakin’ burns. No escape from the pain. I won’t even go into what happens when you get in the shower and the water pelts your nipples like a shotgun bringing a grown man close to tears.

I tried to explain the situation to my wife, but she had no sympathy explaining that our two kids took a round out of her when they were breastfeeding. This situation is not really something you discuss with the guys – “hey Frank, how are your nipples?” That could bring a guy more trouble than just bleeding nipples.

So here I am writing about my pain, using the only outlet I know of to talk openly about the plight of the male runner.

After a bit of research, I have discovered that there is some help. Some companies, although somewhat covertly, advertise and sell body chaffing reduction devices that more often than not never refer to the nipple for fear of offending someone. Other suggestions out there are to smear Vaseline on them, but then you are just a guy running around who looks like you are lactating. The best solution for me – the band-aide. I just stick a couple of these on and wa ‘la – no more bleeding nipples. At least until I forget to put them on and head out for a run in the rain….