Ask the Coach: Underwire rub

Q. This isn't so much a training question as it is about clothing for running. I have to wear an underwire bra for support (the typical sports bra does nothing to hold me in). As a result when I run over five miles, the underwire rubs my skin raw, usually at the bottom part of the bra at the top of my stomach, in the cleavage area and on my back (which I didn't even notice because the front was so raw).

I put some Vaseline on for a half marathon last week and still, my skin where the wire touches was raw. The bra I use is from either Title 9 or Athletica, companies that seem to have the proper women's gear for all sorts of activities.

I haven't contacted them yet. Maybe they have suggestions of their own, but in order for me to prepare for my first marathon, I wanted to see if I could fix this. Are there any solutions, different styles, more Vaseline or some type of second-skin?

A. Ah, but it is a training question because if you're not comfortable, then training is no fun. No fun equals low likelihood of life-long training and fitness. You have a good question. You may have to investigate a few different bras to determine if the wire type is really best for you. Try on bras from a few different manufacturers and talk to the product experts to get recommendations.

To supplement great fitting clothing, if you have skin rubbing on skin, then you might try a product called "Body Glide" to help prevent blisters and chafing. If you decide the underwire is best for you, then maybe a strip of moleskin applied to your body where the wire tends to rub. The wire can then rub the moleskin instead of you.

Do you have a specific training or sport related question? Have world-renowned coach Gale Bernhardt answer it! Send your questions to

Gale Bernhardt was the 2003 USA Triathlon Pan American Games and 2004 USA Triathlon Olympic Coach for both the men's and women's teams. Her first Olympic experience was as a personal cycling coach at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

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